Home / Volley / Global Football / Businessman makes $100,000 donation to Warriors for outstanding match fees

Businessman makes $100,000 donation to Warriors for outstanding match fees

The “Soca Warriors” received a TT$100,000 donation from Barataria businessman Sham Mohammed on Friday night and team manager William Wallace is praying that corporate Trinidad and Tobago follows his lead to help finance the football team’s Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) celebrates the opening goal against Guatemala with teammates Radanfah Abu Bakr (left) and Khaleem Hyland during their 3-1 Gold Cup win. (Copyright Jonathan Daniel/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) celebrates the opening goal against Guatemala with teammates Radanfah Abu Bakr (left) and Khaleem Hyland during their 3-1 Gold Cup win.
(Copyright Jonathan Daniel/AFP 2015)

The Warriors finished second at the last two successive Caribbean Cup competitions in 2012 and 2014 and were quarterfinalists at the 2013 and 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cups.

Yet, just five weeks before Trinidad and Tobago’s opening qualifier away to Guatemala on November 13, the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is again indebted to its players and without a confirmed match schedule after November 17.

At a TTFA press conference on Thursday afternoon, Wallace pleaded with the business community to help support the team, even if payments were made directly to service providers rather than to the football body’s bank account.

Within 24 hours, Mohammed, the owner of Miscellaneous Marketing Limited, presented Wallace with a TT$100,000 cheque, which is stipulated to go directly to match fees for players.

“Mohammed is a Barataria small business man and he responded to the clarion call for help for the team,” Wallace told Wired868. “He told me he believes this team can make it and he is asking corporate Trinidad and Tobago to also believe and help the team.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain Kenwyne Jones (background) hugs international teammate and Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after their penalty shootout loss to Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal. (Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago football captain Kenwyne Jones (background) hugs international teammate and Point Fortin Civic goalkeeper Marvin Phillip after their penalty shootout loss to Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal.
(Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)

Wallace said the money will go a long way towards helping to settle outstanding match fees for the Warriors.

At present, the TTFA owes its senior players roughly TT$192,000 for their outing against Mexico in Utah last month, which ended in a 3-3 draw. And, at present, there is no money to pay captain Kenwyne Jones and his teammates for upcoming friendlies against Panama and Nicaragua on October 8 and 13 respectively.

Wallace explained that new Sport Minister Darryl Smith can offer little financial help until the next Budget and it leaves the Warriors in a precarious position.

Coach Stephen Hart and the squad depart for Panama today but Williams will remain in Trinidad to help the TTFA’s fund raising initiative. The team manager said bMobile has offered to foot the bill for match fees for at least one game and he hopes to soon be able to pay the players for at least two of their three pre-World Cup qualifying friendlies.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (left) challenges Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera during 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Keron Cummings (left) challenges Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera during 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup action.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

“I am trying to raise just under (TT)$400,000 right now for match fees for the Mexico game that are still outstanding and at least the Panama game,” said Wallace. “I am supposed to be meeting with bMobile this week and we are hoping to get help for one match fee. There will also be discussions about them coming on board for the 2018 campaign…

“I want when the players come to Trinidad next Friday, we are able to deal with them and make them comfortable.”

At last Thursday’s press conference, Hart refused to describe the Warriors’ upcoming calendar as a ‘campaign.’

After Trinidad and Tobago’s two World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala and the United States in November, the team has no confirmed activity for the next four months until they meet St Vincent and the Grenadines in two qualifiers on 25 and 29 March 2016.

Wallace explained that the TTFA requested international games from the Sport Ministry but nothing is confirmed yet.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones heads towards goal against Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago forward Kenwyne Jones heads towards goal against Panama in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Copyright Jewel Samad/AFP 2015)

“The national team only has a schedule until November,” said Wallace. “I don’t know what will happen in January and February (but) in the budget we sent to the ministry we proposed games for those months leading up to the March games.

“Hopefully, we will be able to put something in place to put a game together because we cannot go straight up from November to March without playing any games.”

Wallace hopes that Mohammed’s generosity and ability to spot the potential in the Warriors will be replicated elsewhere in the business community.

“As I said in the press conference, they don’t have to give money to the TTFA in the traditional way,” said Wallace. “They can pay our service providers, or pay our airlines or pay match fees for players directly and so on.

“That is my position and I stand by that. So I hope we can get continuing support to pay two of the three match fees at least.”

Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014. (Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)
Photo: Argentina captain Lionel Messi (right) is tackled by Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland during their international fixture in Buenos Aires on 4 June 2014.
(Copyright AFP 2014/ Juan Mabromata)

Mohammed, whose company deals primarily in the automobile business and has branches in Barataria and Miami, is no stranger to football. He said he owns the franchise for Football 7s in Florida and recently introduced the version of the game to Trinidad. He is also the vice-president for American Professional Soccer League (APSL) team, South Florida FC.

“I made the trip to Argentina last year and I’ve seen the team grow since then,” said Mohammed. “But I have also been seeing the challenges they are facing and hearing about it from the people actually involved.

“And I thought well there must be some way as a loyal supporter, I could make a contribution to the team and really give them that extra push.”

Mohammed urged other businessmen to also support the team and rekindle the spirit of 2005 when the Warriors created history by qualifying for the Germany 2006 World Cup.

“We all know the positive effects success of a national team can have on a country, the spirit, and the mood,” said Mohammed. “We saw it in 2005 and 2006 and we see it all the time with other countries.

Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago football captain and legend Dwight Yorke (bottom) salutes the "Soca Warriors" fans at the 2006 Germany World Cup. (Copyright AFP 2014/Patrik Stollarz)
Photo: Ex-Trinidad and Tobago football captain and legend Dwight Yorke (bottom) salutes the “Soca Warriors” fans at the 2006 Germany World Cup.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Patrik Stollarz)

“So to me, this was an opportunity to play a part as a faithful supporter of Trinidad and Tobago and I’d like to encourage other persons to come on board and be part of the World Cup qualifying effort and football in general in this country.”

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

Check Also

TTFA 2019 elections: Wallace and Ferguson challenge John-Williams for presidency

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president for the next four years looks to …

98 comments

  1. That’s what’s up.. put your money where your mouth is

  2. Lasana it would be interesting to find out to whom the cheque was made out.

  3. The coach and his/her coaching staff should be paid. To me these are contract positions. They are being hired to develop the product. They should be receiving a base, minimum salary and a larger performance based incentive plan tied to key milestones. The milestones and performance incentives would obviously be different for each staff member/technical team member.

  4. Carlos, should the technical staff also offer their services free of charge?

  5. “Back in 2012, English FA made a structured match fee formula where they were paying players who were part of the playing XI, £1,500 for a win, £1,000 for a draw and £750 for a defeat.”

    So, Carlos Lee, that answers the question as to whether Wayne Rooney is paid or not. Now the proposed match fees for Soca Warriors is US$1,5000 per entry level Caribbean qualifiers.
    That works out to around £1,000 for basic match fee for T&T players or as much as English players get for a draw.
    So I figure this may well be ammo for either side of this argument. Lol.

    • Hmm i actually thought England like many major football nations dont pay their players and they indeed play for free/pride reasons – considering the amount of money they make in club football. However they would get special bonuses for winning tournaments etc. But of course I could be wrong here.

      But given Caribbean players and I would group certain African and asian players into this group too federations are not that financially blessed nor do their players play for big clubs – its illogical to expect CFU players to play international football for free.

  6. I don’t know how fair it is in this particular instance to have compensation more heavily weighted towards performance incentives when Coach Hart can’t get all the tools and staff that he wants to produce the results he would like.

  7. It actually benefits the players more by providing them with a broad stage to highlight their prowess and potentially gain more lucrative contracts. What should be provided to the players is incentives to perform rather than guaranteed match fees, even when they fail to give 10%.

    • One can say that Usain Bolt has the benefit of great exercise and health benefits at his job too. Lol. I say once there is a financial value to what you do and money is exchanging hands, then everyone involved in the process should be compensated.

    • Should TTFA administrators also work for free, for instance?

    • I believe TTFA is a non profit organization. Like most non profits there might be a need for permanent staff to administer the affairs if the organization. I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. Do you believe youth national team players should be paid match fees as well? Where does it stop?

    • And to answer your question directly – most of the TTFA EB should be working for free. However, all cost to perform business for the organization should be paid by the organization. Staff members, secretary etc, will need to be paid.

    • I’ll be following this one closely Lasana. He ( Carlos Lee) has some good points.

    • Carlos Lee is on point. At this level you should get paid but based heavily on incentives. We have had players who didn’t give their best in the past that let to us not doing well yet, still want maximum pay. Not saying I’m against the player but incentives should drive performance.

    • The most valuable asset within the TTFA is the players. So I think they should be paid first.
      I think match fees should be for professional players but all players should get per diems. And that includes youth players for the men’s and women’s teams.
      And I also think TTFA staff should be paid.
      Any business must be able to pay its workers as a mark of respect for their time, regardless of whatever perks the boss thinks the workers are getting. And that includes everyone from top to bottom.
      People on committees should get a nominal fee for their time and players should be compensated for their work.
      I just don’t see how we will ever get a proper running business without that.

    • Brent Bennett, it always has been incentivised. That is what win bonuses are about.
      It is unfair to say the players won’t be paid at all unless they win. No company makes such a demand. The only people who should ever remain unpaid if something doesn’t make money are the owners.
      Employees should be paid first. Give them a basic match fee with win bonuses.
      But you can’t say no money unless they win or draw.

    • You should be payed per diems and a base salary with incentives. Now what the base is for these dudes I have no idea. But mediocrity should not be rewarded.

    • I think if you are bad, you eventually get fired like in any other job.
      There are mediocre employees all over the world not just in football.
      But I do agree with Brent Bennett. Per diems, base salary and performance related incentives.

    • Lasana Liburd – Do you think when Neymar or Rooney gets a call to represent Brazil and England, respectively, they’re doing it for the money – for a per diem – for a match fee? We The answer is no. They want to represent their country because they’re proud to wear the national colors. They’re proud to give service to their homeland. To them it’s also an opportunity to stay relevant – to promote and market their personal brand. A good performance at the national team level also provides them with greater leverage during contract negotiations with their professional teams. Representing their national team increases their value as a professional player. They don’t need match fees because they realize and understand that there are more benefits to be gained by wearing the national colors. Your counter argument may be that those are exceptional players, with lucrative contracts. Well – I think all the above benefits are even more critical for the average player, or a player without a professional football contract. They now have a chance to interview in front of hundreds of potential employers in one shot. What better incentive is there?

    • My answer to that is we will never know. Neymar and Ronaldo are extremely well remunerated whenever they represent their countries.
      And most stars insist upon star treatment to represent their countries in terms of first class flights and tickets for their loved ones and so on and they get it too.
      It is impossible to say that Neymar is more or less of a patriot than Kenwyne Jones. Because Neymar gets top dollar to represent his country and Rooney too.
      In fact the best paying job in international football was generally that of the England football coach. So the FA doesn’t think in line with your argument to be honest.

    • “Back in 2012, English FA made a structured match fee formula where they were paying players who were part of the playing XI, £1,500 for a win, £1,000 for a draw and £750 for a defeat.”

      So, Carlos Lee, that answers the question as to whether Wayne Rooney is paid or not. Now the proposed match fees for Soca Warriors is US$1,5000 per entry level Caribbean qualifiers.
      That works out to around £1,000 for basic match fee for T&T players or as much as English players get for a draw.
      So I figure this may well be ammo for either side of this argument. Lol.

    • Las – you’re doing me a disservice bro. I think you need to reread my comments. I know you’re busy with the TnT budget so I’ll excuse you for your atypical lack of attention to details. Lol. Note that nowhere in my comments did I say coaches shouldn’t be paid, so don’t understand your point about the English FA paying the coach big salary. I also never stated that Neymar and Rooney were not being paid. My point was they’re not doing it for the money – especially not for a mere £1500 a match, when their weekly wages are well over £200,000. Lol. And your comment about the payment plan implemented in 2012 by the English FA supports Brent Bennett’s and my point about incentive type rewards rather than flat match fees.

    • I didn’t say that you thought coaches should be unpaid or that the England coaching job was an unpaid one Carlos Lee.
      I’m just suggesting that it might mean something that the FA would pay so much to someone to run their national team.
      As regards national pride for Rooney and Neymar, I thought I was being helpful by showing what they were being paid to play.
      You can use that info in may different ways. The fact is they are being paid more than Trinidad players though.

  8. Since when representing your country is a job? Smh

    • …since professionals started representing their country. Ask Rodney Charles, of UNC 2015 campaign fame, if he was paid to be the country’s ambassador to the UN. Please!

    • Perhaps more to the point, ask Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard. Or perhaps Carl Hooper and Brian Lara if you can get close to them.,

    • There are many salaried jobs in which you represent your country. From soldier all the way to ambassador and politician.

  9. Personally, you know I never agree with people working for free, particularly for events in which money exchanges hands. International football is very different to community work to me.
    Even though I agree that there probably would need to be compromise since the TTFA is obviously cash strapped.

  10. Lasana
    I had conversations with Mr. Wallace during the time my son, Noah Powder was playing for the U17 National Team. I suggested that we establish an independent fund (organization) where money, company shares, units, etc could be donated or pledged to support Football activities. The principal of these donations would not be used only income from the investments. I realize that this is a longer term solution and today’s players (my son included) would have immediate needs, however we can consider both options to address short and long term matters. If you and others are able to organize a longer term effort, I make the same offer to you as I did to Mr. Wallace that I would volunteer my time to raise funds for such a fund in the NY/NJ/CT/PA area. Regarding, the short term cash infusion, I would be happy to help as well.

  11. For the country… #performance #charity #volunteerism #how_legends_are_made #anonymous #TnT

  12. Strange that the focus seems to be on players’ match fees. Personally I don’t believe players should be paid to wear the national colors, at least not until there is significant $$$ in the accounts of the TTFA. We all need to do our part to move our football program, which is in financial dire straits – primarily due to the shenanigans of JW and former TTFF president O. Camp. The players also need to contribute to the rebuilding effort. While a per diem is appropriate, a match fee – particularly for away matches ,where the potential for revenue generation is limited or non-existent, should not be paid to our players. For home games, where there is an opportunity for income generation, appropriate financial incentives to the players could be considered. For example, a formula could be set up to provide players with a percentage of all gate receipts from home matches. Doing this will allow spectators to support the fellas and ladies by filling the stadium on match days, thereby ensuring the boys and girls are financially rewarded for their efforts on the field. Spectators will likely have no issues paying higher ticket prices, if they know the players themselves will be benefiting form it. To offset the lack of match fees for away games, the formula could be set up to give players a decent proportion of the gate receipts – say 40%, with the potential for an even higher percentage (say 50%), if the team wins the match.

    • The players need to be paid as they are risking their careers by representing the national team. That’s why all countries do the same.

      • Carlos, professional footballers are no different from government ministers or state lawyers; they make a living by plying their trade. Do legal aid lawyers work pro bono? No, sirree, that won’t do. The players have to be paid.
        Secondly, you suggestion that agreements will ensure a fair shake for the players takes little account of the reality. As a general rule, our administrators are on the take and can’t be trusted to honour agreements even when they’re in writing. So come again. When we have dealt with the corruption endemic in the country, you can start talking about proposals such as yours; until then, go fly a kite.

  13. While I love the community effort and support for our sporting programs I have to ask why are we staying this long to establish confidence in the business communities. What is holding back a true and genuine plan of reaching them and sharing what we have and are about! People want to help… it is in their interest, now and more so, for the future. Businesses, especially successful businesses, use the future to chart their journeys – they begin with the end in mind, they use the backward design. They know what the T&TFA needs and lacks and the onus is ours to convince them that we know this too and need their help, ideas, and financial guidance!

  14. that’s good but what about the rest of corporate Trinidad Tobago

  15. Thank you for your donation Sir.

  16. I think that’s an excellent idea to use the group as a way to give tangible support to the team. I spend more than $100 buying toys for my dogs that end up rolling down the hill and getting lost in bush! I would be happy to give to the team if I knew it wasn’t going to end up in the TTFF bush.

    • Well, the team manager has said he wants to take on the challenge of an independent fund. Now to make that a reality.

    • Maybe it’s as simple as opening up a bank account in the name of “wired868 warrior fund” or something. Have someone trustworthy like yourself and one other as signatory. Then have a drive for a limited time say 3 months where the group members could donate. Then at the end present a cheque to Mr. Wallace on behalf of the group.

    • Of course a lot of this assumes that Mr. Wallace himself is incorruptible..

      • Earl Best

        I have been in the business of sports administration for over 40 years. In that time I have met many, many sports administrators and know many of them, as I wrote in my piece on jack Warner here on wired868, to be corrupt.
        There are four of them, however, for whom I would not hesitate to swear: Wired CEO Lasana Liburd, Express Sports Editor Garth Wattley, former SSCL president Forbes Persaud and former SSCL vice-president William Wallace.
        I don’t know if he is incorruptible but I know your money will be 100% safe in his hands.

  17. There’s no FIFA window between November and March though so the games the TTFA are looking to arrange between those months would be domestic-based players only?

    • Many leagues employing T&T players would be closed at that time. And that means USA, Iceland, Vietnam and so on.
      The coach had said he wants to have a camp to see his available players in North America. And there will be teams in Central America and South America who would be available to play.
      Most South American countries play games with local based teams that are more than good enough to give us a test.
      It just means our UK-based players and a few in the other major European leagues won’t be available.

    • I think only three or four players at the most would not be available during that time.

  18. check Jack for some football money

  19. Please don’t err on the side of caution, please check and double check the source of income.

  20. This is totally awesome! Kudos to the business man

  21. How did Dominica get into this conversation?

  22. I’m afraid to donate money to the TTFA. I’m afraid some smart man they take my money. I feel the same way about Dominica, I want to help but not with cash, ‘fraid’ smart men.

    • Lasana, if you start a drive to collect money for the team, I will give $100. But it has to go to William Wallace’s personal account or an account set up by him or by you. Not one black cent of mine will come close to anything to which TimKee or Phillip might have access.

    • Well said Chica Emery…..anyone remember the akeem adams cause and what happened ?!?!?! Jus saying

  23. Yes I also did my part…and hope others will follow as well

  24. What about donating to Dominica as well ????

  25. Vernal. Let’s all donate TT$100! It must not go to the TTFA but directly to either the players or a service provider. What you think?

    • I don’t know nah Cindy, if I do yhat and somebody steals my money I will be damn vex, and I think the combination of Trinidadians and the TTFA pretty much ensures theft.

    • If Sham could donate his money leaving TTFA out of it, why can’t we?

    • Where do you think these donations should be directed?

    • A holding account managed by someone appointed by the players/coach? I don’t know what rules apply re FIFA/TTFA re donations but if the governing body cannot be trusted which we know they cannot, there must be someone who can!

    • There are some people within the TTFA who still have a good reputation on such matters and William Wallace is one to be honest.
      Cindy Howe makes a good point. Once I can be sure about how the money will be used, I will join that.

    • Let us know when you find out please Lasana Liburd.

    • We cannot just throw our hands in the air and say “oh well that’s just how it is!” What about our players? They have to continue to suffer because Tim Kee and his bunch are untrustworthy? We have good players and a dedicated coach! Surely that must count for something?

      • What makes Tim Kee “and his bunch” (whomever that is) untrustworthy? Has there been any allegations (I’m not even asking for proof) that there has been theft of monies under Tim Kee’s watch as TTFA President?

        • Lasana Liburd

          Beyond the fact that Tim Kee was the vice president in charge of the TTFA’s finances during the Jack Warner era?

          • I anticipated that would be the first response. Note that I spoke specifically about “under Tim Kee’s watch AS TTFA PRESIDENT”

            Even so, Tim Kee was Treasurer for two years, 2008-2010, and he left specifically because he was uncomfortable with the fact that they wouldn’t let him, the Treasurer, get unfettered access to the books. Jack, with the help of Kenny Rampersad was busy cooking the books and keeping the Executive in the dark. This isn’t even some big secret I’m sharing here.

    • Thats what the football has reached to….so sad…well done to that businessman. …still positive persons in the society. …smh (ttfa)

    • Ok. I recommend that the TTFA opens a separate account that nobody from the TTFA executive is a signatory on. Let the team manager be a signatory and perhaps one or two trusted people from corporate world.
      What do you think Cindy Howe? Would you recommend anyone?

    • We can’t just drop it in Lasana’s lap. Lasana how do we get on touch with Mr. Wallace?

    • I will think on it for a bit. I definitely want to pursue this. I’ll get in touch with you. Will you work with me to approach Mr. Wallace Lasana?

    • Cindy Howe and Vernal Damion Cadogan, if there is enough interest from Wired868 groups then another idea could be that we nominate people for our own trust for the Warriors.
      That will be trickier but I suppose that is another thing to consider. And that money goes directly for match fees.

    • Then both groups need to be approached. I’m happy to do it either way. Let’s gauge how folks feel about it then!

  26. I’m so impressed by Sham that I hardly have the words.

    Sham Mohammed is Trinidadian ………. and a businessman ………. with an appreciation for corporate patronage?
    Wow!

  27. Wow … waitaminute this 100000 gonna probably end up being 23000 after it filter through the ttfa …..give it to the personnel in person don’t let those officials touch it