Trinidad and Tobago and Dundee goalkeeper Kelvin Jack yesterday waded into a public disagreement between two of his former coaches as he defended CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh's English coach Terry Fenwick from allegations that he acted unscrupulously while representing the footballer in Britain.
Former Trinidad and Tobago captain David Nakhid, who serves as a scout for current national coach Leo Beenhakker and was assistant to ex-coach Bertille St Clair, allegedly telephoned a radio talk show that hosted Fenwick on Tuesday and said that Jack told him his professional career was threatened because of the Englishman's greed during negotiations on the goalkeeper's behalf.
Jack denied telling Nakhid anything of the sort and was less than thrilled to find himself in the middle of the row. He insisted that Fenwick, who signed him at Jabloteh, was a "dear friend" and "good man".
"I never told Nahkid that Fenwick tried to outsmart me," Jack told the Express. "And I am very, very angry about hearing that (Nakhid) must have interpreted what I said wrongly. I would never say anything like that because it is not true."
Fenwick signed Jack in 2001 and soon made the imposing goalkeeper his team captain as Jabloteh went on to lift their first domestic league title and were joint Caribbean Club champions during a three-year spell. The Englishman also recommended Jack to several English clubs in 2003, which culminated in trials at Walsall, Crystal Palace and Gillingham. However, he was warned through national teammate, Shaka Hislop, that his representatives were hampering his chances of a move by asking for "a ridiculous finder's fee".
Jack insisted that the blame lay with Fenwick's associate and agent John Mack rather than his ex-coach himself.
"What I told David was that someone working in conjunction with Terry was the one being unreasonable with clubs," he said, "by asking for a ridiculous fee for an unproven player. I never said that Terry cost me 'x and x amount of dollars'. "I am not happy about what David said, especially as it was during a live radio broadcast and I intend to speak with him when next I am in Trinidad.
"Terry is someone I hold in very high esteem and he is a good man who only wants the best for Trinidad football."
Nakhid could not be reached for comment up to press time.
Still, it is not the first time that Fenwick's supposed business dealings prompted debate.
Although never singled out for dishonesty, Fenwick was not helped by his close association with Terry Venables, who resigned as England manager in 1996 to focus on a series of legal wrangling and was subsequently disqualified from serving as a company director.
Fenwick and Venables worked together at Portsmouth where the former was sacked and the latter resigned after poor results in the First Division and a series of controversial signings.
Four years ago, there were murmurs of a possible conflict of interest when Fenwick, then Jabloteh coach, formed the Pro Sports Agency with compatriot and former Football Company of Trinidad and Tobago (FCoTT) CEO Peter Miller and signed several national youth players prior to the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship.
Like Venables, Miller and Fenwick had a brief and inglorious stint together in England.
In 2003, a consortium tried to take over the Luton Football Club and Miller was fingered as the person who sacked manager Joe Kinnear and interviewed Fenwick for the post, although the club ownership never changed hands. Miller, at the time, was the commercial director of rival club, Northampton.
The matter is considered to be still under investigation and is one of the most bizarre events in the club's history.
Fenwick, a former England international, has an inglorious managerial career in Britain where he had brief and largely unsuccessful spells at Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, Northampton and conference team Ashford Town, who fired him earlier this year. However, he is a former Trinidad and Tobago Pro League "Coach of the Year" and the most successful coach in Jabloteh's history. At present, he is in his second stint at the San Juan club.