Sat, Aug

TTFA set to make major changes.

General secretary Khan faces axe

Major changes are coming to the T&T Football Association (TTFA) and sources say that general secretary Azard Khan is facing the axe, as president David John-Williams begins to flex his muscles.

John-Williams confirmed the changes yesterday and revealed it will include a social media policy, designed to be an interactive way of dealing with the media. After being instrumental in guiding the TTFA to a position where it can access funds from the FIFA by paying the salaries of ex women’s coach Even Pellerud and providing audited accounts of the TTFA to the world governing body for football, John-Williams made it clear the restructuring was a promise he made in his election manifesto.

He explained his association was there to do a job and will do it to the best of their ability. “I can assure you with all the problems in the TTFA that it is not a nice job to do, but we have to do it.”

John-Williams refused to comment on Khan’s position but sources say that the ex Secondary Schools Football League general secretary is set to get the boot, six months after replacing Sheldon Phillips, who was sacked by then president Raymond Tim Kee.

 Khan could not be contacted yesterday. The local football boss also admitted he could not say whether there will be job losses as a result of the restructuring but gave the assurance it will be an independent process.

“The HR audit has been done and they are now putting proper procedures and jobs in place,” he noted.

According to sources, Anthony Moore, the Tobago Football Association president, is the man likely to replace Khan.

Contacted, Moore would not confirm his interest but noted that a lot was happening behind the scenes to lift the sport. He said that in an attempt to improve the football, the Association hired a consultant earlier this year and recommendations for major restructuring changes were made.

He said the Board of the TTFA has since acquired the services of international auditing firm Deloitte and Touche which provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services, to conduct a more in-dept audit of the football association. 

Moore explained the recommendations from the consultant, whom he did not want to name, focused primarily on the entire secretariat, inclusive of marketing, human resource, finance, legal and operational departments, as it was felt that emphasis was only being paid to national teams and funding for them.

“It appears as though the structure of the TTFA focuses only on providing funds for national teams and ensuring that the best teams were produced. It, in fact, ignored the need to strengthen other areas that are crucial to the production of the strong national team, such as the role of the regional associations, the women’s and futsal football teams and other development areas,” Moore explained.

There are currently six regional associations—the Tobago Football Association (TFA), Northern Football Association (NFA), Southern Football Association (SFA), Central Football Association (CFA), Eastern Football Association (EFA) and the Eastern Counties Football Union (ECFU) which functions on its own. In spite of their need for financial assistance, regional associations are unable to approach the Sport Company of T&T or the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs as they are required to go through the TTFA.

Moore believes because of this, they face tremendous strain to survive and is hopeful the new structure will provide relief for regional association clubs. He said two FIFA officials are expected in T&T next month to lecture clubs on Failing Compensation and Solidarity Payments, which are derived from the transfer of players from one club to another.

According to Moore, “I hope this lecture will be of assistance to regional clubs as there are so many players moving from teams in the regional associations to other clubs in the T&T Pro League, but the clubs receive no payment for it.”