Sun, Nov

Captains butt heads over wages.

CHAIRMAN of the TT Football Association (TTFA) normalisation committee Robert Hadad and embattled TTFA president William Wallace have openly differed on how TTFA staff members (administrative and coaching) will receive their outstanding salaries.

Wallace and his executive were removed on March 17 by FIFA who in turn set up a normalisation committee due to mounting debts accumulated by the TTFA.

However, Wallace, through his legal team of Matthew Gayle and Dr Emir Crowne, has issued an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) over FIFA’s decision to scrap his executive, who was elected into office on November 24, 2019.

Last Friday, FIFA announced that they were presenting grants valued at US$500,000 to its member associations, as well as entitlements for 2019 and 2020.

In a letter, on Monday, to the TTFA staff, Wallace wrote, “FIFA is now preparing to release funding to the TTFA that it has thus far refused to release prior to the purported appointment of the normalisation committee.

“For your peace of mind in these difficult times, as soon as I am notified by the general secretary (Ramesh Ramdhan) and/or First Citizens of the receipt of the monies from FIFA, I will take the necessary steps to ensure you are paid as owed.”

Hadad, who was recently declared by FIFA’s general secretary Fatma Samoura as “the only legitimate leader of the TTFA, recognised by FIFA and Concacaf”, said on Monday, “Mr Wallace and his team will not be getting any money from anywhere, and nor will they be allowed to sign any cheques on behalf of the TTFA.

“They have control of the bank account now and we’ll have to wait on the CAS hearing,” Hadad continued. “But we will seek alternative ways of dealing with the issue. If better sense can’t prevail and they want to keep control of the accounts, because they want to put the bank’s back up against a wall, that’s their call.

“They’re interfering with people’s salaries. At the end of the day, who in their right mind will remove somebody from office and leave them signing cheques?”

Hadad, who is a businessman by profession, also commented on the letter issued by Wallace on Monday.

“They’re also circulating a letter from the TTFA, on a TTFA letterhead, and they’re not allowed to do that,” Hadad said. “That is fraud. You were removed, on March 17th, you were given a letter saying you were removed. You need to abide by that.”

Wallace, through his attorney Gayle, issued a pre-action protocol letter to First Citizens’ general manager Kinols Forde on April 17, declaring that Wallace and his executive members were the sole signatories to the TTFA’s bank accounts.

Wallace said on Monday, “As the president of the FA, I am willing to do what I have to do, to make sure that people get paid.”

The former T&T men’s football team manager pointed out, “As far as I’m concerned, I have not resigned as the president of the Football Association. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, I am still the president. If the president has to do ‘x’ for the people to get paid, I am willing to do that. I’m not abdicating my responsibilities at all.”

Asked about the process for the distribution of funds, Wallace replied, “I’m hoping that, when the monies come, that (Ramdhan) will consult me, and then we’ll take it from there.”