Fri, Feb

VFFOTT President, Selby Browne

A month after Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) delegates met, the Veterans Football Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFOTT) has urgently requested an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) be held.

This comes amid the backdrop of Monday’s announcement by the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee (NC) of the TTFA.

The NC announced via media release that it had notified the Supervisor of Insolvency of its intent to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago which will enable a structured approach to the restructuring of the TTFA and the preparation of acceptable payment proposal to address the TTFA’s debt.

Now, VFFOTT president Selby Browne has made the call for a second EGM, within a month, via letter sent to acting TTFA general secretary Amiel Mohammed.

“I wish to bring to your attention the urgent need to have an EGM of the TTFA convened soonest, ideally before November 30, 2021. One month has now passed since the last TTFA EGM held on October 10, 2021 and there are several important matters of business to be urgently addressed by the TTFA membership.”

Browne has cited several matters to be discussed and with the Robert Hadad-led NC now showing its intended direction, Browne feels an EGM is even more necessary. He said regardless of whether insolvency was a good step or not, it should have been presented to the TTFA membership before any decision was made.

Further, Browne believes that the main issues with the Hadad-chaired NC, is a basic disregard, as well as a perceived disrespect and discourtesy towards the general TTFA membership.

“Part of your mandate tells you (to) bring your recommendations to the membership for their approval,” Browne contends. “Is it not the better thing to say ‘fellas we are thinking about doing this’. It is basic management. It is basic courtesy. Not doing your own thing and telling the boys later. Keep in touch with your membership, who will all walk along with you and have their input (and) who will facilitate guidance so we are all swimming in one direction,” Browne suggested.

Apart from Browne, there were also varying views from other TTFA stakeholders to the latest decision of the NC. Trinidad and Tobago Football Referees Association (TTFRA) president Osmond Downer is of the view that the move toward insolvency was sensible given the TTFA’s $98.9 million debt. However, Downer questioned why the normalisation committee has only decided on decisive action four months before the end of its 24-month mandate. He also hoped that the insolvency process is completed before the term of the current NC ends, in March 2022.

“FIFA had given a mandate to the normalisation committee to deal with the debt. Therefore, the normalisation committee can take any measures to deal with the debt. This measure, to my understanding, is really to prevent the creditors from coming down on the Association and taking away whatever they have in any bank account or even levying on their property, and this is a threat that is possible at the moment,” Downer noted.

Downer said once an application for insolvency is made, creditors are automatically halted from going after the TTFA’s assets. “It means the TTFA can continue receiving its grant from FIFA to carry on its day-to-day business. You don’t want creditors coming down on the (FIFA) grant,” stated Downer. “This move is a sensible move and it does not need any general meeting approval because it is not a dissolution of the Association (TTFA),” he further explained.

Meanwhile, Jefferson George, president of the Unified Football Coaches of Trinidad and Tobago (UFCTT), felt the NC’s position was very much worth discussing and was one of the agenda items at last night’s executive meeting of the coaches’ body.

And the outspoken Michael Awai, of the AC Port of Spain professional club, thinks Hadad’s proposal has both its merits and its demerits.

“They still haven’t come up with a plan for the Home of Football as yet. But that of itself (insolvency) is a very good decision. It is a good, legal decision and it gives them six months to reveal all the existing creditors,” Awai assessed.

“Now the people who have matters in court (against the TTFA); those are valid, but there are some invalid ones. So, that’s why I think they want the six-month period under the Insolvency Act to make sure they verify all the payable outstanding,” Awai opined. “But they still have the problem of finding a use of the Home of Football going forward.”

SOURCE: T&T Express