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Sun, Feb

TTFA fails to honour Lawrence contract.
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30 days dead­line missed with­out any com­mu­ni­ca­tion

T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA), head­ed by pres­i­dent William Wal­lace, is now fac­ing its first ma­jor chal­lenge af­ter it has failed to ho­n­our its first of sev­er­al con­trac­tu­al agree­ments with se­nior men's na­tion­al coach Den­nis Lawrence.

A me­dia re­lease on De­cem­ber 15, 2019, from the TTFA stat­ed that: “The ser­vices of Lawrence as na­tion­al team coach were ter­mi­nat­ed with im­me­di­ate ef­fect fol­low­ing a ma­jor­i­ty de­ci­sion by the board."

The re­lease point­ed out that the TTFA had a nine-hour board meet­ing on Sat­ur­day 14 De­cem­ber at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um, Cou­va with its elect­ed of­fi­cers pres­i­dent Wal­lace, vice-pres­i­dents Clynt Tay­lor, Su­san War­rick and Joseph Sam Phillip and eight of 12 mem­ber del­e­gates from Cen­tral FA, East­ern FA, North­ern FA, South­ern FA, TT Pro League, TT Ref­er­ees As­so­ci­a­tion, TT Su­per League and Women’s League Foot­ball (WoLF) in­which sev­er­al de­ci­sions in­clud­ing that of coach Den­nis Lawrence were ar­rived at.

Guardian Me­dia Sports was re­li­ably in­formed by a source who is close to the sit­u­a­tion that Lawrence's con­tract has a clause that states that once he's ter­mi­nat­ed the TTFA had 30 work­ing days (Jan­u­ary 31, 2020) in which to ho­n­our all out­stand­ing con­trac­tu­al agree­ments and fur­ther, the con­tract makes pro­vi­sions for the TTFA to meet with the coach's agent, who is Eng­lish­man Mike Berry and pro­pose a set­tle­ment of­fer, how­ev­er, that was not done.

The re­lease from the TTFA al­so stat­ed that: “The TTFA pres­i­dent and Lawrence’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive(s) will meet to dis­cuss the terms of sep­a­ra­tion.”

How­ev­er, Guardian Me­dia Sports un­der­stand that the agent has not been con­tact­ed to date with an of­fer of a set­tle­ment and that Lawrence nev­er got an of­fi­cial cor­re­spon­dence from the TTFA un­til De­cem­ber 17, 2019.

Guardian Me­dia Sports was in­formed that un­der the terms of the con­trac­tu­al arrange­ments Law­er­ance can­not take le­gal ac­tion against the TTFA be­fore the mat­ter is ad­dressed through ar­bi­tra­tion and by FI­FA.

The source said that at present the TTFA does not have an ar­bi­tra­tion com­mit­tee for coach Lawrence to get im­me­di­ate re­dress which means he has to take the mat­ter di­rect­ly to FI­FA.

The source al­so point­ed out that Lawrence has a con­tract that runs un­til 2021 and the coach has not been paid for sev­er­al months.

The me­dia re­lease stat­ed: “Im­me­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion of the board, pres­i­dent Wal­lace con­tact­ed Lawrence via tele­phone to in­form him of the de­ci­sion and wished him well in his per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al life, while al­so thank­ing him for his ser­vices to the men’s team.

Guardian Me­dia Sports ef­forts to con­tact Pres­i­dent Wal­lace by phone, text and whats app mes­sages but all proved fu­tile.

The source re­veals that the TTFA must be mind­ful of the fact that in 2016 the or­gan­i­sa­tion was threat­ened with FI­FA sanc­tions af­ter it did not ho­n­our its debt of US$210,000 to for­mer women’s na­tion­al se­nior and youth team coach Nor­we­gian Even Pellerud, who was fired back in 2010.

Even­tu­al­ly, the “So­ca War­riors” avoid­ed be­ing blanked from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the FI­FA 2022 World Cup when it paid off coach Pellerud in three tranch­es and FI­FA al­so ap­proved the or­gan­i­sa­tion's in­ter­nal au­dit and made fund­ing avail­able to the TTFA.

The 45-year-old Lawrence, who was ap­point­ed na­tion­al coach in Jan­u­ary 2017 was grilled on the na­tion­al se­nior team per­for­mance by a com­mit­tee led by Wal­lace, who be­came TTFA pres­i­dent on No­vem­ber 24. The com­mit­tee al­so com­prised Kei­th Look Loy, the chair­man of the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee, An­tho­ny Har­ford and Aza­ad Khan.

RELATED NEWS

TTFA short on ‘Tallest’s’ $$
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).


THE TT Football Association (TTFA) is working to resolve the unpaid debts to former men’s football team coach Dennis “Tallest” Lawrence, who was fired on December 14, 2019.

Lawrence was relieved of his duties after a poor run of form which saw T&T struggle at both the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and the Concacaf Nations League.

The TTFA, in a media release on December 15, mentioned, “The services of Lawrence were terminated with immediate effect following a majority decision by the board.

“Immediately following the decision of the board, (TTFA president William) Wallace contacted Lawrence via telephone to inform him of the decision and wished him well in his personal and professional life, while also thanking him for his services to the men’s team. The TTFA president and Lawrence’s representative(s) will meet to discuss the terms of separation.”

A newspaper report last week said Lawrence, who was owed salaries for a few months (under the tenure of then-TTFA president David John-Williams), was yet to be contacted with an offer of a settlement.

Wallace said on Monday, “We’re working on Dennis Lawrence. We’re trying to liaise with his attorney and we’re trying to find monies to pay him off. We’re in the process of hunting that down. I think that should be settled very soon.”

The TTFA has been dealing with several legal issues which have left the local governing body in a cash-strapped position.

In terms of finding the funds required to resolve the Lawrence issue, Wallace said the TTFA will have to seek sponsorship deals to boost its coffers.

Asked if that matter will be settled in a matter of weeks or months, the TTFA boss replied, “Just after Carnival we’ll address a range of things that we met when we got into office, and what we have done so far.”

Concerning the T&T Under-20 women’s team, who will be engaged in a Concacaf Under-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers in the Dominican Republic from February 22, Wallace said, “Everything is in place. They’re leaving (on Tuesday) for an 11-day camp and then they’ll play after that. The girls who are coming from North America will join them.”