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Tim Kee allegedly deceived TTFA executive about Warriors’ debt

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president Raymond Tim Kee, according to a letter leaked to Wired868, apparently tried to deceive his own executive committee about the financial health of the football body and its debts to players and staff.

On 10 November 2014, Tim Kee, in a letter to his executive committee, appeared to dismiss claims that the TTFA had failed to meet its financial obligations to players and staff.

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body's Zurich headquarters.
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is a member of the FIFA Futsal Committee, tries out the furniture at the global football body’s Zurich headquarters.

“There is no current debt to the national senior team and coaching staff,” wrote Tim Kee, in a letter that appeared to be signed by the football president and written on a TTFA letterhead. “The team has been paid all arrears and up to the date of this letter has been paid up to the CONCACAF tournament in Jamaica.”

The football president also told his executive committee that the arrears of his head coach, Stephen Hart, had been “addressed.”

“As you are aware, national senior team coach Stephen Hart, like his predecessors, is paid directly by the Ministry of Sport,” stated Tim Kee, on November 10, “and we have been working with them diligently to regularize Mr Hart’s salary arrangements.

“Currently Mr Hart’s arrears have been addressed.”

Both statements were, at best, economical with the truth. At worst, Tim Kee had presented a dishonest report to the football body and willfully misrepresented the condition of the TTFA’s flagship team.

On 14 November, four days after Tim Kee’s letter, Hart admitted that he still had not been paid by the TTFA while Wired868 understands he had gone eight months without a salary. The remaining staff and players have also gone six months since their last match fee with the combined debt believed to be in the region of $5 million.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart makes a point during a training session in Sao Paulo. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart makes a point during a training session in Sao Paulo.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/TTFA Media)

And, in the period between the executive committee’s letter on October 22 and Tim Kee’s response, the “Soca Warriors” had been temporarily barred from their team camp at the Carlton Savannah hotel for non-payment. While the national players threatened to boycott the 2014 Caribbean Cup finals unless they received assurances regarding outstanding payments.

At present, the Warriors hope that outstanding money will be relayed to the squad via manager William Wallace on Tuesday November 18, which is the day of the Caribbean Cup final. The Trinidad and Tobago team, which faces host side Jamaica in the final, is bidding to lift the regional crown for the first time in 13 years.

The TTFA executive’s list of questions, which were signed by Lennox Watson, Rudy Thomas and Krishna Kuarsingh and apparently approved by Neville Ferguson, Roland Forde, Richard Quan Chan, Brian Layne, Sherwin Dyer, Paula Chester-Cumberbatch and Anthony Creed, also accused Tim Kee of failing to provide financial statements to the football body including figures for any of the Warriors’ international tours including the Argentina charter.

Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain Mayor, PNM Treasurer and chairman of the TTFA Finance Committee, conceded that there had been no audited accounting statements presented to the executive committee during his two years at the helm of the football body.

And he did not provide the requested information either. Instead, he blamed his failure to properly account for the football body’s spending on the “long list of financial issues” inherent in an organization that supposedly had not been audited between 2007 and 2012.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association vice president Lennox Watson. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Football Association vice president Lennox Watson.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“It is particularly ironic that having inherited this previously poorly managed situation,” said Tim Kee, “that the same individuals responsible for the predicament of the organization now ‘demand’ to be presented financial statements that have been challenging to arrange due to the past mismanagement of TTFF accounts.”

Ironically, Tim Kee did not point out that he was a senior vice-president for more than half the period he identified. He did claim, though, that the football body’s management accounts would “be made available as soon as the auditors have had an opportunity to provide final sign off.”

He did not give himself a deadline to provide financial answers.

The executive committee had questions too about the TTFA’s use of FIFA funds, which should have been at least $4.8 million in 2014, and its treatment of the “Women Soca Warriors.”

“Why was the mandatory 15 percent (of the FIFA funds) not given to the national senior women’s team for their World Cup qualifying matches?” asked the executive committee.

Tim Kee did not say how much money his general secretary, Sheldon Phillips, received from FIFA but again suggested that such information would be provided after auditors had signed off on the football body’s account. Once more, he did not provide a date.

His response on the funding of the women’s team was also long-winded and vague.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) punches clear of a crowded penalty area during the CONCACAF Championships third place play off against Mexico. (Copyright AFP 2014/Mitchell Leff)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper Kimika Forbes (right) punches clear of a crowded penalty area during the CONCACAF Championships third place play off against Mexico.
(Copyright AFP 2014/Mitchell Leff)

“The FIFA funds provided were very specific in terms of their use and we followed FIFA’s guidelines and remained compliant throughout,” stated Tim Kee. “Additionally there were pressing financial commitments that as an Association we had to deal with in order to be a functional.

“By way of information the national women’s senior team was also funded through the FIFA bonuses and grants since the Government of Trinidad and Tobago had not responded to our requests at the time but have since been working with us to ensure that funding is made available to ensure the team and coaching staff has all that is needed.”

The TTFA executive committee further accused the Tim Kee and Phillips of “abominable bungling” in the departure of the women’s senior team to the CONCACAF Championship in October and demanded answers for their role in the subsequent embarrassment.

“Why was the national women’s senior team allowed to leave the country for their qualifying tournament without a single member of team management travelling with the team?” asked the TTFA executive. “Why was the team allowed to leave our shores with just $500 causing our national team to have to be the beneficiaries of charity, causing untold embarrassment to our country worldwide?

“You mentioned in your press conference later that the girls’ problems were caused by ‘system failure.’ Surely you are referring to the abominable bungling of the only two people now running football, yourself and the general secretary?”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women's team coach Randy Waldrum's infamous tweet.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national women’s team coach Randy Waldrum’s infamous tweet.

Tim Kee’s response was again long-winded and punctuated with half-truths.

“The team travelled in 2 groups: Group 1 was 11 players and the second group including the team captain, manager, equipment manager, and trainer,” said Tim Kee. “The players in group 1 were given US$500 to take care of a meal for 1 night and transportation from the airport to the hotel. Breakfast was free at the hotel they were staying.

“The coach was also alerted about the situation on the morning group 1 left. The MoS (Ministry of Sport) thru the TTFA’s effort sent the requested monies needed for the duration of the camp the following day. In the process Mr Waldrum was misinformed by one of the players; reacted prematurely and negatively, and has since apologized for his actions in a formal letter.”

In fact, the team received no money from the TTFA at all before departure for Dallas but got the bulk of the US$500 from the parent of a player. And neither Tim Kee nor Phillips relayed money to the women until days after coach Randy Waldrum’s infamous tweet for help, just before lunch on Wednesday 8 October.

During that period, the Women Warriors survived on food stuff and donations by well wishers.

Although Waldrum subsequently apologized for his tweet, Tim Kee has still refused to accept any culpability and blamed a “time lag.”

Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee (right) and general secretary Sheldon Phillips.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“The ‘system failure’ as you mentioned has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged ‘two people running football’, which is another assertion that I would challenge,” said Tim Kee. “For clarification, the unfortunate situation had more to do with the time lag between the funding provided from the MoS and the funding reaching the coffers of the TTFA which sometimes gives the appearance of a ‘system failure’ and not what you have suggested.”

Tim Kee should have faced the football body for re-election this month but, due to FIFA’s intervention, has received an additional six month mandate while a TTFA-appointed committee rewrites a constitution under supervision from the world governing football body.

Thus far, Tim Kee has not responded to Wired868’s request for explanation on his letter to the TTFA executive committee.

 

Editor’s Note: Wired868 will publish the full letter from the TTFA executive committee and response from football president Raymond Tim Kee later today.

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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64 comments

  1. Everyone has to come to one basic realization. There is a lot of money involved in football, both locally and internationally. Unfortunately this money does not trickle down to the players but continues to be extorted (*read stolen here*) by the executive. This has been the case since the TTFA was founded and it will not stop unless someone who really really cares about football is put in charge. JW bled the TTFA dry and now RTK thinks it’s his turn at the coffers.

  2. Go after the man with the millions from life support and let the President pay back the money he get and use that money to pay the Teams

  3. Such details tell a story on its own don’t they Kendall…

  4. If Rowley plans to use my tax dollars to support his partner Tim Kee’s incompetence and arrogance, he barking up the wrong tree.

    I tried to discuss this with a few PNM insiders and the response ranged from character attacks for asking to stated ignorance as to why Rowley and Tim Kee so tight.

    What baffles me is the support despite TTFA’s refusal to pursue the missing funds. Wish someone would explain it to me.

  5. Lasana Liburd thanks for that reminder…..

  6. Tim boy , I have some old laundry equipment , you could be the fittest man to run things, check me like yesterday please .
    Best Regards,
    You Friend ,
    Wow Lie .

  7. Why de ass Rowley doh ask Tim Kee where de money gone? He still shielding that so and so?? Why the hell the tax payers have to foot the bill again? What Tim Kee do with the 4.5M? Why doesn’t he ask him that. Look!! Rowley better stop looking for red herrings and let FIFA and the TTFA deal with he Treasurer oui! STEUPS!!!

  8. “As you are aware, national senior team coach Stephen Hart, like his predecessors, is paid directly by the Ministry of Sport,” stated Tim Kee, on November 10, “and we have been working with them diligently to regularize Mr Hart’s salary arrangements. ”

    I din know the MYSA is now an overseas sponsor/donor.

  9. They came thru the ranks Kala, so the training was top class.

  10. A whole set of dam thieves they come in all forms of shapes, sizes and colour

  11. Wired 868… Ah sorry, I reach half way through this article before my turrets syndrome kick in……. Next time. Send the brasso seco killers by these men house!

  12. Unbelievable – excellent article but why exactly has he been mandated to stay on an additional 6 months? Fool in him if he thinks I am ging my hard earned money to take my daughter to see the princesses play – jacking up the prices for the tickets to raise funds to cover your ineptitude at managing your business is insane! I will take my daughter to practices if possible to show her what the real spirit of football is about, he needs to go.

  13. What is it with T&T football and dubious characters. Just when the young footballers were breathing a sigh of relief to see the back of Jack, in jumps this one. Jeez. Poor sportsmen and women.

  14. Where there is a little pelf to be had there you will find them (crooks), in whatever walk of life.

  15. “abominable bungling” ah luv it.

  16. And the band played on, from Jack to Ray, when will our football get out of this mess? Your heart bleeds for the players who represent us. They are always on the shitty end of the stick..

  17. There will be those regardless of the facts or how fair and objective one might be will take a stance of denial, always.

  18. When Stephen Hart was signed as coach and Leo Beenhakker as technical advisor, the question was asked how the TTFA could afford to hire these gentlemen when so many of their current coaches were unpaid.
    The response from Raymond Tim Kee and Sheldon Phillips was that they had unnamed international and local sponsors to cover their salaries and they would not be paid by the Government.
    Keith Rowley should be mindful of that as well when he asks the Government to find the money to fund the TTFA’s schemes.

  19. ..and now again, conveniently, the political folks have their “football”

    • Is not yuh boy Lasana who keep rolling out that political football in every article… mentioning Tim Kee’s political affiliation and job as Mayor of PoS?

      • Lasana Liburd

        That’s all you have Bakes? Raymond Tim Kee is introduced at every TTFA press conference as His Worship the Mayor of Port of Spain.
        I see you’re as informed as ever. For some people, it isn’t if I am right or wrong. It is if I should have said or not.

        • You only post factual accuracies when they suit you. For instance you say that the letter was signed by Watson, Thomas and Kuarsingh, and “apparently approved” by the entire executive committee? Really? What is the evidence which makes their approval apparent? If the entire ExCo were in agreement with the letter/approved of it then how come it only bears the signature of Tim Kee’s main agitators on the committee? As I said, ‘yellow journalism’ at its best. Feel free to display your continued ignorance by accusing me of calling you ‘yellow’ again.

  20. Port Of Spain too nasty, everything expensive..it depressing. I does shop in Chaguanas now.

  21. Since his appointment I was not impressed with his work or lack of, plus he has too much on his plate especially with being the Mayor of the Nation’s Capital!!!

  22. Gary u cyah get tired. That is what us to do. We have to deal wit them. We get rid of JW now we need to be rid of his mini me.

  23. I still cannot understand the delay in producing financial statements. If Mr. Tim Kee is saying that he inherited these problems, shouldn’t the financial statements vindicate his position? Whether or not the financial problems came prior to him accepting his post, there is no good reason for his administration not to be able to produce these reports. It is a matter of transparency and accountability. If the ship has holes and is barely staying afloat, at least everyone aboard can take necessary precautions. When the ship going down, even the rats does know when to abandon ship. So Mr. Tim Kee, the captain goes down with the ship.When will the TTFF, or as they calling themselves now, TTFA actually take the interest in Trinidad and Tobago football to heart and do what the are actually being PAID to do. Everyone only studying to “eat ah food”, which is the mentality that is plaguing not just football, but all sports in this country, and by extension our society. Can we get a TTFA President that is qualified to handle the affairs of T & T Football, financial and developmental, and not one who got there on who he knows or who knows him? Or am I being unrealistic because this is Trinidad and mediocrity and corruption is acceptable and a way of life?

  24. Management accounts do not require auditors sign off. I am sure that Tim Kee and Phillips are being paid while the coach, players and staff are not. Match fees continues to be a stumbling block despite numerous claims that it will be sorted out and he flat out lied about giving funds to the women’s team.

    Thanks FIFA for foisting this administration on us ultra vires.

  25. Boy Lasana, I too am having to deal with people who like to give others the benefit of the doubt even with hard proof. And I have real stamina for this fight

  26. I always say once twice is a mistake. Three an four times?

  27. Please be clear I know neither of these men personally. Therefore I am in no position to make a definitive statement on their characters.

  28. Well, just keep an eye open for information Chloe Paul. I’m assuming you believe Jack Warner was my past whipping boy. If so, you should note two things.
    One: I was proven right about his character in the end.
    Two: I have a lot of stamina for this job.

  29. Why am I not surprised….smh!

  30. Oh yes. I try to be balanced in my assessment of all until I can prove otherwise. Maybe I am a glutton for mental punishment.

  31. The footballers have their job and the administrators have theirs.
    I have to account for my work and I have no problem being questioned on it.
    I hope you also hold others to account for their work.

  32. I am watching and reading between the lines my dear.

  33. Chloe, you think their heads are clear when they are owed several months pay?
    And, no, I will not allow him to hide behind the players.
    When there are instances of suspect behaviour, he must answer for it. It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is or which national team is about to play.

  34. Is Mr. Tim Kee going to be your new whipping boy. Please get information from all sides before startng a barrage of unsavory attacks. An important football game is about to happen with The soca warriors let their heads be clear.

  35. Excellent article Lester….this man is a waste….there are other ways to raise money like through sponsorships….Tim KEe comes across as just lazy and incompetent

  36. How long will it take people to realise that Tim Kee is an Imp and is a liabilty to his Political Party. It’s Scandal after scandal.and he carries on as though he is above reproach!!!.

  37. Footballers and the various football organisations must not allow another dictator to hold them to ransom, this man has to be dealt with expeditiously. Rowley would pay a political price for having this man in the front-line, he’s a devious dude.

  38. Apparently Tim Kee is beyond reproach. YES, Chloe Paul, he IS the new whipping boy and as far as i read information was acquired from both sides. Can’t you read DIRECT quotes from him in the story? Yall friends and supporters are worse than the offending party.

  39. Another incompetent person promoted!! Smh!!

  40. Great work, Lasana Liburd, as always! All my respect.

  41. Reads like something his predecessor would have done….It begs the question, how is he managing the Funds at the POS city corporation and the PNM.

  42. Scotty Ranking

    Lasana! It seems like Tim Kee is hell bent on you losing sleep while reporting on his numerous shenanigans! Busy times! Seems the truth is the only thing that he employs economy with, as his infamous “I never travel anywhere unless it is in first-class’ statement bears out.