Home / Volley / Global Football / TTFA “responds” to report on Walkes’ termination; but does not clarify TD’s job status

TTFA “responds” to report on Walkes’ termination; but does not clarify TD’s job status

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), headed by new president David John Williams, has issued a response to a Trinidad Guardian article on the termination of its technical director Kendall Walkes.

Photo: TTFA technical director and former National Senior Team player Kendall Walkes.
Photo: TTFA technical director and former National Senior Team player Kendall Walkes.

However, the TTFA release has not confirmed or denied Walkes’ job status and only claimed that the aforementioned article contained “several material inaccuracies.”

The release, which claimed that it was protecting the name and reputation of the football body, did not quote a single inaccuracy in the Guardian report.

Walkes was hired in mid-2015 by then TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee and general secretary Sheldon Phillips.

FIFA deems it critical that every member association has a technical director and does not make FAP grant payments to nations that violate this rule.

Walkes, Wired868 understands, has not been paid by the TTFA since John Williams took office. He was also owed two months salary from the previous administration but had otherwise been paid between May and November.

Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.
Photo: TTFA president and ex-DIRECTV W Connection president and CEO David John-Williams.

The following is the TTFA’s press release:

Mere days before two crucial World Cup Qualifying games against St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) is forced to respond to an article (which appeared in the Trinidad Guardian) to protect its name and reputation.

Under the headline “Walkes Terminated” an article published today makes a number of assertions about the contractual relationship between the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and one of its employees.

The TTFA, as a responsible employer, will respect the privacy of its contractual relationship with its employees. It will refrain from commenting on the details mentioned in the article and the comments attributed to Mr Walkes, except to note that the article contains several material inaccuracies.

Suffice to say that the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association takes its responsibilities very seriously and at all times makes decisions that it believes to be in the best, current and longer term, interest of Trinidad & Tobago football.

Trinidad & Tobago Football Association

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80 comments

  1. These are the kind of “explanations” that DJW gives. Remember this Gordon Pierre?

  2. Had the pleasure of working and learning from him, his contribution to our local game is important to our development cannot understand his sacking. Take a trip to the grassroots it is the first T.D that has come to impart his knowledge to others at that level. Poor decision rethink and reinstall him we will see the result in years to come stop the quick fix mentality he is laying the foundation.

  3. I had a lecturer like this once. “Wrong!” he’d respond to whatever you said, and walk off.

  4. ..What is the purpose of the TTFA Release?

  5. What FIFA says about technical directors:
    As the world governing body, FIFA are constantly looking at ways to stimulate growth of the game in every corner of the globe. One key area identified for assistance is that of the Technical Director. The Technical Director is a crucial, though sometimes undervalued, element for success of any association. And it is here, even in this specialised field, where teamwork and group effort can pay large dividends.

    The Technical Director is in charge of defining and leading the national technical development programmes, and developing long-term strategies in this regard for all aspects of the game, be it grassroots, women’s football, coach education or youth football, and to bring them together in synergy according to the development pyramid. The employment of a Technical Director is compulsory for each Member Association, and FIFA devotes special attention to ensure that their status is always recognised to the appropriate level. With that in mind FIFA are seeking to build an even closer relationship with Technical Directors across the Member Associations through a variety of methods.

    • Coaching education has been pretty woeful. Not sure what Walkes planned for that area but onto the next guy. Maybe Anton Corneal returns?? Wouldn’t surprise me. Funny how accessible these guys and their ideas are before elections..

  6. Did we ever hear if the FIFA mandated audit was completed or what were the results?

  7. I have no problem with the new administration coming in and making a decision to move in a different direction. However, proper leadership would suggest that you sit with the current TD and negotiate a mutually agreeable separation package, with appropriate details communicated through the media. In a civil society that’s what you expect. Fortunately we have the courts to turn to when employers unilaterally disregard/ignore contractual obligations.

  8. That has to be the worse press release i’ve ever seen! No details, not one quote etc just sounds like it was written by an insolent school child

  9. The application of Law and ethics only apply when it is about the person in question, but when it comes to them adhering to and/or administering the same priciples to others it all goes out the window…. Fire at will but don’t fire ME at will = Trini business model

  10. ..Well, it must made so in Trini bruh..

  11. ..An administration goes about its business, including agreeing contracts. A successor administration has to respect agreements struck by its predecessor. That, surely, is the way of politics, government and administration in every sphere, all over the world. If one wishes to terminate an agreement one must have cause or negotiate a solution..

    • No it isn’t. Nobody for example expects to continue serving as an ambassador once there’s a change in government. Or expects to continue serving on a state board. Contracts with suppliers/companies maybe, but definitely not employment contracts.

    • ..You’re talking about political appointments not employment contracts. But cool. Then let the administration tell that to the courts. Let me know when they win..

    • I’m not saying it’s right to terminate the contract. What I’m saying is it’s also wrong to give somebody a contract that extends beyond your political term. Felt the same way about the the Sheldon Phillips contract.

    • ..Then governments should not sign on to UN agreements and treaties? Or PNM should not enter into an agreement for anything that may out live their administration?..

    • Some contracts are political. Others are not. The general secretary serves at the pleasure of the president and can only be hired or fired by him.
      Many other positions are different.

    • Otherwise we might as well be saying that David John Williams is free to sack the coach and office staff too. There has to be some level of continuity.

    • …And respect for legal instruments and agreements.. I thought people voted for that?..

    • Not sure how UN agreements, treaties etc constitute employment contracts but ok.
      DJW has sacked a coach, albeit one that was working for free and when and where the heck does the entire office staff change with a change in administration?
      My position is that senior positions, such as TD should not extend beyond the life of an administrations’s term. Ppl have to have room to bring in people who they can work with and who can enact their vision. I understand filling the TD position was a FIFA mandate but I struggle to believe that absolutely nobody would have been willing to do it for a couple of months at $93,000/mth.
      So we’re just going to have to disagree on this one fellas…

      • The position of TD is a developmental office, one which cannot be effectively served by short-term appointments. Whatever a new President might want as far as his vision for the administration and business of the TTFA, football development isn’t tied to the vision of any particular office holder. This is why the Constitution mandates a Technical Committee in the first place. This isn’t about glossy campaign presentations.

        Keith Look Loy’s analogy to UN treaties is both apt and fitting… just like an employment CONTRACT, it is binding on successors in interest. This isn’t the same as a new boss cleaning out the old office staff. At-will hires are just that, ‘at will’ and can be terminated for good cause or no cause. A contract is different, it must be honored or else there will be breach, and damages that follow in the wake of that breach.

        As I stated elsewhere, this is nothing shy of absolute disrespect for Kendall Walkes, his family, his situation, and a disregard for what’s in the best interest of the TTFA. Personal preferences (about who best aligns with vision and all that shit) has to take a back seat to what’s best for the FA. In this case, Walkes is ably qualified and should be given an opportunity to fulfill his contract. Terminating him only exposes the TTFA to unnecessary litigation, and very likely, unnecessary liability. The TTFA will be on the hook for paying two TDs for doing the same job, last I checked they weren’t exactly printing money there.

    • ..I mean a government agrees to an international treaty that succeeding governments are expected to abide by. Anyway, this is another messy chapter in the life of this new administration..

    • You might be surprised to know that not many local coaches meet the criteria for a technical director at all. And why would someone migrate for a two or three month contract?
      It can’t be a hard and fast rule in my opinion.
      Suppose Hart gets a nice four year offer from Costa Rica and everyone here wants to match it but the TTFA president is coming to the end of his term?
      Or Mourinho is free at the moment as technical director and you can only offer him two or three months?
      I would say the football positions in particular should be independent of the TTFA president.
      The various committees and the general secretary are different and should change with the president whenever possible.

    • I am surprised that not many coaches can’t fill a TD role. What does it require and why do so few coaches possess the requirements?
      Don’t know where I suggested that somebody should migrate for two or three months.
      If Hart gets a four year offer from elsewhere and the administration of the day only has a year left, you say to hart what will it take to keep you here for a year? If you can meet his demands, you meet them, if you can’t, you can’t. But there is absolutely no point to potentially imposing Hart on a subsequent administration and running the risk of the two units constantly being at loggerheads. That isn’t good for the team. If any coach is that great, the subsequent administration will want to keep him/her on in any case.
      Wouldn’t take Mourinho for a day.
      Football positions being independent is fairy tale la la la land mentality. Was The women’s team coaching job advertised like a non political post would and should be? The whole thing is political. And best to accept that and function within reality.

    • Chabeth, the TTFA president does not hire or sack coaches according to the constitution. A situation where a new president comes in and puts everyone he wants in position is a sort of maximum leadership that is contrary to the constitution.
      The technical director job is not a coaching job. It is a combination of coach development, player development and formulating strategy for the development of the game.
      Most local coaches simply don’t have the necessary experience. Keith Look Loy would be one of the exceptions.
      But options are very thin on the ground for that kind of background. It is totally different to hiring a coach for a youth team.

    • To be clear, I would resist any suggestion that our football programs should run for the cycle of a football president. We don’t want that kind of football president. In fact, our constitution does not even cater for an executive president.
      I fear some people want exactly the power you just outlined.

    • Here is what FIFA expects from a technical director:
      As the world governing body, FIFA are constantly looking at ways to stimulate growth of the game in every corner of the globe. One key area identified for assistance is that of the Technical Director. The Technical Director is a crucial, though sometimes undervalued, element for success of any association. And it is here, even in this specialised field, where teamwork and group effort can pay large dividends.

      The Technical Director is in charge of defining and leading the national technical development programmes, and developing long-term strategies in this regard for all aspects of the game, be it grassroots, women’s football, coach education or youth football, and to bring them together in synergy according to the development pyramid. The employment of a Technical Director is compulsory for each Member Association, and FIFA devotes special attention to ensure that their status is always recognised to the appropriate level. With that in mind FIFA are seeking to build an even closer relationship with Technical Directors across the Member Associations through a variety of methods.

    • Want the power I outlined? They have the power I’ve outlined. Especially if they are operating counter to the constitution and nobody says or does anything about it.
      All local sporting organisations are monopolies. And when you go consolidating power into the hands of a few in a monopolistic entity you end up with maximum leadership whether you like it or not. If you don’t want maximum leadership, then decision making power needs to be devolved to the constituents, aka the clubs.
      DJW and all his people are on the TTFA board. Where’s the constitutional opposition to anything he does? What opposing voice has a say? In terms of voting power? Who are they answering to in a meaningful way? Who do they have to explain themselves to? If you think there’s no maximum leadership because the constitution doesn’t allow for it then… ????
      And that’s the big problem with the government’s push to have all NSOs become LLC with board structures that mirror the board structure of “regular” companies that do not have a monopoly on their market.
      In the end, all sporting bodies are going to constitutionally and legally have a structure that allows for maximum leadership and they’ll all function like the WICB.

    • ..PEOPLE make a constitution work. And it is a CONSTANT battle to do so. It requires an energy that most people do not have. And so, after tiredness comes complacency, and thereafter one-man-ism..

    • It operates as a monopoly for sure. Unlike say gymnastics, there is a constitution with the TTFA (as approved by FIFA) that offers an opportunity for people to clearly see what is the best practice and to act on it.
      If people choose not to use the powers provided by the constitution then that is on them.

    • And if the TD is responsible for the long term development of the various programs, including the women’s program, why was Waldrum sacked again?

    • ..As I said at the very top. This administration is consuming itself..

    • Waldrum was sacked by the technical committee was even appointed. And then, farcically, the technical director is not a member of the technical committee.
      All farce for sure.

    • Funny thing Chabeth is the last administration mistreated its technical director, Anton Corneal, as well.
      Now when you read what the technical director is supposed to bring to an association and how important FIFA views that post.
      Isn’t it ironic that successive TTFA heads haven’t really cared if they have a technical director at all?

    • It doesn’t really matter what Hart achieves with the senior team. Truth is our football is in a total mess from the bottom up.
      Hart and the senior Soca Warriors are just giving us a beautiful mirage to temporarily avoid that reality.

    • Nobody has to care about jack squat when they have a monopoly. The fact that successive TTFA heads behave in the same way indicates the problem is with an enabling system.

    • UN contracts, treaties etc are more like sponsorship contracts than employment contracts. I have no problem with sponsorship contracts extending beyond the life of a presidential term. But if I’m the only one that sees the difference between the life of say a contract for a CEO job position and the signing of a treaty then ok.
      What is considered short term? The Guardian article says that Walkes took over in 2014, and that he has been terminated in 2016 but would have to be paid for another two years which would suggest that the contract should have ended in 2018 which by my maths says the contract was for about a four year term (give or take a couple months depending on what month the contract began and what month is was to end) which isn’t that the length of a TTFA president’s term? So what’s the problem with having a TD for four years? For the life of a TTFA presidential term?
      Disagreement about what’s best for the FA exists between us. I think a lack of acrimony in carrying out fair and sensible policies is what’s best for the TTFA.
      DJW came into office on the back of a manifesto that had some people swooning. Obviously the man has ideas and a vision for how football should develop. How could it ever be in the best interest to have the possibility of having a TD whose development vision doesn’t align with that of the TTFA board?
      I never said Walkes wasn’t qualified etc etc. In fact I said in an earlier comment that I think it’s wrong to both terminate the contract and offer contracts for key positions that extend beyond the presidential term.
      My comments refer to my ideas of good governance and are not limited to this particular incident. Of course there are unwanted and costly consequences to terminating the contract but I see nothing wrong with limiting the term of the TD contract to that of a presidential term.
      I’ve thought about it though and Lasana I no longer think it’s necessary for a coaching contract to align with the presidential term as there’s no “vision” per se for a coach to have to carry out. He/she really just needs tools to effectively perform the job. Of course it remains best if everybody can work harmoniously.

    • The Guardian article was wrong though eh. Walkes started working about May 2015.

    • Lasana Liburd “You might be surprised to know that not many local coaches meet the criteria for a technical director at all.” Not many? Name one

    • Lol. Well, I don’t think any Pro League coach does. But we do have one or two persons who worked on Concacaf technical committees.

    • Lasana Liburd “Walkes is ably qualified and should be given an opportunity to fulfill his contract.” What are his qualifications? A football school in Pennsylvania? Every Tom, Dick, and Kendal has one of those in the U.S.

    • You think you can be a NCAA head coach without qualifications? As a foreigner to boot?

    • Lasana Liburd Do you know how many schools there are and how many need soccer coaches of which there are not many good ones. However, does being an NCAA soccer coach qualify you to be a technical director of football operations making $94,000 a month. We had Lincoln Phillips didn’t we and he was more “ably qualified” than this one

    • You still haven’t said what problem you have with his qualifications. This isn’t even his first job as technical director.
      FIFA thinks he fits the bill. So you should explain why you think otherwise.

    • Lasana Liburd . I asked what were his qualifications. You didn’t answer that unless simply being an NCAA college coach is sufficient for a $94,000 a month job. Also you guys keep arguing about whether his contract should be terminated by a new president. It’s only in TT he could get a job like that paying that kind of money and it’s not performance based.

    • Wrong again in terms of a performance related technical director post. I’m not sure where you are getting that stuff. I never said being a NCAA college coach was all the credentials he had. You did.
      And are you suggesting that the TTFA president can rip up an existing contract if he didn’t like the terms?
      In any case, put some facts on the table and we can discuss them.

    • Lasana Liburd You playing word games. I asked what were his qualifications? You answered “You think you can be a NCAA head coach without qualifications? As a foreigner to boot?” BTW Most coaches especially college coaches in the U.S. are foreigners. They evaluate and reevaluate the performance of the U.S. national coach each year. If you going to spend that kind of money it better be performance based and not based on years showing no improvement. Only in TT. Good old boys network. Look out for each other.

    • “You think you can be a NCAA head coach without qualifications? As a foreigner to boot?”
      How can you take that to mean he had no qualification?
      Every job would or should have standards that if you cannot meet you will be replaced.
      What does that have to do with Kendall Walkes? I just don’t get what point you’re trying to make here.
      I’m sure you have something in mind. But you are not getting it out. Lol

    • Lasana Liburd I have nothing in mind. My original argument was always about the money. Then I questioned his credentials and anybody in TT credentials to be paid $94,000 a month for a football related position in an organization which is always begging the government for money when the prime minister makes half of that. Can you hear me now?

    • Oh. So on financial grounds? Well, I have no idea how Sheldon Phillips swung that deal. And it is more than other Caribbean nations. I’m not sure how it compares with Jamaica.
      But of course I would say the TTFA has to be careful with its spending. I have no problem with that.
      Still, if he has a contract, they are saddled with him. So we will see.

    • Lasana Liburd Good old boys network bro and it gets more intriguing now that you say it was Sheldon who swung that deal. Look Trinis are now beginning to demand accountability from our public officials on how taxpayers’ money is spent, and rightly so. Shouldn’t we demand the same of the TTFA. There is never money to pay the players who actually have to go out there and perform yet we find that kind of money to pay someone whose performance cannot be terminated if the “boss” is not impressed. The devil is in the details of the contract. It should have been written where any president had the power to terminate. But….you know the rest.

    • I disagree about a president being able to terminate. We don’t want a maximum leader. But there should be criteria that allows you to void a contract for non-performance. And rules that a hiring cannot be done unless it is ratified by a committee.

    • But of course I’m for accountability.

    • Lasana Liburd I have to be careful talking to you. lol I didn’t mean terminate willy nilly. I meant based on stipulated performances in the contract.

    • Lasana Liburd I’m being provocative here. Did you hear he was fired from his last TD job up the islands?

    • Chabeth Haynes – an appointment as an Ambassador or to a State board is not the same thing as an employment contract. Completely different and governed by different rules altogether.

  12. But RTK was apparently good at giving contracts that extended beyond the life of his presidential term. Which idk…

    • In this case, Walkes came just months before the election. So he was never going to take a contract for a few months.
      In reality, the technical director is chosen by committee and not the president and general secretary. But we know that isn’t how it happens generally.

    • Months before? Proper governance would dictate that he not even be offered a contract in the first place. Did he do anything instrumental in those couple months?

    • We had gone months without a technical director and it is a FIFA rule that all FAs must have a technical director. There was no question about waiting for the election to do it.
      The TTFA was mandated to hire a TD.

    • If there is proper governance and the recruitment was done transparently and in keeping with good industrial relations practice, I see no reason not to why positions cannot be filled in an election run-up. The problem comes when the process and the selected candidate is questionable.

  13. ..All I will say for now is this administration is consuming itself and any credibility it began life with..

  14. Most impotent media release ever…