Sun, Jul

TTFA staff seeks legal advice over job security

The constant changing of leaders at the helm of the TT Football Association (TTFA) has left staff there nervous about their job security. In less than a year, the control of the TTFA has been passed around like a hot potato.

At the November 24, 2019 TTFA election, the William Wallace-led United TTFA slate replaced David John-Williams in control of the local football organisation.

However, on March 17, FIFA removed the TTFA executive and appointed a normalisation committee to run TT's football. FIFA said the move -- just four months into the new regime -- was necessary owing to TTFA's massive debt and extremely low overall financial management methods. The overning body said TTFA faced "a very real risk of insolvency and illiquidity."

The legality of this last transition has been challenged by Wallace's executive and is is currently before the High Court. It goes to trial on Friday and the ruling by Justice Carol Gobin could switch the reins of power once again.

The fight for control of the local football body has left TTFA office staff, in Couva, uneasy and they too will be seeking legal advice.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, on Thursday, a TTFA employee said the office and administrative staff, totalling 17, have held Zoom meetings on a few occasions to discuss their concerns.

The source said although some members are hesitant, a group decision was made to seek legal advice.

The employee said some workers are worried they may be victimised for assisting the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, headed by Robert Hadad. The committee has ceased operations after FIFA suspended TT on September 25.

The staff said their concerns are not paranoia as certain staff have felt vicitimised under past administrations where it was perceived that decisions made by leaders were not supported internally.

The source said apart from addressing job security, they intend to raise concerns about NIS contributions in the last couple years.

The TTFA employee added that staff have not been paid since July, making it the second time this year they have had to go four months without salary.

The source said the situation is compounded by the covid19 pandemic and the economic impact on all families.

FIFA paid TTFA office staff a lumpsum in July after they went unpaid from March to June.

The normalisation committee and Wallace's executive have been fighting over control of the TTFA's First Citizens account and TTFA letterhead.

TTFA coaches have also complained about not being paid since the normalisation committee took over in March. The United TTFA has said it would not stand in the way of the payment of TTFA employees and coaches, despite its court battle with FIFA.

Efforts to contact Wallace for a response proved futile.

NOTE - Well with all the doom and gloom surrounding football, there's not much positives to talk about. However, President of the Veterans Football Federation of T&T Selby Browne is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Interestingly, he says a solution is coming closer than you think. Here's why.