Wed, Jun

Moorland Head Teacher: Jonathan Harrison

Part III of an investigation into football scholarships in Trinidad and Tobago.

BAD WOLF SPORTS (BWS) managing director Perry Deakin has blamed a tussle between Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and fired coach Terry Fenwick over Griffith’s son not being allowed to play on the national team for the top cop’s decision to blank BWS’ scholarship programme.

Following publication of a Sunday Express investigation, headlined “Gary’s Bad Wolf”, on June 27, 2021, Deakin wrote Moorland Private School in the UK, stating, “...I believe we have been dragged into the middle of a significant ‘falling-out’ between Terry Fenwick and Commissioner of Police, Gary 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 (Football Factory Foundation) and TTPS...”

Fenwick is BWS’ technical director as well as founder and director of FFF, a charitable sports organisation which billed the TTPS $995,000 for expenses related to Griffith’s 2019 Commissioner’s Cup football programme in T&T.

Eyebrows were raise when Gary Griffith III was named by Fenwick as part of the 23-man squad to travel to the Bahamas for a World Cup qualifier on June 5, 2021.

The young Griffith had barely a handful of competitive games in his career and did not have any caps for the T&T team.

Business sponsorship

Deakin’s e-mail to Moorland noted he had been made aware of “an article over in Trinidad which attempts to paint the programme as ‘not genuine’ and/or ‘suspicious’”.

“BWS were engaged to explore the possibility of creating an ‘on-island’ programme for T&T youths which we could deliver without the need for the scholars to leave the island—Moorlands delivering edu­cational elements and The Football Factory Foundation delivering practical coaching...,” he wrote.

Deakin stated the scholarship concept had established interest among the business community in T&T, with businesses providing sponsorship to the TTPS which would then be diverted to the FFF, which would deliver coaching.

An ongoing Sunday Express investigation has revealed that BWS, which names Fenwick as its technical director, along with his business partners Deakin and Peter Miller, entered into an arrangement with Griffith and, by extension, the T&T Police Service earlier this year to create “and deliver on-island BTEC Sporting Scholarship Programmes (Levels 2 and 3) for identified and qualifying scholars across Trinidad and Tobago”.

To execute the BTEC programme, Bad Wolf Sports entered into a partnership with Moorland.

The TTPS Sports Club had wired £20,000 to Bad Wolf on May 11, 2021—but on June 1, a stop order was placed on the funds.

Responding to questions from the Sunday Express on June 12, Griffith said they (TTPS), “received a document from the University (Moorland) asking us to pay the funds through Bad Wolf. Not knowing who Bad Wolf was, the TTPS did its due diligence after which we decided to stop the payment”.

Moorland head teacher: No contact with TTPS

In an interview with the Sunday Express on June 30, Moorland head teacher and proprietor Jonathan Harrison indicated neither he nor any representative from the school had contacted the TTPS seeking a partnership.

Harrison’s recollection contradicts that made by Griffith who responded to questions sent by the Sunday Express via WhatsApp on June 12, stating he never had any interaction with Bad Wolf and the first time he heard of the company was via a letter from the “University of Moorland who wanted a football partnership with the TTPS”.

“We were approached by Moorland Private School with an offer of scholarships for players in the Commissioners Cup... I need to point out though that we never engaged or had any discussions with Bad Wolf Sports,” Griffith stated.

According to Harrison, Moorland School operates as an international coeducational day and boarding school “with transparency, integrity and honesty in the development of the whole child’s social, emotional, academic and sporting welfare”.

“The background from a Moorland School perspective, which can be fully supported via e-mail chains is that: Moorland School was approached by Bad Wolf Sports through a mutual acquaintance to work in partnership with The Football Factory Foundation, via Terry Fenwick, your National Football Manager and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Department, under the personal supervision of Commissioner Griffith.”

The head teacher explained the nature of this partnership was to provide opportunities for ­underprivileged youth in T&T, with Moorland offering online technical coaching and academic support to ensure children progressed through a BTEC Level 3 Sports Programme, which is equivalent to three English A-Levels.

“Moorland School would also provide additional English language and mathematical support to ensure that students met the qualification entry requirements,” he said.

As a gesture of good faith, Harrison explained Moorland was required to deposit “£12,000 into Bad Wolf Sports account, (which can be evidenced) to show commitment to the development of the programme and other sponsors would be brought to the table by Bad Wolf Sports, so that course delivery costs could be met”.

Harrison said, “I feel very upset that it would appear that the school has now lost £12,000 and certainly even more devastated that the school should be linked in any negative way to Trinidad and Tobago, as our reasons for becoming involved were genuine and supportive to the people of the island, as too were our intentions to make friends within the region. I certainly hope that in time something positive will be born out of a programme whose intended aims were to support youth development and promote opportunities within the young.”

We acted in good faith

Emphasising that Moorland School has acted 100 per cent in good faith, Harrison said Moorland “has received zero payments and zero uptake on the promised programme to date”, adding that “Bad Wolf Sports have communicated the cause behind the programme delay is a breakdown in relationships between Terry (Fenwick) and Police Commissioner Griffith”.

“I cannot personally comment as I have never spoken to either gentlemen and perhaps as the headteacher of Moorland School I have been a little naive and trusting as I have not conducted the usual diligence as the connection had been forged by a previously trusted associate.”

Pointing out that Moorland are the current regional and national champions of England, having produced many professional players, Harrison said the school currently educates over 20 professional Academy level players for clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City FC.

Harrison also denied that football great Yaya Touré was in any way linked to the proposed programme.

Bad Wolf, in its proposal to Griffith, had indicated Touré along with Griffith would be ambassadors for the programme.

SOURCE: T&T Express