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13
Thu, May

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As the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) con­tin­ues to limp from one fi­nan­cial shake-up to an­oth­er, with the news that fired for­mer tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Kendall Walkes is de­mand­ing at least TT$2.5 mil­lion to lift the gar­nishee or­der over the TTFA's bank ac­count, now comes news that re­cent­ly fired na­tion­al se­nior men's head coach Den­nis Lawrence and his man­age­ment team, led by Eng­lish-based agent Mike Berry, have re­port­ed the TTFA to FI­FA for the non-pay­ment of monies owed on his con­tract and out­stand­ing salaries.

Speak­ing with host An­dre Er­rol Bap­tiste on Is­ports on i95.5fm, Sat­ur­day night on a range of top­ics and is­sues, pres­i­dent of the TTFA William Wal­lace said, "I have sent an email to Den­nis Lawrence's agent Mike Berry prob­a­bly over the last two weeks ago but he has not re­spond­ed. We have ap­prised him of the sit­u­a­tion and that we are work­ing to­wards, get­ting Den­nis his mon­ey for him."

Wal­lace said, "I would not doubt it. Den­nis' agent is an Eng­lish­man and I as­sume that he may have tak­en the mat­ter to FI­FA. It is a con­cern, it is a debt that we have to pay. If he goes to FI­FA, then we have to pay the debt, just as Car­oli­na Morace (fired women’s coach) case went to FI­FA and they de­duct­ed it from our mon­ey ac­tu­al­ly, that they were sent to us."

Busi­ness as­so­ciate paid Feb­ru­ary salaries

FI­FA gives each coun­try a grant of US$1.2 mil­lion in two tranch­es. The first one (US$600,000) is due in Jan­u­ary but de­layed and the sec­ond one lat­er in the year. This mon­ey is to be utilised to the cov­er ad­min­is­tra­tion costs pri­mar­i­ly of the TTFA of­fice, so any de­duc­tion for monies right­ful­ly owed to Lawrence will come out of that, mean­ing that the staff will suf­fer for salaries.

Wal­lace re­vealed how TTFA's salaries were paid in Feb­ru­ary, giv­en the freez­ing of the TTFA’s bank ac­count. He said: "We did, we did get a donor, a lo­cal donor, to ad­vance us the mon­ey to pay the staff so the staff was paid."

This was con­firmed by the gen­er­al sec­re­tary of the TTFA, Ramesh Ramd­han, who ad­dressed the sit­u­a­tion al­so as a guest on the pro­gramme. He said, "The donor is a busi­ness as­so­ciate of mine who I ap­proached be­cause I could not see the staff go­ing, af­ter work­ing so hard with them all through Car­ni­val and with the FI­FA peo­ple here and all of that and all of them go­ing home to their fam­i­lies and don't have mon­ey. I took it on my own. I told the pres­i­dent. The agree­ment I have is that as soon as our sit­u­a­tion is re­solved with re­spect to our bank ac­counts and mon­ey re­ceived, they will be paid."

Asked about the up­com­ing salaries for March, Ramd­han said, "I do not plan to do that."

With re­gards to pay­ments to the tech­ni­cal staff Wal­lace said, "How­ev­er, tech­ni­cal staff and coach­es have not been paid. We have made a com­mit­ment to all the staff in the var­i­ous teams, and we told them we are wait­ing for FI­FA mon­ey and al­so our ac­counts be­ing frozen."

Asked about pay­ment for the na­tion­al se­nior coach Ter­ry Fen­wick, Wal­lace said, "The na­tion­al se­nior coach has not start­ed any­thing yet but in the com­ing week. His con­tract start­ed in Jan­u­ary and he too is ap­prised of the sit­u­a­tion but the re­cep­tion for all the coach­es has been ex­treme­ly good, they are with us, they un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tions and they're await­ing the out­comes so they can be paid."

When ques­tioned as to if Kei­th Look Loy, the chair­man of the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee is be­ing paid, Wal­lace re­spond­ed, "No he is not be­ing paid, he is do­ing this vol­un­tary, no pay­ment is be­ing made to him.

Look Loy v La Fou­cade

How­ev­er, in re­spond­ing to ques­tion about dif­fer­ences be­tween Look Loy and a mem­ber of the tech­ni­cal staff which has the po­ten­tial of al­so reach­ing as a dis­pute Wal­lace said, "Noth­ing has come to my at­ten­tion but if it comes to me, I will deal with it."

How­ev­er, Ramd­han re­vealed an is­sue of con­cern has come to his at­ten­tion. He said, "The tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor (Dion La Fou­cade) came to me with the same con­cerns, con­sis­tent with what Mr Wal­lace just said. There was this or­gan­i­sa­tion­al chart, which has the chair­man of the tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee at the top of it so he (tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor) is look­ing at the FI­FA guide­lines gov­ern­ing the tech­ni­cal di­rec­tors of any coun­try and say­ing that he is fol­low­ing that to the 'T'. That is at vari­ance with the struc­ture that was ap­proved by the board, so there are some dif­fer­ences there and he (La Fou­cade) is in­sist­ing that he should be in the po­si­tion based on what FI­FA reg­u­la­tions states."

Ramd­han con­tin­ued: "We just heard it varies from coun­try to coun­try. There's a stale­mate, how­ev­er, FI­FA tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee is send­ing some­one along with the re­gion­al head of the tech­ni­cal de­part­ment to Trinidad and all these mat­ters should be set­tled when they ar­rive."

Fur­ther dis­cus­sions are ex­pect­ed on both health and trav­el con­cerns re­gard­ing the im­pend­ing match be­tween the men’s na­tion­al se­nior team and Cana­da in light of the Coro­n­avirus.

How­ev­er, it was re­vealed that sev­er­al new faces will be join­ing the T&T squad.

"I have had meet­ings with the na­tion­al coach and we are cur­rent­ly look­ing at around nine over­seas-based play­ers, from the Unit­ed States and Eng­land, some play­ing in the Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion," Ramd­han said.

La Fou­cade was ap­point­ed Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor of T&T foot­ball on Jan­u­ary 17.

Wal­lace quells Avec con­cerns

Wal­lace dis­put­ed the fact, that there are claims that uni­form deal spon­sors Avec sports is too small a com­pa­ny to be able to be in­volved in a deal such as the re­port­ed TT$25 mil­lion con­tract, he said, "Their par­ent con­tract – Just Sports – is a large out­fit and the TTFA has a con­tract which to­day (Sat­ur­day), I pre­sent­ed to the board and we al­so have a con­tract for cash with Caribbean Chem­i­cals of TT$1,000,000 spread over the life of the con­tract with the oth­er $500,000 in ma­te­ri­als."


SOURCE: T&T Guardian