Tue, Jul


For yet an­oth­er time play­ers have been forced to take the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion to Court for monies owed to them af­ter promis­es were made. Why this con­tin­ues to hap­pen, why?

On this oc­ca­sion, it's the Fut­sal staff and play­ers who turned to the le­gal route to force the TTFA to ho­n­our a promise made back in 2015.

And I am sure there are many oth­ers which in­clude busi­ness­es just wait­ing in the wings to have their mat­ter set­tled for monies al­so owed to them.

It will be un­fair to say that this se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial dilem­ma has just start­ed, which means that pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions are equal­ly to be blamed for not ho­n­our­ing some long-out­stand­ing debts to its play­ers, staff and busi­ness­es.

The dif­fer­ence be­tween these mat­ters and the in­debt­ed­ness could on­ly be drawn by the fact that some of the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tions were mak­ing ef­forts to ho­n­our their com­mit­ments in small ways, leav­ing the re­cip­i­ents in hope that they will be even­tu­al­ly paid.

This cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion has not done a sat­is­fac­to­ry job in their re­pay­ment pat­tern.

Maybe they did not re­alise that when they took of­fice, all the pre­vi­ous debts were now in their hands. That is the case. The list of coach­es, play­ers, of­fice em­ploy­ees and clubs have suf­fered im­mense­ly, as they were ac­tu­al­ly de­prived of leav­ing hun­gry play­ers and staff mem­bers cash-less and un­able to feed their fam­i­lies.

For­eign coach­es were em­ployed here for pe­ri­ods of time, on­ly to re­alise that they will have to re­port di­rect­ly to FI­FA in or­der to re­ceive their pay­ments. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, the lo­cal em­ploy­ees have not been so for­tu­nate to ask for the fi­nan­cial re­turns from the work they have done.

The sit­u­a­tion had reached se­ri­ous pro­por­tions and the en­tire pub­lic are be­moan­ing the lack of funds for the debtors to build a huge ho­tel on a piece of land next to the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va.

Dur­ing the time of the com­mence­ment of the build­ing, na­tion­al foot­ballers have been ho­n­our­ing their com­mit­ment to the coun­try on the field of play, and have not been paid, which has now brought them to refuse well in ad­vance of play­ing friend­lies against Wales and oth­ers un­til they are ful­ly paid.

My ques­tion is: does it not wor­ry the Sports Com­pa­ny, the Min­istry of Sport, and al­so the TTOC that the im­age of our ma­jor team sport has gained so many neg­a­tives be­cause of this aw­ful predica­ment?

How­ev­er, I solid­ly blame the Clubs in this coun­try for this cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, sim­ply be­cause this state of af­fairs has not re­cent­ly been de­vel­oped and they (the clubs) have not made a sin­gle ef­fort to seek ur­gent en­quiries from qual­i­fied per­son­nel as to why the pay­ments for their labour have been ig­nored against a mas­sive gift by FI­FA to build a ho­tel. The stake­hold­ers should re­view the fi­nance at hand and seek per­mis­sion to ask FI­FA to pay at­ten­tion to the peo­ple and coach­es who play the match­es for our na­tion­al teams over the ur­gency of the ho­tel, even if it was to start the ho­tel for com­ple­tion in parts, to en­sure that the fi­nanc­ing of in­ter­na­tion­al match­es would take place.

Have the TTFA in­formed the clubs and pub­lic at large as to whether these pro league clubs and Su­per League or­gan­i­sa­tions have paid their reg­is­tra­tion fees, their ref­er­ees, and oth­er in­ci­den­tals such as se­cu­ri­ty for the pro­tec­tion of the fans.? If so, what have the sec­re­tari­at done with these funds?

And just in case any­one be­lieve that this in­for­ma­tion is not nec­es­sary for pub­lic ex­po­sure, I make no apolo­gies to ad­mit proof for some clubs win­ning prize monies in com­pe­ti­tions and did not re­ceive his or her win­nings.

Hav­ing been on the man­age­ment com­mit­tees of both Foot­ball and Crick­et, I can vouch for the fact that these prob­lems have ex­ist­ed for many years and we still seem un­able to find a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion. The qual­i­ty of our sports lead­ers was solid­ly com­pe­tent in their du­ties and play­ers were hap­py to rep­re­sent their coun­try in both sports, al­though there was no salary of­fered to play­ers, ex­cept for a five dol­lar per day for Crick­et.

On tour, our trans­port was com­fort­able, our meals were ex­cel­lent, and I have nev­er heard a play­er com­plain about mon­ey.

Are we so naive that we will con­tin­ue to say noth­ing of the in­com­pe­tence of mod­ern-day man­age­ment and just al­low the qual­i­ty of our ma­jor sports to de­cline south­wards to an al­ready unimag­in­able depth?

Our peo­ple love their sports. If you doubt me, just vis­it their homes dur­ing World Cup Foot­ball, World ICC crick­et, plus the en­ter­tain­ment that they en­joy from the out­side world of Foot­ball, Crick­et, Track and Field, Swim­ming, Box­ing, Field hock­ey for men and women.

SOURCE: T&T Guardian