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.
ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Newsday
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.