“The concept of sport is going to play a very big part towards a young person moving away from a life of crime,” Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith told a CNC3 sport reporter, at the opening of the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup at the Mickey Trotman Recreation Ground in Pinto on 30 June 2019.
At Griffith’s side, visible to the television camera, was controversial English football coach Terry Fenwick.
Fenwick, a former England World Cup player, once served two months in prison for a drunk driving conviction in Leicester. In Trinidad and Tobago, despite facing more serious allegations over his 20-year stay, the Englishman instead found himself on the payroll of the local police and chummy with the twin island republic’s top cop.
When, in November 2019, local business magnate Junior Sammy accused United TTFA presidential candidate William Wallace of fraudulently using his signature during a marketing presentation—based on a document provided by Fenwick—Griffith spoke to both parties, with the contractor agreeing to accept an apology, which was offered by Wallace.
Similarly, after Fenwick had a public altercation with Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) press officer Shaun Fuentes, Griffith was again part of a meeting with the normalisation committee, which resolved the issue in the Englishman’s favour.
Griffith, who might not be the first in the room to identify irony, assured CNC3 that the Commissioner’s Cup would be nothing like the Hoops of Life or LifeSport programmes or ‘any [programme] where the funds will not be actually distributed where it matters most’.
“This is where it matters, straight down into the rank and file of the young persons,” said Griffith, pointing to teenagers playing on the football ground. “All that we have in expenses here [is for] providing uniforms for the young men and the other players, administrative costs, footballs, training…”
It is difficult to see how Griffith could have thought he was speaking the truth. For weeks, members of the organising committee as well as Police Youth Club members complained about a lack of equipment for their respective teams.
On 4 June 2019, the Commissioner’s Cup committee enquired—as a matter of urgency—about the uniforms and balls that Fenwick promised to provide from his ‘international network’ at a ‘reasonable cost’.
Fenwick, according to minutes from the meeting, again vowed to deliver the goods before the tournament kicked off.
“No further communication was ever received from Mr Fenwick, nor any of his associates in this regard,” stated a subsequent report, ostensibly submitted by acting Inspector Keith Phillips.
The officers did not know at the time that Fenwick had invoiced the TTPS for TT$995,000, through the Football Factory Foundation (FFF), since 27 May 2019. It was, according to the document, the first of two tranches requested by the Englishman for the Commissioner’s Cup—although it was the only invoice for the competition intercepted by Trinidad Express investigative journalist Denyse Renne.
Fenwick asked Griffith for a total of TT$2.8 mil to ‘run’ the competition. The Police Youth Club officers’ budget had been TT$360,379.50. It was rejected.
Fenwick’s line items, in the 27 May invoice, included equipment (TT$250,000), technical staff salaries (TT$235,200), administrative staff salaries (TT$190,000), marketing and promotion (TT$100,000), transportation (TT$70,800), and ground rental, maintenance and security (TT$49,200).
Two years later, there is no proof that Fenwick ever delivered anything while neither Fenwick nor Griffith responded to multiple requests from Wired868 to account for how the money was spent. Griffith also did not state the total amount paid, via the TTPS, to Fenwick and his British accomplices.
There were 46 youth teams scheduled to participate in the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup. However, 13 teams withdrew as a result of Fenwick’s failure to deliver uniforms and other equipment, which forced a last-minute restructuring of the competition.
Of the teams that remained, nine from the Northern Division successfully lobbied then Tunapuna Piarco Regional Corporation chairman Paul Leacock to sponsor their uniforms. Some teams borrowed their kit from neighbourhood teams, or their youth club leaders used from their funds.
Then Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams offered some match balls, while Sports & Games donated practice balls. Otherwise community officers begged in their respective neighbourhoods for everything from balls and nets to boots and anything else their players needed.
Transport was another issue. Another Police Youth Club leader enquired about arrangements for the boys, in what appeared to be a multi-million dollar competition.
“The commissioner said to get the team there however you can,” came the alleged response.
Some team leaders managed to arrange transport for their outfits with police buses. Others dipped into their own pockets.
Fenwick charged close to a quarter of a million dollars, in his first tranche, suposedly to pay his own coaches to conduct training sessions at the various youth clubs. But that did not happen either.
Some youth club leaders conducted their own training sessions, others asked past or present players or coaches in their communities to do it for free, while parents sometimes volunteered out of necessity.
This was the ‘elite’ football competition for which Fenwick asked for TT$2.8 mil from taxpayers.
“I called around to a few youth clubs and everybody said something similar,” said Officer De Niro (not his real name, although chosen by him). “Everybody said we are on our own. We have to find equipment, balls, transport and everything on our own.
“We registered the team, they gave us fixtures—and beyond that we just have to figure it out.”
Worse, the Police Youth Club members claimed to be boxed in by what they described as Fenwick’s ‘parallel budget’ for the competition.
“If we ask for money for balls and somebody is saying balls were provided because they see a line item that money was spent for balls, then it creates a discord,” said Officer Roberts (not his real name). “[…] We had to make do with whatever we could. We just wanted to pull off the competition—not for fame or glory but to keep a promise to the young men who played.”
By 25 July, as the Commissioner’s Cup entered the knockout stage, Acting Inspector Phillips shared his frustration in a formal letter to the police commissioner. He listed Fenwick’s promises as:
- The attendance of representatives from [FFF] at scheduled matches for scouting purposes;
- Assistance with coaching and support for training programs at various clubs in all participating divisions;
- The procurement of equipment such as uniforms, balls, bibs, goal nets, goals etc for training and matches;
- A comprehensive scholarship program for Police Youth Club members who excelled through the entire tournament.
“The above were the main services offered by Mr Fenwick and his Foundation, however to date, none of the above have materialised nor has any communication been received from match commissioners in that regard,” stated the inspector, “with the exception of one representative, namely Mr [Anthony] Harrington of the said Foundation, who visited the match between Edinburgh 500 PYC and Rio Claro PYC on 16 July 2019 in the capacity of a scout.
“[…] Had it not been for the commitment, determination and tenacity of the officers assigned to the Community Policing Secretariat and the Police Youth Club leaders who participated in this initiative, the Office of the Commissioner of Police and the entire TTPS could have been in a very awkward and embarrassing position.”
Fenwick, according to the community officers, had only attended the tournament opener up until then.
Griffith, according to our sources, never officially responded to the inspector. Had he done so, he might have corrected Phillips on one point.
In Fenwick’s invoice on 27 May 2019, there was a line item for TT$100,000 for the ‘first batch select (2) players’ under ‘scholarship mobilisation’. No players were identified.
However two days after he submitted the invoice, Fenwick announced, via a press release, that the police commissioner’s son, Gary Griffith III, and Brandon Alves—both Football Factory players—had been awarded scholarships to Sunderland College in England, through two British companies, Catalyst4 Professional Sports Management Limited and Improtech, that he was at least loosely involved in.
“The partnership between FFF and the TTPS will provide expertise, knowledge and experience in the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup and Scholarship Program,” stated Fenwick, “to ensure a solid, professional and achievable program to project our program nationwide through the multiple police youth clubs.”
Griffith spent much of the last two years boasting about his son’s scholarship, which he claimed was the first of its kind awarded to a Trinidad and Tobago player. But did the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service pay for Griffith III’s ‘scholarship’—with money meant for the best performing players at the Commissioner’s Cup? (Neither Griffith nor Alves even participated in the competition.)
Wired868 asked Griffith the question directly. He did not respond up to the time of publication.
It is uncertain how many payments were put through for the Commissioner’s Cup’s ‘scholarship programme’ before Griffith finally pulled the plug on 1 June 2021. By then, inexplicably, the vehicle for the payments had moved from Catalyst4 to Bad Wolf Sports.
Bad Wolf Sports, which lists another controversial Englishman, Peter Miller, as company director and Fenwick as ‘technical director’, requested TT$800,000 from the TTPS for its ‘scholarship programme’ on 12 April 2020—although the company was not officially registered until 8 October 2020.
On 1 June, as Denyse Renne and Wired868 investigated the company, Griffith stopped a TTPS payment of TT$188,000 to the Ireland-based company. He said his change of heart was based on ‘due diligence’—at least 14 months after Bad Wolf, a ghost company at the time, sent him its first financial request.
Another Bad Wolf director, Perry Deakin, gave a different reason for Griffith’s about-turn.
“I believe we have been dragged into the middle of a significant ‘falling-out’ between Terry Fenwick and Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith,” stated Deakin, in an email to Moorland Private School headteacher Jonathan Harrison that was copied to Griffith. “It seems Terry did not bring his son on as a substitute for his first senior cap in a recent international and they have fallen out quite badly about it.
“I am absolutely livid that we are being embroiled in this, particularly as we had set out to make a genuine difference with the proposed programme which would impact positively upon youngsters in the region. Fortunately, I have significant written records regarding correspondence with FFF and TTPS (and between ourselves of course)…”
Griffith denied that Fenwick’s failure to give his son a national senior team cap was a factor in his decision to terminate the business deal with Bad Wolf Sports.
Griffith and Fenwick appeared inseparable during the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup, though. If Griffith III and Alves benefited from that, hundreds of young men from deprived households across the country did not appear to be so lucky.
“Fenwick only donated six or nine balls for the [Commissioner’s Cup] final in the [St James] Barracks and that was it,” said Officer Roberts. “We were later made to understand that equipment did come into the country in the name of the TT Police Service—which would have meant no Customs fees—but it never actually got to the Police Service.
“[…] For the entire competition, there were no screenings of players, no equipment dispensed, no training or coaching. Nothing that the TTPS paid for came to fruition. For me, the money was paid under false pretence.”
He claimed that Police Youth Club leaders were embarrassed whenever players and parents enquired about the promised ‘elite zonal teams’ or scholarships.
“In hindsight, the Commissioner’s Cup appeared to become an avenue to facilitate a friend financially,” said the officer. “The children who needed help the most were exploited to make that happen.”
Regardless, he hopes the idea of the Commissioner’s Cup does not die with Griffith—if he is replaced as commissioner.
“If there is a new commissioner, we are willing to walk the ground again to get the country’s parents to buy in,” he said. “I heard a brilliant idea from [Rhoda Bharath] recently who wondered why we had not looked at local universities like UTT for scholarships. Well, the truth is we were just naive because the English guy made us all of those promises and we took them in good faith.”
His dream is for the Commissioner’s Cup to become a huge community event, which can draw large crowds. He hopes the tournament does not open its doors to external teams—as Griffith threatened to do last year, in an apparent bid to quell internal concerns about broken promises—which could force youth clubs to compete with established teams like San Juan Jabloteh and Club Sando for young talent.
“It should remain a police youth club initiative, which will see our own membership increase,” he said. “But we need to honour our commitments where prizes and incentives for the players are concerned. We must make our yes yes and our no no.
“If the Olympics is not proof that sport is dying, I don’t know what else we need. This can be an avenue to wake-up football!”
Whether the TTPS has a duty to local sport is a matter that may come up for debate again within the Service.
Wired868 asked Officer Roberts what changes he would recommend for the Commissioner’s Cup in the future.
“What I would change? No Fenwick!”
For a third Police Youth Club leader, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, the police commissioner is as bad as Fenwick. He accused Griffith of financially ‘gutting; the Police Youth Club and draining the enthusiasm of its officers, even as he took credit in the media for promoting sport.
“His impact has been degenerative,” he said. “Plenty officers fraid him and his petty, narcissistic ways. Others have low self-esteem and they take anything from him in the hope that he would call their name at a press conference or praise them in a TTPS social media post.”
And had he, Wired868 asked, challenged Griffith’s ideas for the Commissioner’s Cup, his employment of Fenwick or anything else?
“Like you don’t understand the Police Service,” he replied. “There can’t be no disagreement here. It is comply and then complain—complain to your God!”
Editor’s Note: Wired868 questions sent to Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith via email and text message:
Can you tell me how much money was paid to Terry Fenwick for equipment and services for the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup? Please be as detailed as possible.
How do you respond to complaints about Fenwick’s failure to deliver on his promises for the tournament? Was any action taken against Fenwick as a result?
Did Fenwick breach his contract in your opinion or anyone else’s at the TTPS? Were payments made to Fenwick or anyone else for the 2020 Commissioner’s Cup, which did not come off?
Why did you use your personal email address for TTPS business? Why did you involve Fenwick in the Commissioner’s Cup in the first place?
Was your son’s scholarship to Sunderland College part of the negotiations involving the Commissioner’s Cup? Did the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service pay for your son’s ‘scholarship’ to Sunderland College?
Griffith had not responded to any questions by the time of publication.
RELATED NEWS (August 2021)
The CoP and the Commissioner’s Cup: How Fenwick tried to turn a $300k PYC proposal into a $2.8 mil project.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith peered across the table at roughly half a dozen glum police officers in the Administration Building in Port-of-Spain. They were troubled about something but clearly too nervous to speak plainly.
From several accounts, Griffith had no intention of making it any easier for them to express their concerns.
It was April 2020 and the occasion was the first meeting of the planning committee for the second Commissioner’s Cup tournament. As far as several persons around the table were concerned, the commissioner had not yet addressed their issues with the first edition.
“It will not be easy for us to go back to parents and ask them to send their sons to another Commissioner’s Cup,” said one Police Youth Club official, “when they still remember the things we were not able to deliver in the first one.
“What do we tell them when they ask about that?”
‘That’ could have meant any number of things: the lack of uniforms for teams, the broken promise for scholarships for top players, then Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick’s failure to scout and train the competition’s best players, the lack of basic equipment for matches, etc.
According to a source, though, Griffith requested no details; instead, the lawmen were met with ‘radio silence’.
Rather than press home their concerns—not only for their own sakes but for the benefit of the young men within their districts—the officers retreated.
“The commissioner is a very funny fellah,” said Officer Roberts (not his real name), who spoke to Wired868 on condition of anonymity. “You want me to tell him how to run his competition? That is above my pay grade, sir.”
There is an irony in the officers’ concession of the Commissioner’s Cup to Griffith; the entire tournament had been their idea in the first place.
But more on that later.
Griffith did eventually respond but not directly to the lawmen. They got their answer in the media, as the commissioner declared that the Police Youth Club competition would be swung open for the first time to include teams outside the Service.
“We knew what that meant,” said Officer Roberts. “He was telling us that he didn’t need us. Instead of addressing our concerns, he would just replace our teams if he had to.
“It wasn’t about helping the young men in the Police Youth Clubs. It was just about having the tournament—no matter what.”
And so, with the Covid-19 pandemic entering its second wave and his own officers expressing concern about management issues within the tournament as well as the risk of organising one during a global health crisis, Griffith became the unexpected poster boy for contact sport.
“The CMO (Dr Roshan Parasram) does not draft, approve, or enforce laws,” said Griffith, in a Letter to the Editor on 15 July 2020. “[…] In fact, as the CoP, preventing or trying to persuade young people not to play sport after being boxed in their homes for months, is an avenue that can frustrate many young persons. And hence their energies can very well be diverted in non-productive, if not criminal avenues.
“[…] Hence these continuous comments trying to prevent young people from playing sport, are indeed a liability from a TTPS perceptive, and does not help us in our role and function.
“[…] When certain persons never kicked a lime in contact sport, they may not understand the bigger picture.”
For roughly two weeks, the commissioner of police sought to isolate and bully Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram into an about-turn and directly or indirectly lobbied everyone from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Minister of National Security Stuart Young to Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and the court of public opinion.
Parasram stood firm.
“My statement, that I have said all along, is that children [activities] should be held back until September,” said the CMO. “The regulations as far as I know don’t speak to the age of people being allowed to conduct any [sporting] activity. [But] from my side that is where I stand.”
“These are your children [and] with the evidence of the changing epidemiology and how children under five are now dying,” said the health minister, “[…] are you prepared to take that risk with your child?
“Forget the regulations, I am asking parents a direct question: are you now prepared, in the face of the mounting evidence, that this virus has changed the way it attacks children… Is that a risk you are prepared to take?”
If Griffith had his way, at least 2,000 children plus technical staff members, officials and tournament organisers would have taken to the football fields across both islands in the midst of a general election campaign that caused its own health issues.
What persons who tried to follow the debate did not know, though, was the extent of the significant administrative issues which plagued the competition. Or that Police Youth Clubs were being snubbed for the event while teams outside of their scope of control got the green light.
If youth club officers could barely get balls and nets for games involving their own teams, how were they going to add Covid-19 protocols to the mix while ‘supervising’ guest teams?
Dr Parasram did not budge, Griffith backed down and the public was spared the answer to that question.
Within the Police Youth Club, the prevailing emotion was not frustration but relief. It was a far cry from the enthusiasm that lawmen had felt when they first approached Griffith in 2018 with a ‘revolutionary idea’ for the use of sport as a crime fighting tool.
The Police Service Commission appointed Griffith as commissioner on 6 August 2018 and the brash ex-army captain wasted no time in declaring war against ‘cockroaches’—his dehumanising metaphor for suspected criminals.
Griffith’s enthusiasm for sport, though, encouraged some members of the Police Youth Club.
“Being a Police Youth Club leader goes beyond policing,” said the source. “It is a mammoth task that is not recognised because hard police officers don’t see it as real police work whereas you are giving them less to do by stopping some of the children from becoming gang members.”
Up until 2018, the Police Youth Club had held an annual event for its various arms, with a sports day in one year and a cultural extravaganza in the next. The sports day consisted primarily of a march past, track events and novelty events like egg-and-spoon and bunny hop.
Some officers liked it that way; others wanted to include more traditional sports like football.
The latter group approached Griffith with a proposed ‘re-branding’ for their biennial sports day. They suggested that the sports day be replaced with a ‘mini-Olympics’, which comprised track, cricket and netball, and would be held over several weeks rather than in a single day.
And they wanted a football tournament which ran annually and created a source of talent for Police FC as well as ‘minimised nefarious activities within communities’ and ‘fostered a sense of pride’ within the same areas.
Police FC have one of the best youth football teams in the country. In 2015 and 2017, the junior ‘Lawmen’ represented the Youth Pro League in the Concacaf Under-13 Youth Championship.
Their screening process generally starts with a mini-tournament by a few of the youth club members who are more enthusiastic about football. A formal annual football tournament would significantly improve on that recruitment method.
They suggested that the first event, the replacement for the Sports Day, should be called the Commissioner’s Games, the second—the football tournament—the Commissioner’s Cup.
“The idea of the name ‘Commissioner’s Cup’ was to stroke his ego a bit,” said the anonymous lawman. “But also it is to ensure that it survives. Not all police officers, especially senior officers, appreciate community work. So if you, as the new commissioner, feel it is paying homage to you, then you would quicker hold on to it.”
By the time, the entire Police Youth Club was briefed on the idea in early 2019, it was already a done deal.
“It is something that came from upstairs—otherwise known as instructions,” said another Police Youth Club member. “We had no input. Everything came already drafted and we just had to do as they said and get the teams ready, with or without money from the community policing secretariat.
“And you could see the pleasure on some of their faces to name it thus. Because you know a lot of them love the ‘kiss ass’ mentality!”
It is safe to say, then, that not everyone was on board within the Service. If the football-loving officers felt they had staged a coup, their perceived control over the programme did not last long.
Once the idea was agreed upon, Griffith introduced Fenwick into the mix. A former England World Cup defender and a title-winning Pro League coach, Fenwick was a whirlwind of big ideas.
The initial idea from the Youth Club officers was to encourage community involvement by having prizes for the: biggest community attendance, best rhythm section, best cheerleading, and best welcome for opposing teams.
Fenwick promised to lift their event to another level entirely. Utilising his Football Factory coaches, he would scout the various matches and identify the most gifted players. They would then form an ‘elite team’, which would fly to Britain for tours, exposure and, for the best players, potential scholarships or professional contracts.
“All the Youth Club leaders and parents bought in to the hope for scholarships,” said the anonymous official who helped pitch the idea in the first place. “The idea behind the Commissioner’s Cup was to give young people in a certain demographic hope, and nothing speaks of hope more than the chance to see one of your peers get an opportunity, through the Cup, to go abroad and get a scholarship opportunity.
“We didn’t know much about that aspect. But when Fenwick came in and indicated that he had contacts who could deliver scholarships, we said alright, that would be the perfect opportunity for them.”
In their minds, Fenwick was offering his services to the Police Youth Club for a fee. The Englishman had other ideas.
On 25 February 2019, Fenwick sent a MOU to the police commissioner which ‘provides a clear playing, coaching, administration and academic development pathway for participants of the Football Factory Foundation’s Topflight Youth Football Development & Scholarship Programme targeting six regions/zones throughout Trinidad and Tobago, via the co-operative support of the Office of the Commissioner of Police’.
Fenwick’s proposed programme would ‘provide an opportunity for young talented players at junior level to develop their game under FFF’s International Football Programme, which is designed to prepare them for tertiary education in the United Kingdom and an international career in the European football leagues via the FFF’s Scholarship Programme’.
It is worth noting here that, in the nine years since Fenwick formed the Football Factory academy in St Clair, the only national player it ever produced was the commissioner’s son, Gary Griffith III—who somehow managed to earn national selection without ever excelling at any domestic level.
And while Police FC have picked up a string of junior trophies over the years, Football Factory were often the whipping boys of the second tier Republic Bank National Youth League or in the Northern Football Association.
Regardless, Griffith took the idea from the Police Youth Club officers to the Englishman, who vowed to ‘develop opportunities, motivate and provide encouragement to youths throughout the country with support from the Commissioner of Police Captain (sic) Gary Griffith and the promotion of co-location games and round robbing (sic) competitions to foster community, togetherness and support’.
Fenwick was not working for the Commissioner’s Cup; the Commissioner’s Cup was working for him.
Stated Fenwick: “The FFF shall assume overall responsibility for purchasing, care and maintenance of all equipment and assets of the programme.”
Essentially, Fenwick proposed that he would expand Football Factory by creating branches in six zones, with the TTPS footing all administrative costs as well as providing him with money to purchase equipment. The proposed bill was TT$2m to be paid every January.
In return, FFF would train the Police Youth Club players—all at taxpayers’ expense.
Sounds exorbitant? Even that was not enough for Fenwick. The Englishman insisted that he still be allowed to charge parents too.
“The FFF reserves the right to set registration fees at its own discretion,” he stated. “Registration fees shall be paid directly to FFF administrator at the regional academy.”
As he ably demonstrated during his stint in charge of the Soca Warriors, Fenwick is not the type to leave any money lying on the table. That might explain why, on 19 February 2016, he created a non-profit company called the Football Factory Foundation.
The Football Factory academy is attended by mostly children from middle-class and affluent families, whose parents pay TT$500 a month plus TT$450 a year for uniforms and is well served by corporate sponsors like Flow Sports, Digicel, Burger King, Nestlé, Gatorade—along with receiving generous donations from parents.
However, in an application to the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the FFF director described its ‘main area of business activity’ as ‘social development, educational, nutritional’.
According to the FFF application, “The undertaking of the company is restricted to planning and implementing and executing sporting programs and activities for young boys and girls in ‘hot spot’ areas.”
Wired868 spoke to three former employees about the FFF’s supposed non-profit work. One could not remember them ever having children from ‘hot spot’ communities, another suggested that perhaps they were two out of their 60 children, while the third said that actually the only children from deprived backgrounds were actually children of a coach at the academy.
“It is not illegal for a company to be both for profit and not for profit—but it can be unethical when it is the same people and the same assets,” said one employee from the Ministry of Legal Affairs, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Although Legal Affairs gives the designation, it is actually the FIU (Financial Intelligence Unit) that investigates to see that the NGOs are not abusing their status and that everything is above board.
“Of course, the FIU does not have any powers of arrest so you know who they have to turn to if they see something suspicious?”
If it found something off-putting in Fenwick’s for profit/not-for-profit academy, the FIU would have to turn to the police, the same police that was writing massive cheques to the FFF.
On the same day, 25 February 2019, Griffith forwarded Fenwick’s proposal to his assistant, Jamila Julien, to be printed. The heading said ‘Draft agreement’. The commissioner signed the printed document.
There was no mention of young players being developed to represent Police FC. Instead, the focus was getting the players abroad on ‘scholarships’—which would actually be paid for by the TTPS—and professional deals.
It was not clear which party should reap the rewards if a player joined an overseas professional team.
The entire business was conducted using Griffith’s personal email address rather than his official work account.
Fenwick asked the commissioner for TT$2.8 mil to run the Police Youth Club competition. It is uncertain how much the Englishman squeezed out of the TTPS.
Trinidad Express investigative journalist Denyse Renne uncovered a 27 May 2019 invoice from the Football Factory Foundation to the Police Service for TT$995,000.
If Fenwick had invoiced for just TT$5,000 more, the TTPS would have been mandated to send the request to Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Police Youth Club officers—who thought they were in charge of the project—submitted a budget of TT$360,379.50 for equipment, catering, inter-island travel and prizes for the Commissioner’s Cup.
It was rejected.
For the Commissioner’s Cup committee, the worst bit was not that Fenwick charged a king’s ransom to deliver equipment and services for a competition that they had created in the first place.
What hurt them the most is that the Englishman allegedly also failed to deliver on anything.
If Fenwick was not winning over the lawmen by repeatedly failing to deliver on promises, the same could not be said of his relationship with the commissioner.
At roughly the same time that Fenwick invoiced the TTPS for just under one million, he issued a release to the media which claimed that Griffith III and another Football Factory player, Brandon Alves, had been accepted in a ‘scholarship programme in the United Kingdom’ through an obscure British company named Catalyst4 Professional Sports Management Limited.
“Following three UK trials, including Sunderland and Queen’s Park Rangers, Griffith III, the son of Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith II was accepted on his own merit for his abilities and commitment to work hard and smart to make it,” Fenwick informed the media.
Fenwick appeared not to consider that most coaches would consider it redundant to say a player was accepted ‘on his own merit’.
“It is fitting that FFF, who have engaged and partnered with Catalyst4 Agency and Improtech since November 2018, is now partnered with the T&T Police Service (T&TPS),” stated Fenwick. “The partnership between FFF and the TTPS will provide expertise, knowledge and experience in the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup and Scholarship Program, to ensure a solid, professional and achievable program to project our program nationwide through the multiple police youth clubs.”
Griffith has repeatedly dismissed any suggestion of a conflict of interest in the career moves of his son, which, more often than not, were hinged on Fenwick’s network. But the Englishman himself linked Griffith III’s Sunderland College scholarship to his business deal with the Commissioner’s Cup.
Two years later, Griffith III and Alves remain the only locals to receive scholarships, although neither even participated in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Catalyst4, incidentally, followed a pattern familiar to Wired868—based on previous investigative research into paper companies used in projects involving controversial marketing man, Peter Miller.
Generally, the companies are no more than a postal address and a director who criss-crosses several similarly obscure businesses.
Catalyst4’s only listed director is 50-year-old self-titled ‘financial advisor’ Neil Saxton, who is also a director of four other companies in the UK. One such company bears a name that suggests a similar line of business: United Sports Corporation Limited.
Catalyst4 was incorporated on 18 April 2017. United Sports Corporation, the nature of whose business was listed as ‘activities of sport clubs’, was incorporated on 6 December 2018.
Both companies had mailing addresses at the same building. And sitting alongside Saxton on the United Sports Corporation board for all of two months was none other than Fenwick himself.
A full year before Fenwick received a lucrative posting from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), he was preparing to sink his teeth into the coffers of the T&T Police Service.