Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) general secretary Richard Groden and former president Oliver Camps will be very busy over the next seven days if they are to avoid being held in contempt of a High Court order.
Groden and Camps were served for contempt of court by legal representatives of 13 World Cup 2006 players on 1 March and 5 March 2012 respectively after the TTFF’s repeated refusals to sue its former special advisor and National Security Minister Jack Warner for outstanding income statements related to the tournament.[pullquote_left]The Warriors’ London-based attorney, Michael Townley, sent an 11-page to-do list to Groden’s attorney, Derek Ali, last week and demanded satisfaction or else Groden and Camps “may be held in contempt of court and imprisoned or fined.”[/pullquote_left]
Last Thursday, the “Soca Warriors” agreed to adjourn its contempt application providing that Groden uses “his best endeavours” to obtain information on the TTFF’s 2006 World Cup income within a stipulated deadline.
Wired868 can now exclusively reveal the painstaking detail required if the TTFF General Secretary and ex-President are to avoid the resuscitation of their contempt charges.
The Warriors’ London-based attorney, Michael Townley, sent an 11-page to-do list to Groden’s attorney, Derek Ali, last week and demanded satisfaction or else Groden and Camps “may be held in contempt of court and imprisoned or fined.”
The players’ legal team includes Phillip Lamont, Dave De Peiza and George Hislop.
There was a warning too for anyone who tried to deceive the World Cup players.
“Any other person, including the First Defendant and any officers thereof, who know of this Order,” stated Townley, “and does anything which helps or permits the within-named Richard Groden and/or the within-named Oliver Camps to breach the terms of this Order may also be held in contempt of court. And may be imprisoned, fined or, if a body corporate, have their assets seized.”
Groden is expected to respond to authorise a press statement today after Sport Minister Anil Roberts, arguably in an act of provocation, wrote a cheque for the local football body in the name of TTFF employee and national senior team manager William Wallace instead.
But Groden would be wary that his first deadline from Townley expires on Friday 26 October 2012.
By Friday, Groden must deliver proof that he requested a written account of all money given to the TTFF in relation to the 2006 World Cup campaign from: FIFA, Ross Advertising (as its licensing and merchandising agent) and sponsors including Adidas, TSTT/bMobile, SM Jaleel/Busta, KFC, Carib Breweries, BHP Billiton, Phillips Domestic Appliances, Panini SPA, Petrotrin, Titan Methanol, British Gas, eBay, National Lotteries Control Board, Atlantic LNG, Republic Bank, Sony, Crowne Plaza Hotel and “any other entity that Mr Groden knows or believes might have entered into a commercial partner agreement in respect of the national football team’s participation in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals.”
In relation to the TTFF’s commercial sponsors, Groden must write to the Finance Director and CEO of each company while, in the case of a group structure, the TTFF must send correspondence to the Finance Director of the group holding company as well as to the Finance Director of any company within the group that did business with the local football body.
The details requested from sponsors include: copies of any contracts with the TTFA, TTFF, Camps, LOC South Africa 2010 Limited, LOC Germany 2006 Ltd, 2008/TT Germany (2006) or any other entity, a description of all services rendered in cash and/or kind and proof and details of payment.
Townley wants FIFA to also provide all sums deducted from TTFF, all sums that were initially deducted but subsequently remitted to the TTFF and “all correspondence (including emails) passing between the (TTFF) and/or Mr Warner on behalf of the (TTFF) and FIFA relating to any sums of money due from FIFA to the (TTFF) in respect of the (TTFF’s) participation in the FIFA Football World Cup finals 2006.”
The aforementioned requests only represent the first half of the players’ document to the TTFF.[pullquote_left]In 2006, Camps and Groden, with Warner’s blessing, offered the Warriors $5,644 each for helping Trinidad and Tobago to its maiden World Cup senior tournament, which they claimed represented half of all income less expenses.[/pullquote_left]
Similar detail is also demanded, by 2 and 9 November 2012, from Republic Bank, First Citizens Bank, auditors KPMG, Optima Sports Management International (OSMI), the Ministry of Sport and LOC South Africa 2010 Limited (formerly known as LOC Germany 2006 Ltd and TT/Germany 2006 Ltd).
Camps, who quit his TTFF post last year after being implicated by FIFA in an international bribery scandal that involved its former vice-president Warner, also has a list of chores.
The retired administrator and Groden, in their roles as LOC 2010 Limited directors, must “take all necessary steps” to obtain bank records, financial statements, management accounts, financial budgets and sales forecasts, contracts, World Cup 2006 income records and all correspondence “in respect of the revenue raising activities of the LOC Company in respect of the First Defendant’s participation in the 2006 World Cup from the date of its incorporation in 2004 to the 31st December 2006.”
The lengthy demands are further example of the shift and power between administrators and players since the birth of the World Cup bonus dispute, six years ago.
In 2006, Camps and Groden, with Warner’s blessing, offered the Warriors $5,644 each for helping Trinidad and Tobago to its maiden World Cup senior tournament, which they claimed represented half of all income less expenses. Then, for close to a year, the TTFF banned all players who opted to take legal action against the body.
The 13 Warriors who stayed the course through legal victories against the TTFF in the London-based Sport Dispute Resolution Panel (SDRP) and the Trinidad and Tobago High Court and Court of Appeal are: Stern John, Kenwyne Jones, Cornell Glen, Collin Samuel, Anthony Wolfe, Evans Wise, Aurtis Whitley, Avery John, David Atiba Charles, Brent Sancho, Cyd Gray, Shaka Hislop and Kelvin Jack.
Chris Birchall, Marvin Andrews and Ian Cox initially stood with the dissidents but eventually settled with the TTFF along with Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Clayton Ince, Dennis Lawrence, Densill Theobald, Carlos Edwards, Jason Scotland and Silvio Spann.
Those players allegedly received US$30,000 ($192,000) each although Yorke and Latapy are believed to have done separate deals.
Hislop retired from international football soon after the 2006 World Cup while Wise and Charles were arguably in the twilight of their careers. But Sancho and Jack, who were arguably in their peak years, never represented Trinidad and Tobago again.
The 13 Warriors were awarded interim payments of $7 million and $4.6 million last year although the latter figure remains unpaid.
The TTFF and the World Cup players are understood to be near a financial statement, which would bring the case to a close and spare Groden and Camps from a flurry of administrative duties.
The income generated by Trinidad and Tobago’s historic 2006 World Cup qualification remains a mystery and Camps and Groden insisted, in the High Court, that Warner took full control of all revenue raised by the TTFF, which was sent to an LOC account.
Warner’s son, Daryll, and long-time secretary Patricia Modeste are the remaining two directors of LOC Germany 2006 along with Camps and Groden.
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