Thu, Mar


T&T FOOTBALL Association (TTFA) presidential candidates William Wallace and Richard Ferguson said if successful in the association’s elections, on Sunday, they will oblige with yesterday’s High Court ruling in favour of former senior men’s national coach Stephen Hart.

Wallace is the president of the Secondary Schools Football League and Ferguson is the owner of local club Terminix La Horquetta Rangers.

At a High Court ruling, Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell ordered the TTFA to pay Hart $5 million. The association did not give a defence.

Hart was fired in November 2016 after a three-year tenure under the current TTFA president David John-Williams, who is aiming to retain presidency. He led the team to the knockout stage at the 2013 and 2015 Gold Cups, and T&T were 78th in FIFA’s world rankings under his leadership. The team is now ranked 93rd. Speaking with Newsday Tuesday afternoon, Ferguson said if he wins, there is “no other option” than to find the money and pay. “Well if it’s a court judgment, we have to pay. There’s only one course of action and that is you have to follow the court, and you have to pay the judgment. That’s it.

“I don’t know the financial state of TTFA at the moment, it’s only if I win and if we go in there, we have to do a financial analysis and we might probably have to do a financial reconstruction. But you have to pay the debt, you have to pay the players, you must pay your debt or you can’t run.

Wallace told Newsday he was not surprised at the ruling. He said it was expected based on his knowledge of what occurred.

“I know that Stephen Hart had a proper contract. I also know he attempted to try to compromise by asking that he be paid (for) two of his remaining years, and that a decision was made instead of that.”

TTFA’s former technical director, Kendall Walkes, sued the association after he was fired from his post after less than one year on the job. In September, a court ruling ordered the TTFA to pay him US$783,000.

He was fired from the post in 2015 and sued the TTFA for breach of contract.

Asked how his administration plans to deal with the debt if he becomes president, Wallace said, “That’s a very good question. Between Kendall Walkes and Stephen, that’s $10 million in debt.

“We will definitely have to sit with Kendall and Stephen and work out a payment plan. Of course, we accept that we owe the money, we accept that we have to pay it, and we have to sit with both parties and work out a payment plan.”

SOURCE: T&T Newsday