Tue, Feb

Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee and partner at Ernst & Young.

T&T Football Association (TTFA) creditors will not receive payment before Christmas Day as was initially planned, due to the recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) called by the memberships on December 10.

At that meeting, a vote was approved for an election of a new executive and that meeting is to take place by March 18, 2023.

The meeting also agreed that the FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee needs to wrap-up its mandate before the March deadline. However, those decisions have put a spoke in the wheel of the creditors who were to receive their payments by Christmas Day.

A release from Maria Daniel, Trustee in the Proposal of TTFA, appointed on November 8, 2021, said: “Pursuant to Section 44 of the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act, I do confirm that the Proposal was approved and passed in the High Court of Justice on September 28, 2022. While it would have been my greatest joy to commence payments to all approved Creditors before Christmas day, the recent developments raised at an emergency AGM held in early December (called by some of the members), has raised some concerns by the financier as it relates to the non-financial requirements and terms and conditions of the financing.”

She noted: “We would like to reiterate to the creditors, some of whom are members of the TTFA general assembly, that the proposal laid out to the creditors and the courts is a process and not simply a payment to settle the legacy debt of TTFA.”

“In addition to the settlement of the TTFA’s outstanding debt, the proposal requires that the TTFA’s governance be restructured and oversight strengthened so that the mismanagement that has happened in the past, would not recur. For reference, I draw your attention to section 1.7 of the Proposal: (a) The TTFA will implement the following to assist with managing general and administrative costs: ie. Establishing and implementing new procurement procedures for engaging suppliers. ii. Proper governance in the management and contracting of new coaches in line with the grants provided by FIFA, CONCACAF, government organisations, and other private institutions. iii. Ensure financial integrity is restored with funds received for the development of the game; or for specific events being used as it should, to give suppliers, staff and coaches the confidence that services that are properly procured will be paid on a timely basis. iv. Establishment of sound transparency practices to give sponsors and other donors the confidence that money donated is spent for its intended purpose supported by cost-effective processes that enable funds to be invested in the development of the sport and its sportsmen and women.”

The proposal to be funded via an interest-free US$3.5 million financial instrument, was approved unanimously by the creditors whereby validated creditors owed up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full and balances above that will be pro-rated. The TTFA/NC is set to face legal battles from former national coach Terry Fenwick and Peter Miller, the former marketing officer, both of whom have decided to challenge the proposal offered, while another creditor Jack Warner agreed to not challenge the offer.

Daniel urged that the proposal should not be taken lightly, saying: “Please note, the above section of the Proposal is not to be taken lightly, as it was agreed with the Financier prior to confirmation of the financing arrangement. This is also aligned with the mandate given to FIFA appointed Normalisation Committee as a condition for FIFA’s continued involvement in T&T football. To reiterate, the mistakes of the past administrations cannot be repeated. If the time is not given to the Normalisation Committee and the current management team to implement the steps outlined above, the success of this restructuring effort will be at risk.”

“Notwithstanding, as stated in the Proposal, all payments to Unsecured Creditors shall be paid within six (6) months of the “Effective Date”. The “Effective Date” means the date on which the Proposal becomes effective, being the date on which the Court approves the Proposal, which as stated above is September 28, 2022.”

“This means that legally the payments to the Creditors can be made on or before March 28, 2023. If no agreement can be reached with the financier before the end of the six (6) month period, the Proposal shall be deemed to have failed. I will continue my close collaboration with the Normalisation Committee and with the Financier to drive the needed changes that will give the Financier the comfort that they need to release the funds so that the payment can occur as soon as possible before the March deadline.”

SOURCE: T&T Guardian