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Sat, Jan

50% pay for football coaches before Xmas
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THE normalisation committee is now offering to pay national football coaches 50 per cent of what they are owed, going against what was agreed upon according to one former national youth coach.

Approximately 40 T&T coaches have not been paid since the normalisation committee was formed by FIFA to run local football in March.

The normalisation committee is led by local businessman Robert Hadad.

National senior men’s coach Terry Fenwick is one of the coaches affected by the delay of the salary disbursement. Wayne Sheppard, Angus Eve, Clayton Morris and Richard Hood are some of the other coaches who are owed outstanding salaries.

The coaches owed include head coaches, assistant coaches, managers, goalkeeper coaches and physiotherapists in national senior and junior teams.

Sheppard, Eve, Hood, Morris and Jefferson George are also part of the Coaches Steering Committee.

Sheppard said the normalisation committee recently told the coaches that they won’t be paid the full amount.

“The payment as agreed by Mr Hadad was for 50 per cent to be paid up front and the remaining 50 per cent for us to receive a letter of comfort stating that that payment would be honoured at a later date.”

The coaches, however, understood that they would receive all the money owed to them in one payment and not a percentage of that.

“We did not agree to anything else,” Sheppard said.

Sheppard said the coaches are hopeful that they would receive a Christmas gift in their bank accounts.

“As far as discussions with the normalisation committee, we were updated that the monies are in fact in the country and they are working feverishly to see if they could pay it today (Monday), worst case before Christmas. That is the situation as it goes right now…so we waiting to see if that really comes to fruition.”

Sheppard is the former assistant coach of the T&T Under-15 boys team. Sheppard added, “As I have said from the beginning, I have no doubt that we will be paid, (it) is just a matter of when it will happen.”

The coaches are owed money for various times. For example, the Under-15 and Under-17 boys coaches are owed money for the period February 2020 to August 2020. The coaches have been at loggerheads with the normalisation committee for months.

On August 25, more than 20 national coaches claimed they were barred from delivering a document concerning outstanding salaries at the TT Football Association (TTFA) head office at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Eve told Newsday most of the coaches were not allowed to enter the compound, except for a few coaches who arrived early.

Two days later, the normalisation committee said it was not intentionally delaying payments to coaches and also said that the Ato Boldon Stadium was closed to prevent the spread of covid19. The compound includes the Home of Football, which at the time was being used as a step down facility to fight the virus.

At a media conference, on September 4, at Fatima Grounds, in Mucurapo, days after meeting with the normalisation committee, the coaches said the discussions concerning the salaries were cordial.

Representing the coaches at the media conference were Sheppard, Eve, Morris and Hood.

Newsday attempted to contact Hadad, but was unsuccessful.