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Former TTFA Member of the Board of Directors, Selby Browne during the TTFA League of Champions Media Launch at the Conference Room of the TTFA Home of Football, Couva on November 4th 2019. Photo: Allan V. Crane/TTFA Media

The membership of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and the normalisation committee (NC) will meet again in two weeks, but one member is not optimistic that real progress will be made in tackling the problems facing local football

President of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) Selby Browne was disappointed by what he did not hear at Sunday’s virtual Annual General meeting held by the normalisation committee headed by chairman Robert Hadad.

At the meeting, NC chairman Robert Hadad pleaded with those in attendance that, “if we really wish to rebuild football in this country, then we must embrace the debt crisis as the entire membership’s problem. It is an unprecedented problem, but it is a problem that we all share. The issues have been aired, improvements in governance outlined, the need for fundraising and debt repayment stated – let us work together to restore this fractured association.”

However, Browne claimed that the substance of what the committee presented to the membership amounted to a, “restating of what was said at the informal meeting in April.”

The NC, established by FIFA in March 2020 after the side-lining of the elected executive headed by William Wallace is now 18 months into its two-year mandate.

“I was not satisfied by what was presented. What was presented was restating the FIFA mandate,” Browne stressed. “This being the AGM, I expected that the two important aspects of their mandate -- 1. To establish a debt repayment plan implementable by the TTFA administration, and 2. to review and amend the TTFA statues and regulations — would have been presented for the approval of the TTFA membership for approval, and those were not done,” he said.

“But rather,” Browne added, “there was emphasis on how this adjusted audited financial statement with the removal of the land value for the Government capital grant (for the Home of Football) should be approved by the membership. And several of the bright, young, qualified professionals who are now in the membership of the TTFA had concerns.”

In its press release on the AGM, the TTFA stated that there were items on the agenda that were not discussed that will be the subject of an Extraordinary General meeting (EGM) in 14 days.

These items included the approval of the audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2019; the expulsion of the Coaches Association; and “the admission for membership — pursuant to the Unified Football Coaches of T&T application.”

These items will be tabled at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to be held in 14 days.

The release further stated: “The members are tasked to review the 2019 financial statements in detail and understand the implications to the TTFA, and table all additional questions to the external auditors Madan Ramnarine and Co. Madan Ramnarine and Co, the Chartered Accounting firm, was appointed as the organisation’s external auditors in 2018 by the TTFA membership.”

However, the EGM’s agenda notwithstanding, Browne told the Express, “it is my opinion that there is need to focus and report to the TTFA membership their recommendations as reflected in their mandate for the approval of the membership. And he added: “I doubt very much that that will be realised in the 14-day period where the focus is on the approval of the financial statement 2019 in order to continue to receive FIFA funding.”

And Browne who has putting in writing three questions still to be answered by the NC, had a further concern about the 2019 audit.

“I think that given the climate at this time, it would be wise of the chairman and the normalisation committee to give the assurance to the membership that once the audited financial statements 2019 are approved, they would not proceed to have the TTFA declared insolvent, which is a major concern expressed quietly by several of the members,” he said.

SOURCE: T&T Express