The Gov’t will pay! Inside Jaric Titans’ $3.6 mil Manchester “joyride”


On Wednesday 27 March, Jaric Titans Sports and Development Club managing director and head coach Brian Browne and team manager Tracey Coldeira strolled into the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Manchester with a large contingent of adults and children from Tobago.

Browne made a booking at the four-star hotel for 134 persons, via Manchester Easter Cup tournament organisers, EuroWorld Sports Limited. The cost, according to EuroWorld Sports managing director David Shepherd, was £120 ($1,023) per night for each person—inclusive of breakfast and dinner, ground transport, and tours.

Players from the Manchester International Easter Cup.

It was, Shepherd explained, the deluxe package.

While several of the youth teams from across the globe booked lodgings at budget inns or looked for various ways to trim costs, Browne chose a fully-loaded four-star hotel experience with an executive coach to ferry his teams around.


The Manchester International Easter Cup, a grassroots tournament with no links whatsoever to prestigious nearby teams like Manchester United and Manchester City, was a two-day competition with games lasting a maximum of 30 minutes (inclusive of both halves) in the group stages and 40 minutes in the knockout round.

Most visiting clubs chose to stay in Manchester for between four to six days. Browne, whose travelling party was the second biggest in the entire competition, booked the Hilton for 10 days.

Jaric Titans players train in Tobago.

The problem, though, was Jaric Titans could not pay for a single night at the hotel—and Browne, who was also a Trinidad and Tobago national cricket coach, knew as much before he left the island.

The Office of the Prime Minister’s Sport and Cultural Fund rejected Titans’ financial request while a late appeal to the Tobago House of Assembly did not bear fruit.

(Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe-Lewis used the phrase “joyride” to describe the OPM’s view.)

Regardless, Browne told the Trinidad and Tobago public: “[…] we took a leap of faith…”

Jaric Titans and Tobago Player Development Project teams prepare to depart for the 2024 Manchester International Easter Cup.

His words to the British organiser, though, were: “our government will pay…”

Three days later, there is still a concerning lack of clarity regarding the Jaric Titans’ now infamous, ongoing Manchester excursion.


In his financial breakdown, Browne gave his party as 138 persons, yet he budgeted for meals, accommodation, airfare, tours and insurance for 144 persons. Shepherd said Titans booked rooms for 134 persons.

Browne, in his proposal for state funding, requested uniforms for 65 players, 11 staff members and seven coaches. This suggests that between 51 to 61 persons on Jaric Titan’s Manchester trip—inclusive of nearly 35 children, according to Browne’s social media post—were neither players nor staff members.

A Jaric Titans player in Manchester for the 2024 International Easter Cup.

For context, Trinidad and Tobago’s entire Carifta contingent comprises 67 athletes and 18 officials (85 persons) in Grenada.

Browne was taking a group that was twice as large to participate in a grassroots tournament of dubious long-term benefit—and he wanted taxpayers to help pay for airfare, meals, four-star accommodation, ground transport and entertainment costs for roughly five dozen persons who appeared to be unrelated to the event.

Even more bizarre is the fact that half of his contingent never caught the Tuesday flight at all. Once more, it is not a straightforward tale.

Browne registered his team to participate in the Under-16, Under-13, Under-12 and Under-9 divisions of the Manchester Easter Cup. However, he did not have enough players to do so.

The Manchester International Easter Cup logo.

So, he agreed a deal with coach Ryan Stewart of Brother Ry’s Football Academy in which players and coaches from both teams would compete in Manchester under the Jaric Titans banner.

“We never knew the overall costs or budget—they did all of the administrative work,” said a Brother Ry’s Academy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We were supposed to be part of the planning but we never were. I don’t know how much the whole thing cost, I only know how much we were supposed to pay: $10,000.

“We were asked to pay an initial $400 to secure the hotel, which was part of the $8,000 we were asked to pay. And then it went up from $8,000 to $10,000 because they said ticket prices went up.”

Brother Ry’s Academy and Jaric Titans players prepare for a walk against crime in Tobago.

On 24 February, the 2024 Republic Bank National Youth Football League (RBNYFL) kicked off in Trinidad and Tobago with more than 100 teams competing nationwide.

It costs $500 to register a team for the four-month competition.

It would have cost Stewart and Browne a total of $2,000 to play, with the competition governed by Fifa rules and scouted by Trinidad and Tobago’s national youth team coaches.

FC Ginga utility player Zwade Alleyne (right) challenges PUFA goalkeeper Jaydon Millard during RBNYL East Zone U-16 action at UWI on 10 March 2024.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

Instead, Browne drew up a budget of just over $3.6 million to travel to Manchester, with the youngsters from the respective clubs guaranteed just two days of football instead—with games not played in accordance with Fifa guidelines and no scouts or pathway to advancement of the participants’ careers.

It cost £199 ($1,700) per team to participate in the Manchester Easter Cup

Premier Sports Club, who are second at present in the South Zone Under-14 Division of the RBNYFL, are also at the Manchester Easter Cup. And City FC signed up for the 2024 RBNYFL season, despite their own trip to the Jefferson Cup in the United States last week.

City FC goalkeeper Malachi Leach (second from left) tries to punch clear while teammate Liam Hosein (far left) and Cardinals FA players Malachi Polin (far right) and Deron Blackman look on during RBNYFL North Zone U-14 action in Moka on 2 March 2024.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

However, the Brother Ry’s official said the two Tobago clubs opted out of the RBNYL, so as to be better prepared for their overseas trip.

“We thought it would be too much on the players to play in the Republic Cup and train for Manchester,” said the official. “So we decided to sacrifice the Republic Cup.”

For several players, the sacrifice was in vain.

On the day of the trip, some excited boys got the bad news.

Boys socialise during a Jaric Titans training session.

“On Tuesday, they said the group would be split into two and some will be travelling tomorrow,” said the grandparent of one player, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I asked how come—because I knew flights to England only happened on Tuesday and Friday.

“So, I called a contact to ask for a list of the people who were scheduled to fly out and lo and behold my grandson’s name was nowhere on the list.

“I told my daughter one time: ‘ask back for your money’!”

Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe-Lewis.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

The source said her grandson, who is a Brother Ry’s Academy player, paid $8,000 in January and then an additional $2,000 on request.

She denied Browne’s claim, in the Trinidad Newsday, that the persons left behind had paid too late to get tickets. However, Wired868’s checks revealed that there were also multiple late payments, as some persons struggled to raise the $10,000.

“The night before they sent out a list of 64 persons (in a WhatsApp group) and our names were not there,” said the Ry’s Academy official, who already had bags packed and ready. “So, then our coach started calling and trying to find out what was happening; and that is when the whole thing started playing out.”

Brother Ry’s Academy head coach Ryan Stewart.

Did only 64 persons leave Tobago, under the Jaric Titans banner, for the Manchester Cup? Or were there some persons who were undeclared to the wider group?

A government source revealed that 75 persons travelled to Manchester as part of the Jaric Titans group.

Browne declined comment.

“In due time, I’ll respond,” Browne told Wired868, via WhatsApp.

Jaric Titans managing director Brian Browne.

In Manchester, Shepherd had a decision to make. He could have simply refunded Browne, turned Jaric Titans out of the Hilton and let them use their registration money to look after themselves.

Or he could take the word of a coach he had never met and the verbal commitment of a stranger at the other end of the phone who claimed to be a Tobago House of Assembly (THA) official and promised to find a solution.

Whether purely for humanitarian reasons or with an eye on the huge commission at stake for a 138-member contingent, the EuroWorld Sports director chose the latter.

EuroWorld Sports director David Shepherd.

“They had pretty big numbers (and) unbeknown to us were applying through government support to take part in the competition,” said Shepherd. “My understanding was they were hoping for part contribution from the government and part from the families. I understand they haven’t been able to achieve either.”

After two nights, Shepherd moved the Titans out of the Hilton and split the contingent between two other hotels. They had already trimmed some of the luxuries like bus tours, due to non-payment (or delayed payment).

“Of course, the various suppliers have to be paid,” said Shepherd. “So it means moving the kids around. It is a shame because it destroys what they were trying to achieve and it puts everybody in a proper dilemma.

A room at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Manchester.

“The High Commission [of Trinidad and Tobago] phoned us and were sympathetic but I think they just reached out to find out what the situation was.”

Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne (no relation to the Titans director) confirmed that he enquired about the wellbeing of the Titans party.

“I did instruct the High Commission to liaise with stakeholders on the UK side,” the Minister told Wired868, “to ascertain whether the children were without accommodation.”

Children train at the Jaric Titans football club.

The Jaric Titans crew might not have been getting all they hoped for from Manchester, but they were not on the street. So, checks by the government did not reveal an international emergency.

There were, initially, three Trinidad and Tobago teams at the Hilton: the Titans, Premier SC, and the Tobago Players Development Project (TPDP).

The latter is a group overseen by former Trinidad and Tobago standout Wendell Moore, whose sons Shaq and Tyrell Moore have represented the United States and Trinidad and Tobago respectively on the football field.

Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 forward Tyrell Moore (right) in action against St Vincent and the Grenadines at the 2024 Concacaf U-20 Qualifying series.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

The TPDP’s goal is to eventually become the elite youth football programme for Tobago, with a programme that mirrors the national youth setups based in Trinidad.

The TPDP had 20 players and four staff at the Manchester Cup. Premier SC had 20 players and eight officials.

Incidentally, Premier SC founder Sharaz Ali spent $49,000 for team registration, hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner, ground transport, two professional coaching clinics, and a friendly game at Manchester.

Premier SC goalkeeper Emmanuel Thompson sets his defensive wall during RBNYFL U-15 final action against Pro Series in Barataria on 10 June 2023.
Photo: Brian Miller/ Wired868

In contrast, Browne proposed to spend over $1.8 million on his team’s stay in England.

Shepherd said the Titans boys were charming and well-behaved. But that view was not unanimous.

The organiser’s decision to scrap their tour bookings until payment was made meant that they would not get lunch on their excursions. And, of course, some boys were there without the care and supervision of their parents or coaches.

The Hilton Garden Inn restaurant.

“They were stealing free food!” alleged one guest at the hotel. “Some of the boys were bringing bags to the table and filling them with food during breakfast!”

Meanwhile, back in the two-island republic, Browne’s request for public support was met with mixed responses.

On the “Sister Isle”, there was concern for the minors of Brother Ry’s Academy who travelled to Manchester without supervision from their club, as players and coaches tried to catch a Friday flight to Britain.

The Hilton Garden Inn hotel in Manchester.

“None of our adults are up there and no staff members or parents,” said the Brother Ry’s Academy official. “Why did you take the children and you didn’t take the coach? And we have no communication with them.

“If we don’t call to find out something, no information is coming our way. I don’t understand the logic.

“Those players who were left behind are devastated. They are crying, they don’t even want to come out to train.”

The Manchester Easter Cup offers paid tours to the Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.

Then, there were those—like the anonymous grandparent—who threatened to call in the Fraud Squad!

For the most part, grouses were kept out of the public though.

The Titans owner is a respected cricket coach on the island. His father, Bill Browne, owns the popular Double B Supermarket—which was recently renamed the: Double B Jesus Christ Makes The Difference Supermarket—and is a businessman of some importance.

Bill Browne, dad of Jaric Titans boss Brian Browne, is part-owner of the Double B Supermarket.

In a matter of hours, the THA executive held a high-level meeting. And Chief Secretary Farley Augustine allegedly agreed to a financial rescue package for the Titans.

This information was relayed to Browne and EuroWorld Sports in Manchester.

There was another snag. From the 75 members of the Jaric Titans contingent, there were only enough players to field one team in the 9v9 category.

Browne appeared to have travelled to a football competition with more adults and non-playing children than footballers.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine (left).
(Copyright THA)

The THA, after deliberations, decided the best solution was not to have the Tobagonians return on the next flight home. Instead, they set about trying to send another 75 persons—players, coaches and parents—to Manchester!

(Although prices supposedly soared to as high as $17,000 each.)

Wired868 reached out to Augustine for comment, without success.

In Tobago, our anonymous grandparent advised her daughter to hug her son and tell him that he will have to skip this trip. She felt too nervous about the related issues.

HVC FC midfielder Maliq Assing (right) tries to evade a tackle from Crown Trace player Jaylon Daniel during RBNYFL U-14 Central Zone action in Balmain on 23 March 2024.
Photo: Nicholas Bhajan/ Wired868

“My daughter told me that up to Thursday night they were begging for my son to go,” she said. “I said that makes no sense because where would they stay? What are the arrangements?

“My son’s coach is such a nice man and for them to do him that is not nice. He has to make sure not to do anything with those people again! [Browne] is hiding behind the cloth of the church but he is very dishonest.

“We got back our money and I can tell you that my grandson is not going anywhere!”

A Jaric Titans coach passes on instructions to his players.

Wired868 was advised that the THA helped another 15 persons to fly from Tobago to Manchester on Friday. It did not save Jaric Titans from forfeiting in the Under-16 and Under-12 divisions.

The Titans merely had another 15 non-players to be added to Shepherd’s tab.

In Manchester Cup action today, the Tobago Player Development Project U-16 team lost 1-0 to Pro Skills Soccer from South Africa before tallying draws against Australia’s AFA Academy (0-0) and London-based AJ Elite (1-1).

(Video: Premier SC forward Soren Shade scores a superb individual effort at the 2024 Manchester Easter Cup.)

Premier SC lost 1-0 to Joondalup City FC from Australia in the U-13 category, before recovering to thrash Republic of Ireland team Donegal Underage League 5-0.

And in the Under-9 category, with 10 minutes per half, Titans drew 1-1 against Lindley Junior Collegians (Huddersfield) and Manchester School of Soccer (USA), while they lost 4-0 to Irish teams Midleton FC and Knocknacarra.

THA look set to pay in the vicinity of $1 million for that experience.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.
(via PDP)

“We went along with them with the expectation that it was something genuine,” said the Brother Ry’s Academy official. “Now we are wondering. Yesterday they sent for 15 people (to fly to Manchester)—I don’t know who is on the list but our coach is not there, and he has been fighting for this tour to happen.

“We have young players in Manchester who went with the expectation that the coach would be there to look after the children and he is still here. And there is no communication, no information passing.”

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Safeguarding manager Gary St Rose said Jaric Titans fulfilled all the necessary criteria to travel, as they were licensed, staff safeguard vetted and they filled out the necessary paperwork to travel.

PUFA boss Nyron Jones (far right) and TTFA official Gary St Rose (second from right) pose at a TTFA safeguarding course that was supposedly conducted on 27 April 2023.
Photo: PUFA

“I would have spoken to the management of the academy about supervision of the children,” St Rose told Wired868, “and things to look out for in terms of overnight stays, which are vulnerable times for kids on a trip.”

St Rose said he is following the news on the team’s trip and reached out for an update from Browne, which he received. He declined to say whether he was satisfied with what he heard.

Wired868 asked whether the TTFA was satisfied that its safeguarding rules were sufficient, in light of PUFA’s issues during their trip to Sweden in 2023 and now Jaric Titans’ problems in 2024.

PUFA players pose in Sweden, as they await their teammates for the 2023 Gothia Cup.
Photo: PUFA

“We have a policy and on top of that we have procedures that we go through when teams are travelling,” said St Rose. “We have discussions with the management of the team; but those discussions have never included who pays for what and their financial arrangements.

“We assume, based on safeguarding discussions, that people will understand that there must be sufficient finances to fund the trip. Now that it has reoccurred, we have to consider whether we have to start to discuss the financial aspect with academies.”

Can clubs who breach safeguarding best practice be penalised by the TTFA, or stripped of their license?

A Fifa safeguarding poster.

“The policy gives us the ability to look at each and every situation and, once there is a breach, there are sanctions for those breaches,” he said. “[…] But I could not tell you what those penalties might be. The persons to hand down sanctions would be a tribunal, which wouldn’t be me—and each case would be decided based on the specific of the case and in terms of what is the breach.

“It is not something that will ever be in my hands.”

Wired868 asked Browne for comment on Jaric Titans’ looming default from several divisions in the Manchester International Easter Cup, as well as on the players and parents who were left behind.

A wide view of the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet on 12 April 2022 as Trinidad and Tobago hosted Guyana in a Concacaf W Championship qualifying fixture.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

“Do you have any words for the players/ parents who paid money but are still in Tobago?” Wired868 asked.

The Titans boss read the message but did not respond.

On the brighter side, EuroSports World look set to get their money from Trinidad and Tobago’s taxpayers—just as Browne promised them.

A tour attraction for participants of the Manchester Easter Cup.

And 90 people got a 10-day four-star experience in Manchester.

Roughly 30 of those persons actually got to play football too.

Editor’s Note: Jaric Titans returned to Tobago without an 11-year-old boy who lost his passport. Click HERE for more information.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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6 comments

  1. Agreed D. Jaggers. THA clearly shows no capacity for true leadership…if they can’t make an easy decision like that, they should not be in power, but I digress…it is very important to know what will happen to the persons who paid cash and had their money misused with their players grounded while…. Browne appeared to have travelled to a football competition with more adults and non-playing children than footballers.
    Ludicrous.
    Browne et al need to return the money they got from persons whose players never got off the ground or face jail for fraud.

  2. Absolutely ridiculous that the THA made the decision to send more players to England rather than pay for modest accommodation and meals for the contingent already in England. So they basically allowed Browne to get away with highway robbery and no accountability for his lies! Browne and adults involved in the planning committee should be charged with child endangerment and fraud. I’m outraged and embarrassed that this occurred.

    • Maybe that was the plan from the get go. The public appeal, knowing that it would probably get exactly the reaction it got, may have been intended to legitimise the stupidness….who knows?

  3. When the government agrees to pay this means we (you, me, all of us pay. It was reported that 55 non participating adults went in this trip. National embarrassment forced out of a position of “Faith” that it will happen somehow. Again, Trinis escape the true consequences of their actions and will we ever learn.

  4. Great investigative work, thank you.

    Incredible that it seems those in authority have supplemented a scam at worst and a highly dubious exercise clearly beyond the financial means of the traveling party at best. A serious investigation should be initiated as to why taxpayers are paying 1 million for this random private arrangement.

  5. This is so very disturbing. But no one will make a jail.

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