Two of the three slates for the T&T Football Association's November 24 elections could join forces.
Guardian Media Sports has been reliably informed that the merger is being weighed strictly because of financial issues, which have been the main talking point ahead of the elections.
A source within the election circles said Terminix La Horquetta Rangers managing director and presidential candidate Richard Ferguson has been approached by officials of both the United TTFA slate, led by William Wallace and from incumbent David John-Williams' team to join forces to oust each others' competitor.
Ironically, Ferguson's slate was reduced by one man following the departure of vice-president candidate Eddison Dean, of Club Sando, earlier this week to join the United TTFA. A source said Ferguson may consider merger talks if he is approached but was also just as ready to go it alone. The source said Ferguson was aware of a rumour of a possible merger of slates but intends to ensure that the future of football is placed in safe hands.
Wallace's slate comprises vice-presidents Sam Phillip, Clynt Taylor and Susan Joseph-Warrick, president of the Women's League Football, while incumbent John-Williams' team includes vice-presidents Colin Partap, Anthony Moore and Selby Browne, Veteran Football Foundation of T&T (VFFOTT) president.
Wallace said neither he nor any member of his team had been approached but said he would welcome the support of any team. The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president said his group has always said that they cannot do it alone and would welcome the support of anyone willing to join them on their mission.
It was just Saturday that Wallace joined his group colleague Keith Look Loy in rolling out a comprehensive plan for how they intend to manage the affairs of the game if they are elected into office. His plan highlighted global sportswear giants Nike among a list of international sponsors set to pump more than $30 million into local football should they be elected.
With just about 16 days to go before the TTFA elections, Moore, of the John-Williams slate, said he too was unaware of anyone being approached to join forces. However, he said he would understand why the slates would want to merge.
"Both John-Williams and Ferguson are the only businessmen who own teams and would, therefore, see things differently from the others."
He noted that money is critical to running T&T's football affairs effectively and as businessmen they would know how to commercialise the sport.
"We must remember that at the TTFA, we are not yet out of the woods with debt," Moore said.
"We have inherited debt from the Raymond Tim Kee administration and it seems to be rising ever so often. The administrators of the sport would have to introduce a debt-restructuring plan to cope with the debt while ensuring prudent management at the same time."
SOURCE: T&T Guardian
United TTFA refutes claims of merger with Ferguson.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).
THE UNITED TTFA (TT Football Association) group, led by William Wallace, is refuting any claims of a merger with another presidential candidate Richard Ferguson, as the race for the TTFA presidency heats up.
The TTFA will hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and executive elections on November 24. Wallace and Ferguson are seeking to unseat the incumbent David John-Williams.
According to a media release, "(Yesterday's) Trinidad Guardian publishes an article, which talks about a possible merger by Richard Ferguson and his slate with either David John-Williams or United TTFA.
"United TTFA wishes to make it absolutely clear that Ferguson has not approached us, nor have we approached him since he declared his candidacy and began his campaign of offers," the media release continued. "United TTFA has proposed a broad programme to the football community and the entire country, which it sees as the way forward to restructure and save our football. We welcome support for that programme from any quarter but United TTFA will not MERGE with any and everyone merely for the sake of winning the election."
The media release ended, "United TTFA stands on principle and programme."