Sidebar

16
Tue, Jul

Judge reserve judgement in Walkes v TTFA matter.
Typography

For­mer T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Kendall Walkes will learn the fate of his law­suit, af­ter he was fired from his post less than one year on the job, on Sep­tem­ber 27.

High Court Judge Joan Charles re­served her judge­ment in Walkes' breach of con­tract case at the end of a brief tri­al at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain, yes­ter­day morn­ing.

Tues­day's hear­ing be­gan with the youth coach from Penn­syl­va­nia tes­ti­fy­ing over how he got the job in 2015.

Ac­cord­ing to Walkes, he was coach­ing in the Unit­ed States Vir­gin Is­lands when a col­league from the State As­so­ci­a­tion for Youth Soc­cer in Penn­syl­va­nia rec­om­mend­ed him for the job based on his ex­pe­ri­ence and his Trinida­di­an her­itage.

Walkes claimed that he had a tele­phone in­ter­view be­fore be­ing in­vit­ed for an­oth­er while he was in Trinidad to at­tend his sib­ling's fu­ner­al in Feb­ru­ary 2015.

He claimed that he was of­fi­cial­ly of­fered the po­si­tion dur­ing the meet­ing with the as­so­ci­a­tion's for­mer pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee, gen­er­al sec­re­tary Shel­don Phillips and na­tion­al team man­ag­er William Wal­lace.

While be­ing cross-ex­am­ined by TTFA's lawyer Anand Mis­sir, Walkes claimed that he could not re­mem­ber all that was dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing as it oc­curred over three years ago.

"It was a dis­cus­sion on the ten­ants of the con­tract and if it would be ac­cept­able to me," Walkes said.

Charles was re­peat­ed­ly forced to stop Mis­sir dur­ing his ques­tion­ing as she point­ed out that the is­sues raised in his ques­tions to Walkes were not men­tioned in the as­so­ci­a­tion's de­fence to the law­suit.

In its de­fence, the TTFA al­leged that it broke the con­tract with Walkes af­ter Fi­fa of­fi­cials wrote to it and raised is­sues over his re­port­ed $93,000 a month com­pen­sa­tion pack­age in light of the as­so­ci­a­tion's well known fi­nan­cial con­straints. It is al­so con­tend­ing that the con­tract was not valid.

While she did not make a fi­nal pro­nounce­ment on the is­sue, Charles sug­gest­ed that Walkes' con­tract may be held bind­ing as the for­mer TTFA of­fi­cials were em­pow­ered to sign the con­tract when they did and de­spite the fi­nan­cial con­straints, which she said would have been known to them at the time.

She al­so stat­ed even if the writ­ten con­tract was ques­tion­able, there was still a valid con­tract be­tween the par­ties as Walkes per­formed his du­ties and was com­pen­sat­ed be­fore the agree­ment was even­tu­al­ly ter­mi­nat­ed in March 2016.

"The on­ly is­sue re­al­ly is what cir­cum­stances would have to ap­ply if the de­fen­dant wished to ter­mi­nate the con­tract," Charles said as she gave the par­ties dead­lines for fil­ing sub­mis­sions in the case.

In the event that Walkes is even­tu­al­ly suc­cess­ful in his claim, the al­ready cash-strapped as­so­ci­a­tion would be or­dered to pay him for the re­main­ing two years on his con­tract.

Tim Kee, Phillips and em­bat­tled TTFA pres­i­dent David John-Williams were all present for the hear­ing but sat at op­pos­ing sides of the court­room.

Walkes is be­ing rep­re­sent­ed by Ke­ston Mc Quilkin.