Thu, Jan

Aegis accepted as TTFA auditors, membership fees waived.

Aegis Business Solutions, a premier outsourcing & advisory services provider in the Caribbean was on Monday accepted as the new auditing firm for the T&T Football Association.

The approval by the association's general membership at a virtual Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) is being seen as a move forward in the sport.

The endorsement means that the firm will do the football association's Financial Statements for 2020 to 2021, and 2021 to 2022.

The new auditors replace incumbent Madan Ramnarine and Company which resigned on December 31, 2021amidst a proposal by the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee last year for Grant Thornton Orbit Solutions (GTO) to take over as the external auditors for the financial statements for 2020 and 2021.

The latter who resides at Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain, later pulled out following the resignation of Madan Ramnarine and Company. However, on Monday, 26 of the 28 eligible members voted in favour of having Aegis as the new auditors, while two members abstained.

Selby Browne, president of the Veteran Football Foundation of T&T told Guardian Media Sports on Tuesday that the acceptance of the Aegis is critical to the clearance of the debt that's currently crippling local football. This debt, the normalisation committee has put as a whopping $98.5 million.

Browne who made several recommendations through the VFF to fix the problems affecting the sport, further explained that there will be a waiver of fees for members when play resumes.

"The other item that came up was the question of the compliance status and the recommendation to the committee was that the fees that are now due, that are payable by the membership, be adhered to and a recommendation was made for a $2000 annual fee for the new Coaches Union that has been admitted.

I moved a motion that the fees be honoured and paid by the membership and that the 2000 fee be accepted, that motion was seconded, it went to a vote and did not find favour with the meeting," Browne explained.

He added: "There was a motion by Osmund Downer, a former FIFA referee, to have the membership fees waived for the period 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 until play had been reinstated post-COVID-19 and that was seconded and found favour with the membership."

That decision did not resonate nicely with Browne who believes the decision to waive the fees was counter-productive and reminiscent of the reasons the football association has found itself in the position it has, saying: " It is very significant from my own perspective that members, yes we can appreciate the fact that during the downtime, there was no activity and no club registration in the case of associations or zones and no membership registration in the case of clubs which would affect your finances, but one would expect that members of the TTFA to be able to withstand or even seek an adjustment as was recommended by the south zone, to adhere to the payment only but after we restart the football.

You see it leads to the business of the TTFA being continued and conducted and the membership playing their roles and taking seriously the importance of their role in this matter at the highest forum of the TTFA. Unfortunately, it was clearly evident that this matter goes back to the several decades that caused the TTFA to be in this position that it finds itself in financially."

The outspoken football administrator was however high in praise for Acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed who he said was an advocate of communication in the TTFA which he has always called for.

It was Mohammed who led clear communication among the membership for the appointment of the new auditor, Browne said. He called for this communication to be continued on other issues such as the selection and appointment of staff and personnel by the normalisation committee.