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Sun, Aug

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One year into his three-year contract, director of football, Kendal Walkes has been fired by the T&T Football Association (TTFA). Walkes received his termination letter from the Association’s president David John-Williams via e-mail on Saturday. The letter stated that the Association would pay all debts owed to him for the period during which he was appointed.

Walkes’ salary was reported to be $93,000 monthly. A copy of a recent Board meeting suggested that FIFA had advised the Association to renegotiate the salary being paid to the director. Contacted yesterday, Walkes said John-Williams and the TTFA were in breach of the contract.

He said he has advised his lawyers to write FIFA requesting its response to the embattled federation on his contract, as he does not believe the governing body for football, would give such a mandate since his contract was accepted by the FIFA when it was first negotiated.

Walkes explained while he does not believe in settling issues by engaging in mud-slinging in public, he believes the TTFA president is reluctant to accept that he had an authentic contract with the football federation, which was signed by former president Raymond Tim Kee.

Walkes’ legal team which comprises Andre Lord and Melissa Roberts-John, yesterday filed a motion in the High Court to confirm his contract with the football association. It will then proceed with actions to recover monies owed to him.   

It is understood that Tim Kee who was replaced following a hotly contested election on November 29 last year, contacted John-Williams a few months ago to confirm the authentication of Walkes’ contract. When contacted, Tim Kee confirmed he did sign a contract with Walkes, who has coached at the West Chester University in the United States for 25 years.

Ironically, Walkes never applied for the TTFA job. Instead, it was offered to him by  former general secretary Sheldon Phillip. Walkes, who took over from Anton Corneal in 2014, said the federation has failed to honour payment of his earnings since November last year, when John-Williams assumed office.

He said monies owed to him amounted to approximately US$75,000, but although he was told that it would be paid, when he checked with his bank,  he saw only $3,000. Apart from the past five months, Walkes will have to be paid  for another two years if his services are terminated, according to his contract.

Walkes and his family were forced to relocate from the United States after he signed with the TTFA, but yesterday he said family members were in shambles when he broke the news to them. “They are in shambles but I have to stand up and stay strong,” Walkes said.

Calls to John-Williams and general secretary Azaad Khan remained unanswered.