A few months ago TTFOL reported that a deal between Rangers in the SPFL and Portuguese agent Toze Francisco was in the works. The deal was one that would have Rangers link with top Portuguese clubs in Benfica and Porto. That would have allowed T&T players to use those clubs facilities for training and would have allowed the clubs to swap players.
However, according to a Trinidad Express report on Monday, the deal has fallen on the rocks. Francisco has returned to Portugal and may be working towards other deals with other clubs. According to Rangers manager Richard Fakoory "The original arrangement was that he (Francisco) would be a part financier of the club. But he wanted more than that. He wanted to have complete autonomy for the club and I couldn't give him that...He may also be talking to other clubs but I can do nothing about that. Right now I can only hope that when he returns we will be able to come to a settlement, if not I will have to do it with my own resources."
While the arrangement seems like it is on the the death bed, all is not lost. The deal is one of the most forward thinking steps for T&T football. The poitential benefits for the game in Trinidad and Tobago would have been tremendous. It would have meant that Rangers top players would have gain the experience of playing in Europe with some powerful European teams. The other clubs in the SPFL should take a page from this idea and link with clubs outside T&T. Not as a matter of survival but as a way to expand and improve the game in the country. A team link with smaller teams in South America and Europe would only help the game. Lets be honest you are not going to see a link between Joe Public with Juventus. However, maybe Joe Public or Caledonia with Vincenza in Italy or Deportiva La Corunia in Spain will look good. Just something to think about.
When UEFA comes knocking
Playing in European competition is always something that every club players dreams about.It may be sub zero wheather in Sweden or in front of 100,000 fans at the Newcamp in Barcelona playing in Europe is something special. For three T&T players European competition may soon be a reality. Dwight Yorke is no stranger to European competiton. He and his Aston Villa team mate have been challeged to reach the UEFA cup next year. They have submitted a bid to compete in a new tournament called the Intertoto Cup. The tournament provides three teams in the first round of next year's UEFA cup. Even though Villa submitted the application after the January deadline the tournament organizers will resolve the issue on the 24th of April. Failing that Villa will have to reach the top five positions. The currently sit in ninth place.
Eventhough Russell Latapy looks almost certain to leave Boavista at seasons end, in the event that he should be staying at the Portuguise club he will have a good chance of playing in Europe. Latapy has been no stranger to European competition. Playing in Champions League with FC Porto and both Cup Winners Cup and UEFA cup competition with Boavista has taken him from Italy to the Ukraine. This year Boavista are in the hunt for a UEFA cup place. They are currently in third and must maintain that place in order to play in Europe.
Strange but through, Jerren Nixon and FC Zurich are looking good for a European place. Every year it seems that FC Zurich's main aim is to reach the championship zone and play out the rest of the season. However, this year has been different. They have found themselves among the top teams in Switzerland. Following a 3-2 win over FC Aarau on Wednesday night, the club has moved up within the top three and just four points behind the second place team.
In the Starting lineup...
Dwight Yorke and Aston Villa continue there assualt on a European place when they face Conventry on the road. This may be do or die for Clint Marcelle and Barnsley to stay up in the English Premeir League. They face Sheffield Wednesday at home. You can hear all the Englsih action by going to The Stadium at 9:30am on Saturday. Tony Rougier and Hibernian will be playing in the Edinborough derby with Scottish FA Cup finalist Hearts. Marvin Andrews is expected to be in the Raith Rovers lineup following a one game suspension last weekend. Raith Rovers face Dundee. Over in Portugal, Russell Latapy and Boavista continue there march on a UEFA cup place when they travel to Maritimo. Leonson Lewis and Chaves take on FC Porto. Across the Atlantic in the United States, Brian Haynes, Mickey Trotman and the Dallas Burn take on the Tampa Bay Mutiny. A Trini civil war breaks out for the second time this season. David Nahkid, Evans Wise and New England play Ansil Elcock, Stern John and Columbus in MLS play.