Veteran midfielder Marvin Oliver has vowed to take legal actions against Central FC after he claimed to have been sacked without reason recently.
The termination letter was handed to him by assistant coach Kevin Jeffreys on Tuesday before a training session at the practice pitch of the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva and quoted club coach Dale Saunders as saying the firing was based on a request by the player, as he wanted to move on to another club.
However, Oliver sought to clear the air yesterday in a Guardian Media interview and pointed to his role in a signed petition by Central FC players last year, for monies they claimed were owed to them from the club’s earnings. The 41-year-old and father of five, is expected to submit an official letter to the T&T Pro League soon, following discussions with its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dexter Skeene.
The T&T Pro League upon receiving this letter, will schedule a meeting with the relevant committee and the club, to find a way forward. This resolution could recommend either the player return to the club or depart under grounds of mutual understanding. Oliver said he intends to take the matter as far as to the International Court of Arbitration as he does not want to pin his hopes entirely on the TT Pro League involvement.
In addition he is also holding talks with his legal representatives to decide on other means of action to retrieve monies owed to him by the club. His contract is due to expire on May 31 but he said the club is expected to honour a clause to facilitate him financially until he gets another job.
Oliver is convinced the club, which is managed by former national defender Brent Sancho and comprise operations manager Kevin Harrison, is acting on the disappointment of players standing for monies owed to them. “A verbal agreement was made by Sancho that the players will receive 50 per cent of all earnings by the club for the 2014/2015 football season but when it was time to pay they reneged” Oliver explained.
For that season the ‘Sharks’ as Central FC are called, copped the lion’s share of earnings—including the $1 million pro league title, Toyota Classic Cup, First Citizens Cup and the three rounds of competition in the pro league which carries a cash prize and trophy for each. The rounds are named after deceased players Kevon Carter, Akeem Adams and Rawle Fletcher.
“They decided not to honour the verbal agreement with the players and still the players were willing to get a good offer, but instead they wanted to pay us 10 per cent of the earnings which we refused. We told them that we wanted at least 40 per cent but they again declined that offer. The last offer they gave us is 20 per cent of the team’s winnings but the players didn’t want to accept that either” Oliver said.
The former national midfielder is now amongst a surviving bunch of players who signed the petition. He claimed most of the others have either been transferred or left the club as they faced victimisation due to their stance. He rubbished reports that he wanted to leave the club, explaining he asked if he could have been loaned to another club as he was not being used.
“I was asked to assist coach Dale Saunders when coach Ross Russell was sacked, so I told myself I had a future there. But then when I disagreed with some of the plans they had for the team, they decided to target me for my role in the petition signing. I was the one who lobbied the players to sign but the players all signed on their own free will” Oliver said.
He was left out of a number of matches and on Sunday last, he got a late call to join the team camp before their encounter against Defence Force. Attempts to contact Sancho were unsuccessful.