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TTFA disconnected: Office staff unpaid and phone lines cut

Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) president Raymond Tim Kee’s election promise of a new dawn and an influx of funding from the private and public sector continues to sound hollow in the face of the football body’s continuing financial crisis.

Do not bother phoning the TTFA to enquire about its health either. The football body’s telephones were disconnected over a week ago due to non-payment while the office staff has not been paid for the last two months.

TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips admitted that the football body is still struggling but suggested that these issues will be addressed in a few days when the first tranche of a FIFA $4.8 million (US$750,000) cash injection becomes available.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Copyright TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Raymond Tim Kee (right) enjoys some conversation at the 2014 FIFA Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

“Unfortunately, until we get our FIFA funding, we just have the basic functions of operating an office,” Phillips told Wired868. “Our dues are not being paid and there are certainly some issues being addressed…

“Some of the funding we were promised from the corporate and public sector hasn’t really come.”

By Phillips’ own calculations, the TTFA is at least $28 million in debt with the 2006 World Cup players, former head coach Russell Latapy and ex-technical director Anton Corneal among its more prominent debtors.

On 16 May 2014, the aggrieved “Soca Warriors” publicly vowed to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against the TTFA within 14 days. That deadline expired over a month ago and Phillips suggested the impending cash injection does not necessarily mean good news for the former World Cup players either.

Last year, the TTFA paid the Warriors from its annual FIFA $1.6 million (US$250,000) membership grant; but Phillips warned that this will not happen this time.

“There are significant strings on that money,” said Phillips, “which is that it has to be spent on development such as youth programmes and regional associations and so on…

“Last time, we made a specific request (to FIFA) beforehand to use the money to pay players. But that (option) is not available to us this time.

“The needs of our regional associations and national teams are so great. And while we are talking to the players, we do have an association to run…”

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 World Cup player Kelvin Jack while teammates Brent Sancho (far left), Cyd Gray (second from right) and David Atiba Charles look on in May 2013. The TTFA has not fulfilled its obligations to the World Cup players since its initial payment to the players. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (second from left) embraces 2006 World Cup player Kelvin Jack while teammates Brent Sancho (far left), Cyd Gray (second from right) and David Atiba Charles look on in May 2013.
The TTFA has not fulfilled its obligations to the World Cup players since its initial payment to the players.
(Courtesy Wired868)

Phillips reiterated that the financial crisis facing the present TTFA executive is one it inherited; despite the fact that Tim Kee was a TTFA vice-president for over a decade before he temporarily left the body between 2010 and 2012.

The general secretary also made an apparent about-turn on whether the TTFA will try to recoup funds transferred from the football body to bank accounts controlled by its former special advisor and disgraced FIFA vice-president Jack Warner.

A TTFA release, on May 17, claimed that the football body would not try to recoup the funds since the matter was allegedly statute barred and a legal challenge would be too expensive and resource draining.

“The TTFA would also like to address other erroneous assertions attributed to the 2006 player case,” stated the TTFA’s May release, “namely the narrative that our organization has the ability to target past leaders and advisors of the former TTFF to recoup $100 million in funds accumulated during the 2006 World Cup campaign.

“Firstly, even if the TTFA was inclined to engage in an expensive and resource- draining legal battle to recover any amount of funds from the 2006 world cup campaign, the statute of limitations to engage in such an endeavor expired some time ago…”

Phillips’ stance brought an immediate and sharp rebuke from the Warriors’ attorney, Michael Townley, who countered that the TTFA was talking “nonsense.”

“There is no statute of limitations on a claim on breach of trust which is what Warner has (allegedly) done,” Townley told Wired868. “Warner was a quasi-trustee for the TTFA and he was supposedly taking their money and putting into his own accounts…

“The statute applies to cases under contract law or tort and negligence. If you take someone’s money and don’t give it back, you cannot just laugh and walk away a free man after four years.

“The TTFF claim is breach of trust/misfeasance and breach of duty by a shadow Director. These claims are not subject to time limits.”

Photo: Ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar share a light moment during the 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago. (Courtesy FIFA.com)
Photo: Ex-FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (left) and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar share a light moment during the 2010 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago.
(Courtesy FIFA.com)

Today, Phillips countered his own release as he insisted that any suggestion the TTFA was not trying to recoup misappropriated funds was a media-fuelled inaccuracy. He claimed the football body hoped to recover State funds that were provided to the Warriors before the 2006 World Cup but subsequently misused.

“We are looking at State funds that were provided to the organisation during the build up to the World Cup,” said Phillips.

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.

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87 comments

  1. Whey sah….Worst comes to worst,……..

  2. They know where all the money is but the present was part of the past. How come they are doing all these foreign camps with no money. How come the last team to go away had three managers….no money or no sense?

  3. my take is tim kee is the newly elected treasurer of the PNM….lol

  4. There we go. Old administration…new administration…same s@#$.

  5. The TTFA said Randy Waldrum won’t be paid for his work in the CFU competition. I don’t know what the arrangement is for after.
    None of the local coaches on the youth or women’s teams were promised as much as 5k per month.

  6. CAN’T THE LIFESPORT PROGRAMME….breathe any life back in there?….wait….no wait …this is Trinidad ….we too stupid to know how to allocate funds….forgive me people I forgot

  7. Even if – at this point who would really trust to patronize a fundraiser held by the TTFA having been witness to the bobol that is the off field aspect of Trinidad football?

    This place has too many scamps!

  8. Sounds like some bodies thieving the monies or bad management ent. Them really good yes. Steeuuuppss

  9. Sherdon with the billions of dollars that is flowing in our sweet country eh, just look at what this present government is doing with respect to contracts for this and for that eh, the highway that costing 7. 2 billion dollars eh, and other projects ent, including the Life Sport program ent, as I said before uncle Hitler had sent a war ship bigger than our sweet country eh to blow us out of the water because we were supplying our mother country and the war with our oil ent and thank meh father God that three smaller ships attack the. German ship and damaged it yes that the captain took it in the Equadorian waters and sank it also killing himself because yuh dun know that he couldn’t return to. Germany ent uncle Hitler wudda have his head ent, well the oil, natural gas, and our pitch lake is still there man and with the millions that FIFA gives to the TTFA/TTFF eh, our football shouldn’t be in the state that it is in . Them really good yes.

  10. The one common thread is poor and irresponsible administration. Now it’s also interesting to note that we never hear that those in charge of administration aren’t being paid, but if the team and support staff aren’t being paid and are being booted from flights preventing to team’s optimum performance, what on earth are they getting paid for exactly?

  11. That wasnt a planned fundraiser it happened because of circumstances… I dont know but probably people nowadays rather sit and beg rathen than stand up for themselves

  12. There was bobol even in that no respect even for the dead!

  13. They had one for that footballer Akim and it was a disaster!!!

  14. When last TTFA had a fundraiser? Lasana Liburd We forgot how to do events like that?? I feel sick with organizations who continuously rely on Government and Cooperate Companies to function… when would they become self- reliant?

  15. Great news because don’t ever trust them with their lies and games, all the damn millions that is forking out in the Life Sport program ent, and our 2006 World Cup players cannot get their well deserved monies eh, so now that Tim Kee is also the Mayor ent and is a politician he can get the monies from the government. Them really good yes.

  16. Earl… The winding up petition is done and waiting to be served.. Mr Liburd is aware of this.. There have been emergency discussions in the last few days.. We are allowing the TTFA every possible opportunity if winding up happens it’s entirely their fault 100%

  17. Flashback: Them really good yes..

  18. Earl, the problem ain’t with our players, many of whom play professionally abroad. The problem lay as always and with every aspect of Trinidad life, in the administration.

  19. I disagree that Central and South American countries are any more “football countries” than we are.
    On the contrary I believe we are as naturally born to the game as they are. Where we differ from them is where we differ from most countries with a sense of direction, we simply lack that ambition for excellence, rather, we simply go through the motions in the most superficial of ways.

    Our goal is never to succeed, our goal is simply to appear as though success is our goal.

  20. And again I will be going to my grave saying had Jack Warner and his cronies worked together with the honorable.Mr. Arthur Suite when he started the first professional league in our sweet country in the 80’s and vampire wasn’t about himself and his family and his pocket being the clepto maniac that he is ent our football would have been very successful today and our players would have been making much more money and even getting contracts in the EPL and other top professional leagues abroad ent. Them really good yes.l

  21. Football seems to be the least of the TTFA’s concerns.

  22. I think the level of spectator interest and participation in Trinidad and Tobago suggests that we are not quite a football nation. But then we had crowds and passion in the late 1980s and that was at domestic matches too… And our administration drove them away.

  23. The problem with our football in our sweet country is the Army and the Police hires players who in turn receives.a monthly salary of about $ 10, 000 -dollars a month with pension benefits ent compared to other players who are playing for the pro teams that is getting much much less and as you said how can they really perform at the highest level ent then we have players who receives scholarships to play for universities abroad and after successfully completing their studies don’t look back and decides to get a big work in our sweet country or abroad ent until there are players getting contracts once more to play for teams in the EPL , the MLS, or other top European professional leagues eh we will continue to be spinning top in the mud eh.Them really good yes.

  24. Hi great to see so much participation but guys the problem still looms for the next generation of young footballers in this country. How long will it take for this to be resolved, every one knows i am partial to Mr. Warner, so now this is what i am putting out there. ”
    HONOURABLE MP. WARNER I AM ASKING FOR YOU TO GO AGAINST ALL THAT YOU BELIEVE IN CONCERNING THIS MATTER AND LOOK AT WHAT YOU WERE ABLE TO DO FOR THE GAME AND THE PLAYERS DURING YOUR TENURE. THERE IS STILL A LOT TO DO IF THE NEXT GENERATIONS ARE TO BENEFIT. 28 MILLION IS A LOT OF MONEY EVERYONE SEEMS TO BELIEVE IT IS A DROP IN THE BUCKET.
    STAND TALL AS I KNOW YOU ARE AND MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THEM. YOU ARE A FIRM BELIEVER IN GOD, LET HIM GUIDE YOU AND YOU WILL SEE I AM SUGGESTING THE RIGHT COURSE. DO NOT LET THE ” COW AND PAIL SYNDROME” APPLY TO YOU. DO NOT KICK DOWN ALL THE WORK YOU HAVE DONE!

  25. There is no TTFA, you know that right?
    It doesn’t even have telephone service. A website alone does not make you an entity!

  26. Which player can perform at his best when he has none-football aspects of his membership of the team to worry about?
    They have to worry about being paid, support staff being paid, support staff being booted from team flights to make room for big-wigs with connections…….

    Players have nothing other than playing their best to rely on, the administrators of the team however, get paid regardless yet they are the ones not doing their jobs. Could you perform your job to your best ability if you are never sure you will be compensated for your labors?

  27. I will say both the administration and the players man , because don’t talk about some of those players who are playing professionally abroad, first to begin where are they playing eh, because when they return to our sweet country to play for the soca worries eh, you expecting a much higher level the our local professionals ent, but all I am seeing is nutter different yes

  28. By the way the 14 days has since passed ent so why haven’t Kelvin Jack and Brent Sancho shut down the TTFA for good eh until they come clean and pay them their balance of their well deserved monies eh, like they are feeling sympathetic towards their lies or what eh, don’t trust them, don’t trust them, et all, et all, et all. Them really good yes.

  29. Vernal the reason why those countries are progressing is because they are real football countries man, we are not and as Nigel Myers said eh, we need a culture shift in order for this to really happen man, to much drinking plenty rum and party. Them really good yes.

  30. Can’t we just bring in foreigners to run the TTFA from Central and South America?

    Just look how well their teams are progressing.

  31. And as Central and South American countries continue to build their football we continue to destroy our’s because apparently that is just how we roll.

    I would at this point suggest bringing in a team comprised of only foreigners to run the TTFA.

  32. But dey hire a foreign National Women’s coach to pay him USD10K per month while local coaches were paid TTD5K “ON THE ODD OCCASION”

  33. @Pierre: The Akeem Adams (R.I.P.) issue was explained and it was clearly a misunderstanding rather than anyone in the TTFA trying to mislead the public.