Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee said the local football body has decided to pay the salaries of head coach Stephen Hart and technical director Kendall Walkes while the TTFA’s impasse continues with the Ministry of Sport.
The TTFA accepted a March deadline to present audited accounts to the Ministry of Sport but is yet to fulfil its end of the bargain. Sport Minister Brent Sancho responded by halting all funding to the football body, which included the payment of coaches’ salaries.
Although Tim Kee claimed that the TTFA was “about two weeks” away from satisfying the Sport Ministry, he said the football body will pay Hart and Walkes in the interim.
“Mr Hart has been attended to,” Tim Kee told Wired868, on Friday evening. “He is owed for April and May and an arrangement was made where he will get one month’s salary and a small portion. He was satisfied with the arrangement; he made no hassle about it…
“He may have been paid (on Friday) as that decision was made (on Wednesday evening). Our plan is to pay Hart’s salary directly for up until September.”
Hart’s contract with the “Soca Warriors” expires in July 2015, although he has been credited with doing a fine job at the helm and it seems likely that the TTFA will try to keep him onboard.
Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain Mayor and PNM Treasurer, admitted the football body contracted Walkes’ services with the expectation that half his salary would be paid by the Sport Ministry—as was the case with former technical director Anton Corneal.
However, the TTFA never actually broached the topic with the new Sport Minister and the result was Walkes was unpaid after his first month’s work.
Tim Kee said the football body will also pay Walkes although he advised that the new TTFA technical director should be no more than “cautiously optimistic” about being paid every month’s end.
“We will have to give him his full salary,” said Tim Kee. “I have also told the General Secretary (Sheldon Phillips) and the Chairman of the Technical Department (Richard Quan Chan) to let him know that we do not have an open cheque book and to tell him what the true situation is. I don’t want any surprises for people.
“Let him be cautiously optimistic. From all indications, we will be able to afford him as we move forward (as) we have applied for some (FIFA) developmental funding.”
And what about the remainder of the Senior National Team coaching staff as well as the national youth team and women’s coaches?
“I don’t want to convey that impression (that we do not care about the other coaches),” said Tim Kee. “(But) they were always the government’s responsibility… Most people involved in football are poor people who cannot enjoy the luxury of not getting paid. So that plays on my conscience.”
Wired868 asked, if all coaches are TTFA employees: Why has the association decided to pay some and not others?
“We don’t owe (assistant coach Derek) King and the others any money,” said Tim Kee. “The money owed to them is from the Ministry of Sport… Remember those guys don’t have contracts (with the TTFA).”
Wired868’s checks suggested that the only coaches with TTFA job contracts are Hart and Walkes. The others are working on the verbal assurance from the football body that they will be paid if funds are sourced.
Tim Kee said the TTFA is in the process of drawing up contracts for its other coaches but did not offer a date when those are likely to be ready.
National Under-23 Team manager David Muhammad claimed last week that assistant coach Reynold Carrington did not attend any training sessions and was allegedly awaiting his job contract. Wired868 was unable to reach Carrington for an explanation for his absence.
Tim Kee suggested that, if Muhammad’s assertion was true, then the fault lay either with Quan Chan—who liaised with the youth team coaches on behalf of the TTFA—or Carrington himself.
“I did mention to Mr Quan Chan to explain to these people what the situation is,” said Tim Kee. “I said this is the situation, this is what we can do and, if you can provide under these conditions, then we are telling you upfront. So there is no reason to stay away because they were told (or should have been told) this is the conditions under which they will be operating.
“There will be consequences to that.”
Tim Kee insisted he and his general secretary Sheldon Phillips have done all they could to raise money for football and approached 28 private and public sector corporations with little success. He blamed politics for the TTFA’s financial crisis.
“If you were rating our job without explanation, it would be not a pass mark (for us),” said Tim Kee. “But if you look at the notes you will understand. There are circumstances over which you have control. When we went to National Gas, (a board member) told one of our executives that the people who play football do not wear yellow.
“So it is a political and a racial situation. I brought it to (then Sport Minister Anil) Roberts’ attention. And the imbalance is cricket was getting what it wanted.”
Tim Kee alleged that the National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) also promised US$1 million to the TTFA but reneged on the deal when he was appointed Mayor.
“He said ‘Tim Kee is a PNM mayor’ and he is not doing anything for the PNM to look good,” the TTFA president said of an unnamed NLCB member.
Wired868 was unable to verify Tim Kee’s claims from members of either State board.
Race and politics were not the only things that Tim Kee blamed for their fund raising issues. He claimed that the TTFA was on the verge of a multi-million deal with TSTT, only for it to be scuppered after Wired868’s exclusive regarding possible corrupt or unethical practices by the football body in the build up to an international friendly against Argentina on 4 June 2014.
Wired868 revealed that TT$400,000 was pocketed from taxpayers’ money for a supposed TTFA licensing fee, which remains missing. Travel agency, Nissi Tours, alleged that the money was pocketed by TTFA marketing officer, Darren Millien, although Millien denied this.
There were also emails from Phillips’ match agency company, Element Agency + Events, which suggested that the TTFA general secretary might have a personal stake in a match put on by State money.
Phillips claimed there was a “glitch” in his email account and denied that his company was benefitting from Warrior matches.
TSTT’s interest in sponsoring the TTFA, according to Tim Kee, cooled immediately.
“(TSTT) agreed to sponsor us to the tune of TT$4.5 million,” said Tim Kee. “then (Wired868) wrote that article on the Argentina business and, when I went to consummate the agreement, I was told that the board had read the article and decided to put a stop on it.
“So we were back to square one.”
Still, Tim Kee responded to his critics by pointing to the relative successes of their football teams despite the issues. He said the TTFA has begun implementing FIFA’s income generation plan and should soon be able to raise funds from merchandising via its new website.
“When you hear what we have been able to achieve with scarce resources,” he said, “it brings goose pimples.”
He hopes to also mend bridges soon with the Sport Ministry, despite his annoyance that Sancho attached stipulations to last November’s TT$9.9 million Cabinet note.
“The Cabinet note seems not to be as highly favoured by the Sport Minister as it was intended by the Prime Minister,” said Tim Kee. “That is unfortunate because all the plans we made for this year was predicated on that type of assistance from the Ministry.
“So I am hoping that, as time goes on and we adhere to the best policies, I would expect understanding and support from the Ministry. I would hope that there is a change in direction.”
Tim Kee said the TTFA will try to juggle its resources so as to ensure practice games for the National Under-23 Team, which begins its 2016 Olympic Games campaign in Puerto Rico next month.
The senior Warriors are also rumoured to be on the brink of sealing international friendlies against Jordan and 2014 World Cup team Croatia.
Hart and Walkes might be “cautiously optimistic” about being paid too, regardless of the Sport Ministry’s relationship with the football body, while Tim Kee claimed that a financial offer was also made to Corneal, who is still owed from his spell as technical director.
The TTFA’s other two dozen or so national coaches have no such guarantees, limited or otherwise.
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Jackass why he don’t resign setups
…Uncle Earl Mango Pierre like you just come from Church
Oh lawd finally my Prof Jamaal Shabazz is preaching really good. Tell them tell them.
Three years ago, I said enough was enough and wrote this piece… How much have things changed?
…Speaking as a Football fan and Journalist….it has been painstaking to read…hear and see some of the nonsense that we have been fed and made to accept over the past 25 plus years from the powers-that-be in T&T football…People stood by and were afraid to question or stand up to the dictatorship that passed for governance and they just became Figureheads/Puppets
…And I agree with you totally Jamaal Shabazz…if you truly believe in something you should fight for it…but you cannot force people…remember there are leaders and followers…and some people will be afraid to “upset the apple cart” because they may fear for their futures…they will not be thinking long-term and that their children or grandchildren may be affected by their decisions today
Then there are a set of administrative people who can help football and afraid to take the steps. Just like the populace who moans about poor governance but would not go and vote or engage in a struggle to remove a corrupt and oppressive regime….by any means that becomes necessary
…Well then some…some coaches that are hired by the TTFA are not afforded all the resources that is required…if time to prepare a team is not too much of a factor…then resources and All the resources are not provided
I talking from my personal experience not what I think what I live.
3 weeks before qualifiers in 2011 Guyana approached me they had little resources but they provided everything I asked for as best they could. We did not have a five star but we had a three star hotel. We had our own chef. We created a professional environment and we advanced ahead of Trinidad and Tobago. It’s not really so much about time as it is about resources, creating the right environment and people working together. And off course God and some good fortunes.
So we must develop a criteria now to judge and remove the administrators who practice this folly. But the fact remains there are coaches who in two months with the right resources will grasp this opportunity and make it happen. We are coaches this is what we do. If your car breaks down at midnight you want to call a mechanic to get it started right away. That is what he do he fix cars. The timing is not good. Don’t worry about our time worry about our resources. I can give examples . If a coach takes the job and gets the resources he wants that is what we live for.
….If this forum is the Beginning of the End of the Nonsense that we and by extension the Nation has had to endure…SHOW ME WHERE TO SIGN
…Jamaal Shabazz as a coach yourself here in T&T with various national teams you have had to endure many many struggles regarding preparation so you may have become Battle-Hard with what to expect and not to expect and I agree with some of your comment regarding coach Hart and his preparations…however Kendall Tull makes a valid point…How D Jesus…Joseph and Mary can you give a coach less than 2 months to prepare a team???…That coach will want to first of all have a look at who is at his disposal…who is his opposition and what type of Preparations he can have prior to the CFU/CONCACAF Tournament…for far too long we moan and groan and when the team fails we make a fuss and then the poor coach more often than not…is shown the door…THIS CANNOT CONTINUE
But the reality is what is. The reality is not what we want …that is the ideal. In getting to there we gotta start from where we are. My friend if we focus on creating the professional environment …
like we saw with Leo Beenhakker …maybe the coach will pull through. And we start for the future from there. But the milk has already been spilt. Let’s work from there is my view
Yes Jamaal Shabazz WC coaches have less than 2 months but they also have the opportunity to see their charges play on a regular basis not just as required
Jamaal Shabazz – which serious football nation gives a coach less than two months to prepare? Coaches are appointed far in advance and work with the squads throughout the year plus before. You cannot appoint a coach months before a tournament and have any expectation of representing the country properly.
Other than that, I agree with your comments.
Well like the revolution start!! Call me when u all ready to pick up the arms!!
…Well I am all for it Lasana Liburd…looking forward to positive feedback from the group
Mark Anthony Scott, I think it is never too late to do the right thing. The biggest challenge is how to distill our ideas into a workable mandate using the internet as a starting point.
Even for World Cup coaches have less than two months to prepare. Quantity is not as huge a factor as the type of professional environment you create to do your work in football. Hart is a good coach if he gets the resources even in 1 month he can get results.
wow does it feel like football will never get back on track?
Sorry Savitri you entitled to leave God out if things but those who want to include God must be free to do so. The time is for every coach to decide it’s the support systems that are more critical in modern football than time.
…While i agree with you Lasana Liburd…I hope it is not a case of ‘too late…too late shall be the cry’…shouldn’t something like that have been done many years ago?…Clubs from all over T&T from Zonal to Super League to Pro League
It would help if we leave God Jesus Moses and others out of this and start acting. A coach having to acquaint himself 2 months before a tournament is madness. The human psyche does not work that way. A coach meeds to know the personalities he’s working with
Jamaal Shabazz, Trinis vote and sit back wait for elected leaders to do what they see fit. We don’t want to be involved in the process, we aren’t sure what we want… All we know is we hope the outcome is good.
That mentality won’t change overnight.
Perhaps we, the football fans and stakeholders, need to create a clear list of things we must have going forward. I’m willing to set up an interactive chat for that to be discussed, once we can stay on topic.
….Well that’s the thing Savitri Maharaj…even the current coach will not have a clue as to what the next move is…whether they extend the contract or give him notice to start preparing the team…he is always in the dark…less than 2 months ago I had a conversation with coach Randy Waldrum and he was none-the-wiser as to what the TTFA are doing
I think the problems that TT football faces re the Emperor Syndrome is synonymous with football throughout the Caribbean. A lot of the present leadership did not want Jack Warner but they did not want real change. They wanted to exchange places with him. I am prepared to plant the seed throughout the region for a new generation but this new leadership must understand that consultation is a must. In Islam it’s called Shura, God instructed his Prophets to consult with the people in the conducting of their affairs. And if men like Jesus, Moses and Muhammad peace be upon them all who had direct guidance from God……could still hold consultation with the people…
Who are these mini emperors whose football experience and intellect is zilch to run riot over us?
That and a flying pig u ent seeing until they fall out
Why should you always have to appoint a new coach anyway? Is either their choices real bad or someone’s not keeping their endnpf the agreement
…I would love to hear from the other members of the current TTFA Executive to find out what kind of input…if any…that they have with regard to decision-making in the organisation…..some of them may have some very very interesting stories to tell
They present but they absent. What am i having for dinner? How rare the steak, how vintage the wine? Why are we continuously beating ourselves?
…Agreed Savitri Maharaj…we cannot make Progress by PR and Vaps…every year as far as i can remember…when a national team is about 2 months away from a major competition…then they appoint a coach and staff…anyone with a slight interest in football will tell you that a coach will ideally like 3-5 months with his/her players…to plan training sessions…warm-up games ect ect…and now we have a TTFA President who is on a Committee that knew when a CONCACAF Tournament is starting and yet…he fails to appoint a coach and Technical Staff???…
Mark, it will not end until everyone stands up and say enough is enough. Is governance by vaps and PR
….The most popular sport in the country…yet there seems to be no plan…no organisation and no structure within the TTFA…when will it end
……Never a dull moment in T&T football
What do you suggest Jamaal Shabazz? I’m guessing you’re speaking figuratively too.
Sounds like Tim Kee needs to resign for the TTFA to become a politically neutral entity.
Take a look at the newly announced Women’s Premier League. Foreign coaches being placed Over local ones, Foreign players placed and paid above local players,WOLF dictated to “League WILL begin EVEN if Current league fails because of players being offered Contracts secretly and directly without the knowlege of their present clubs. investigation warranted.
“commitment to arms and organized struggle to remove this new Dictatorship”? I hope you are speaking figuratively here eh, Jamaal Shabazz.
Well Jamaal i for one ready!! That’s i made the call to war!! Ready to shoot the mark heard around the world!! Although i still does tote for the 11/11/11 !!!!
And men vex with me when I gone Guyana. According to Mango all yu good yes. Allah says Fight them until their us no more tumult and oppression. So Lasana sword up star the battle continues
It seems like social media has turned would be revolutionaries into armchair critics talking up a storm, plenty analysis is good. But if there is no commitment to arms and organized struggle to remove this new Dictatorship then alas yesterday was Latapy, today is Hart and tomorrow is who boy?
Of course you would know all about taking up arms. If there was any justice in this world you woukd be locked up in somebody jail, blasted murderous traitor.
Ohh gosh u all had a field day today boi!! But on a serious note all i am seeing is bad news for football on both the men and women side!! Time for the people with the know how, experience, passion and interigity to come together to chart a way forward!! As all military men know the battle is lost or won in the preparation!! Lets organise to revolutionize!!
YoungWarriors Ttff sorry eh but our Coaches has no balls and intentions of coming together and making any changes perfect example look what that corrupted TTFA put our Women footballers through even having to go to the America and beg for monies eh, with all the millions of monies that they have eh, and who is presently coaching the Women again eh, not another Local Coach eh, who is maybe looking for it as some of the players who didn’t stand up with my 2006 Players eh to put a stop to the madness with respect to how many, many, many years our players were treated by that corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies eh, Them really good yes.
Tim Kee is a “leader” of the TTFA and the Mayor of PoS. He refers to the coaches who he is directly responsible for by “them”, “they”, “these people”, “him”. You have to be joking. Is this how you speak about people who are under your charge? Especially people who are not getting paid?
Is this is best practice for organizational leadership in T&T? How about being respectful or showing some appreciation for “these people”. You would think that a leader of a beleaguered organization such as the TTFA would show more appreciation for it’s “employees” and try to generate some form of inspiration within the ranks. Not Tim Kee. He speaks with such an air of arrogance. Scratch that. He comes off as such a tool. No wonder no one wants to work with this fool.
Talking about what they achieved. They achieved nothing. Nothing at all. He could not point to one specific thing that they achieved. What a deal with Joma? 71st spot in the rankings? Wait until November, then we will see. Fool
Paid off by taxpayers money while the judges recommendation that the TTFA pursue restitution falls on deaf ears.
It cannot be that a sporting body can make whatever promise it likes to people and taxpayers have to pay for it.
In cases where the Ministry made a commitment, then fine. Otherwise, I think it would be a bad precedent.
Of course the irony is that the 2006 World Cup players were in exactly the same position as Latapy and the rest and they were paid off. Debbie Espinal is very right about that.
Kendall Tull, I’m not sure if the TTFA paid its half of Corneal’s salary for any more than one month in two and half years. And the Ministry went over a year without paying. Or more.
As for Latapy, I’m not sure if he had a proper contract to start with. But Tim Kee made a commitment to pay in front of the court to quell the initial case.
So Latapy might have been on shaky ground at first. But I think he is on very solid ground now.