Fri, Mar


AN already debt-saddled T&T Football Association will now have to find an additional US$783,000 to pay to its former technical director Kendall Walkes who was fired from his post after less than one year on the job.

Walkes was fired from the post in 2015, and sued the TTFA for breach of contract. He was offered the position during a meeting with the association former president Raymond Tim Kee and two other executives and had been recommended by a colleague from the State Association for Youth Soccer in Pennsylvania, where he is based, for it because of his experience and his Trinidadian heritage. At the time, he was coaching in the US Virgin Islands.

In its defence, the TTFA claimed it broke the contract with the technical director after Fifa officials wrote to it and raised issues over Walkes’ compensation package in light of the association’s financial constraints.

It also alleged the contract was not valid.

In a ruling delivered at the Hall of Justice on Friday, Justice Joan Charles said she had no problems finding that a valid contract existed between Walkes and the TTFA.

The judge said the TTFA had set the terms of the contract and Walkes complied.

"There was clearly an intention to create legal relations," Charles held.

She added, “"I found it surprising that the defendant would have disputed the validity of the contract.” She also ruled that there was no merit to the grounds of challenge raised by the TTFA that there were flaws in the contract which FIFA raised and that the contract was only witnessed by one person as opposed to two as required.

In her decision, Charles held that Walkes was entitled to US$65,000 for several months of the contract, from March 2015, when it was signed, to April 2016.

She also said he was owed US$250,000 for April 2016 to March 2018, when the contract would have ended and that he had the option to extend the contract for another three-year term so he was entitled to compensation for it.

His compensation package was US$10,000 a month and a US$3,000 housing allowance.

Walkes was represented by attorney Keston McQuilkin while Anand Misir represented the TTFA.



Judge orders TTFA to pay Walkes TT$5.4M.
By Derek Achong (Guardian).

The T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) has been or­dered to pay over US$783,000 (es­ti­mat­ed TT$5.4 mil­lion) in com­pen­sa­tion to its for­mer tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Kendal Walkes. 

De­liv­er­ing an oral judge­ment at the Hall of Jus­tice in Port-of-Spain, on Fri­day, High Court Judge Joan Charles ruled that the TTFA wrong­ful­ly dis­missed Walkes in March 2016. 

Charles re­ject­ed claims from the TTFA that Walkes con­tract should be deemed void be­cause it was signed by one wit­ness as op­posed to two and it con­tained in­com­plete para­graphs. 

"I had no prob­lems in find­ing that a valid con­tract ex­ist­ed," Charles said. 

She stat­ed that it was val­i­dat­ed by both for­mer TTFA pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee and gen­er­al sec­re­tary Shel­don Phillips, who tes­ti­fied on Walkes' be­half, and through ev­i­dence over the par­ties con­duct af­ter it was signed. 

"I found it sur­pris­ing that the de­fen­dant would have dis­put­ed the va­lid­i­ty of the con­tract," Charles said.

In her judge­ment, Charles ruled that Walkes, who earned a month­ly salary of US$10,000 and a US$3,000 hous­ing al­lowance, was en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion for the two re­main­ing years on his con­tract as well as for sev­er­al months when he did not re­ceive a salary be­fore his con­tract was even­tu­al­ly ter­mi­nat­ed. 

Charles al­so up­held a clause of his con­tract, which gave him the op­tion to re­new it for an­oth­er three-year term. The de­ci­sion meant that he al­so has to be com­pen­sat­ed for that pe­ri­od. 

As part of her judge­ment, Charles or­dered the TTFA to pay Walkes' le­gal costs for pur­su­ing the law­suit and two and a half per cent in­ter­est on the com­pen­sa­tion. 

Tes­ti­fy­ing in a tri­al be­fore Charles in May, Walkes, a youth coach from Penn­syl­va­nia, USA pro­vid­ed de­tails 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 Tim Kee, Phillips and na­tion­al team man­ag­er William Wal­lace. 

Walkes claimed that de­spite ho­n­our­ing the re­quire­ments of his con­tract, he was ter­mi­nat­ed af­ter cur­rent TTFA pres­i­dent David John-Williams took up his post. 

In it de­fence, the TTFA al­leged that it broke the con­tract af­ter Fi­fa of­fi­cials wrote to it and raised is­sues over his re­port­ed TT$93,000 a month com­pen­sa­tion pack­age, in light of the as­so­ci­a­tion's well known fi­nan­cial con­straints. 

Walkes, who re­turned to the Unit­ed States af­ter he was fired, was not in court for the judge­ment and was rep­re­sent­ed by his lawyer Ke­ston Mc Quilkin.

The TTFA was rep­re­sent­ed by Anand Mis­sir.