Home / Volley / Global Football / TTFA vows to pay Hart and Walkes but not remaining coaches

TTFA vows to pay Hart and Walkes but not remaining coaches

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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national senior team coach Stephen Hart studies his options during a friendly against Argentina in June 2014. (Courtesy CONCACAF)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago national senior team coach Stephen Hart studies his options during a friendly against Argentina in June 2014.
(Courtesy CONCACAF)

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.

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

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.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team assistant coaches Derek King (left) and Hutson "Barber" Charles leave the field after the 2012 Caribbean Cup final. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team assistant coaches Derek King (left) and Hutson “Barber” Charles leave the field after the 2012 Caribbean Cup final.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago international stand-out and ex-Point Fortin Civic coach Reynold Carrington (centre) exchanges greetings with Leonson Lewis (left) and ex-W Connection teammate Earl Jean during the 2015 Wired868 Football Festival. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Former Trinidad and Tobago international stand-out and ex-Point Fortin Civic coach Reynold Carrington (centre) exchanges greetings with Leonson Lewis (left) and ex-W Connection teammate Earl Jean during the 2015 Wired868 Football Festival.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“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.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Daneil Cyrus, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Kenwyne Jones, Seon Power and Andre Boucaud try to keep out a Mexico free kick during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. (Courtesy YahooSports)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago players (from left) Daneil Cyrus, Radanfah Abu Bakr, Kenwyne Jones, Seon Power and Andre Boucaud try to keep out a Mexico free kick during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
(Courtesy YahooSports)

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.

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)

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.

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

“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.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point while midfielders Ataulla Guerra (right) and Khaleem Hyland look on during practice. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago head coach Stephen Hart (centre) makes a point while midfielders Ataulla Guerra (right) and Khaleem Hyland look on during practice.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

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.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief 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

Soca Warriors paid only fraction of owed money, accuse Guardian newspaper of ‘fake news’

The Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team players are still owed match fees and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

103 comments

  1. Earl Mango Pierre…. The Coaches i think have the power to determine change…. Withhold services, highlight the lack of accountability and transparency.. Highlight the inability to move the TTFA forward with existent modus operandi…. There are many good people in football, qualified people, people with integrity… Show hands guys, let us make the sacrifice in the short-term to ensure our football future is safe and sound. We cannot continue of same road….

  2. Because there has never being any Accountability and Transperancy from the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies era to now The Mayor Tim Kee and his cronies era and it will continue down that same road because as the song writer said. “We like it so”…..Them really good yes.

    • If you have been following the story you’d know that audits are available from 2012, when Tim Kee became president, to the present time. The hold up has been the missing files related to the requested audits from 2010 to 2012. So the present TTFA administration is being punished for not presenting audits for the period preceding their tenure, a delay caused in no small part by ancillary actions of the Minister himself.

  3. A full report on the strategic plan implementation along with the financials. Why is this so hard to get?

  4. This is the level of professionalism we need.

  5. Kendall Tull… I fully endorse your statements…… We need to stop supporting this…

  6. nuff resspct Mr. Tull, I have the working history

  7. With all due respect Wayne Mandeville, that is nonsense. A valid contract requires offer, acceptance and consideration. By failing to honour its commitment to pay, the TTFA breached the contract rendering it unenforceable. That is ABC contract law.

    In regards to your second point, it is NOT in the national interest to continue to provide your services under these conditions. It is not in the players interest to go into tournaments time and again without preparation. It is not in their interest to be sent to a tournament without any money to pay for meals, far less accommodation.

    IT IS A LIE to think that you are acting in ANYONE’S interest by perpetuating this maladministration and NO CHANGE is possible if we continue to accept this. The TTFA cannot treat anyone this way unless you let them. You have the power to stop it but we are unwilling to exercise that power. The question is why.

  8. Well he will have to wait until corbeaux grow teeth yes because with all this corruption that is taking place in our sweet country and our players, coaches and the sport that continues to suffer in our sweet country eh, all the other countries in the CONCACAF is way out front in the race yes so we have alot of ketching up to do eh.

  9. …Uncle Earl Mango Pierre…Stephen Hart has this country at heart…he wants to see us be a dominant force in CONCACAF

  10. Savitri Maharaj but that is the same thing that I have been saying on another thread eh, because when a contract is breached the lawyers and court is always involved so I really don’t know why coach Stephen Hart is really taking all this crap from them nah, he must really have a good heart for our sweet country and our players yes that he is always putting them first.

  11. There is a contract, that is why we are back in court

  12. But Wayne, is there a contract? The TTFA has in fact breached it if there was any.

  13. Thank you for your comment and confidence in my ability, but these folks are not ready for a revolutionary business approach to the business of sports and generating and sustain new revenue stream and player and people development which will ensure that they make a contribution to Trinidad and Tobago beyond the playing field. For this reason among others, I have in the past turned down the opportunity to be CEO of the sports company as my values are at variance to those in the chair. Boy, I am glad I did.

  14. Wayne Mandeville you know how long now you should have gotten involved and become the President of the corrupted TTFA and show all of them how this thing is done for the development of our football, our players, coaches, the sport, and our sweet country. I know that alot of folks in our sweet country never saw your skills on the football field and your sincerity, great character, generosity, intelligence and the one who gave great advice and is the manager to our “Magician” Russel Latapy. I am hoping that some how you will get involve and realyl help to make some serious changes before our football is really doomed man. Blessings.

  15. As a coach you do not walk awaysfrom your players, like a captain on a ship you have a responsibility

  16. …….Oh Shot Boy Kendall Tull…Exactly…so why do these coaches and support staff encourage this…if they don’t accept this S#$T then the TTFA will be forced to clean up their act…it cannot be a case of you..Just wanting To Be Part Of The National Set-Up…so you go wok for free?

  17. Contract sir… you have a commitment as a head coach and you have a responsibility to your players

  18. If you worked for three years without pay, you are also to blame for putting up with that nonsense. Having them paid by the Ministry is not the answer because it gives the maladministration a free pass.

  19. People, let’s make the assumption that you provided your
    services to TTFA and found yourself in a situation of not having been remunerated for three plus years because of bad business practices, and abject leadership. Additionally, you keep being push back on the issue of lack of funds, coupled with more bull shit because you lack an entrepreneurship thinking to generate new revenues. Well I have been dealing
    with these people for years, and the story remain the same. Let it be noted that they are not interested in the development of football, nor the people who can make a difference from a global perspective.

    The Minister should ensure that all coaches are paid, but
    moving forward ensure that a performance audits, along with checks and balances be implemented. DO NOT CONTINUE
    TO PUNISH A FEW BECAUSE OF SOME FOOLS.

    WE ARE DOING THE SAME THING, BUT EXPECT
    CHANGE.

  20. …All that nonsense being spoken by the TTFA President and all the while our football is going back…back…back…them really good yes

  21. “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.”

    Don’t expect any accountability for the funds that they raise. And be glad that FIFA has a plan because apparently they don’t know how to raise funds at all.

  22. Kendall Tull as I have always said before and will keep on saying eh, our players and local coaches will always work for free because they are always putting our sweet country first and enjoys the travelling to different countries and tournaments, the girls and the lime light do you know how happy that corrupted TTFA will be if all the personal players and the coaches all belonged to our protective services only eh all who already gets their monthly salaries from the government eh, all this money and funds bacchanal wouldn’t be an issue nah while they collecting all the millions from FIFA and sponsors and always going to the bank smiling. Them really good yes.

  23. “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.”

    He can’t be serious. People should just work with no hope of getting paid because we told you so?

  24. …Exactly Debbie Espinal…exactly..even before it actually happened there was a suspicion that it would

  25. Did they pay Corneal their half of salary they they were supposed to cover? Did he have an actual contract?

  26. Debbie Espinal I guess that is the reason he became the sports minister ent, because of what meh untie Kamla did for him and his players.

  27. So the TTFA doesn’t owe the other coaches because they never gave them a contract but it expects the Ministry to pay them. And it’s the reporting of the issue of the missing funds that caused problems, not the fact that the funds went awol with no resolution to this date?

    Burn it down. Nobody involved in the TTFA should be allowed to even attend a game, far less be involved in the administration of football.

    I am sorry but anybody who works under these ridiculous circumstances is a damn fool. If you continue to support this nonsense by working with these characters, then you are just as guilty of perpetuating the maladministration of football.

    If you continue to accept the circumstances, then there can never be change. And that’s why there is never change. We always accepting the nonsense.

  28. …”Cautiously Optimistic”…words of the week

  29. Eh hem Earl. Sancho et all got their last pay off from the Government so he cyah talk either. He take his 30 pcs ah silver and run and Tim Kee still taking his own in gold.

  30. Good luck to anyone in a job where they have to be “cautiously optimistic” about being paid at the end of the month.
    I would be sending my resume out immediately. I’m sorry.

  31. …So tell me something people…allyuh ent fed-up of this outright stupidity being displayed by the TTFA???…I mean I know we are a little speck..a litte 2×4…but do we have to act that way in the eyes of the world???…REALLY

  32. That is the same thing that was done to Papa Everad “Gally” Cummings it was always the Ministry that paid his salary and maybe all other Local Coaches for years gone by while the corrupted Jack Warner and his cronies went to the bank smiling when they was racking up all the millions from the FIFA and sponsors like Adidas who also gave them something like plenty millions of monies eh, and from other sponsors hence the reason why they cannot give the Ministry any books with any accountability steuuppss so I agree with Brent Sancho not to give any damn funding until Tim Kee can do so because of what they did to him and my other Soca Warriors in 2006 with respect to their monies that they eventually got after 10 yrs and thanks to our magistrate and the courts Them really good yes.

  33. And Tim Kee talking about conscience. He really thinks he has one. Gimme a firetrucking break.

  34. Hahaha! he wont..if he pay out his pocket what he pocketing then!! he will be looking hungry an stressed like all d others who cyah even get they money on time!!! … d man need 2keep him self primmed for being a Accountable president!! ……and also on the TD ..if what you say is true Uncle Earl Mango Pierre on how he was warned!! then he dig his own grave!! cause i cant see for al d daylight in dis world !!! u can hire a man and then eh have his financial!! dealings in check!! but expecting to boldfacely say the Sports ministry have to pay the man!! etc and BOLDFACE to in it!!!! bwahaha!!! dis man worst than!! Uncle Jackie yes!!

  35. Not $#$$# fair. Why Hart and Walkes and not the others. Is it because they’re afraid Hart will Walke before the Gold Cup. Happy for the two of them but fair is fair. All should be paid. Steups!!

  36. Man blaming everybody but he and his friends yes. How many salaries he collecting? Maybe he could forego one and pay some people who deserve it eh

  37. I truly believe that a complete “wake up call” has to be given to the TTFA, there is no other way for them to get their act together. This wake up call may include all the Coached withholding their services, I know it is harsh, and many people will start to talk about National Pride etc, but these Coaches, Hutson, King, these guys are professionals, they have their families to take care of… For years, same thing… For those that will talk, are they willing to give up their salaries? It will take some harsh decisions, and our football may be halted for a bit, but we really need to cleanse ourselves of all these ills. Take time, get TTFA’s house in order. Why couldn’t the coaches be paid from the Qualification money from Concacaf for Gold Cup??? Where are those funds? The TTFA do not simply need an Auditor, and Audited Statements, they need Financial Management, Budgeting, Planning…. I see team is scheduled to play Croatia and Some other country… What are our expenses? Whilst we need games, do we need to incur these expenses? If you are invited for a game, there is usually a Fee involved, what is TTFA being paid? coach Hart said he would have preferred South American matches, none could have been found??? My heart bleeds for our Football…

  38. Yeah and could you imagine that he said that the new appointed Technical Director wasn’t told about under what circumstances that he will be paid eh, they let the man leave is good job in the Cayman Islands eh as their Technical Director eh, and now is all kind ah stories to get his monthly payments eh, but it really good for him yes because he was warned about that corrupted TTFA and the madness that continues in our sweet country steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  39. Haha! Why is he muddying the waters? Produce the account!

  40. lol Tim Kee is the Comedian of football!! lol never laugh so much at his bold faceness lol in response!!

  41. And if the problem as the mayor Tim Kee said the reason why they are not getting any funding from the private sector is because of the Politics that is involve so why then the corrupted TTFA is still allowing him to be the president of their organization eh, Them really good yes.

  42. So what should the national football team coaches who don’t have contracts do now?

  43. You’re taking food out of people’s mouth Lasana lol

  44. Hmmmm, don’t the other coaches have family and such to take care off? Should the TTFA have assumed that the Govt would have paid Walkes 50% as they did former TD Anton Corneal? Didn’t Anton Corneal quit because of non-payment? I can understand there are issues with Audited Accounts and lack of files, however, Robert Reis has been the Auditor for many years at TTFA, he and firm is not new, so they must have a point of continuation, so this is no excuse. Additionally from an auditing perspective there are always exceptions and notes that can be included. I am sure the Minister Sancho would have an understanding, but to use excuses instead of presenting Accounts is simply and excuse. I totally support the Minister in his position.

  45. Tim Kee blames Wired 868 for exposing their wrong doings and telling the “TRUTH” eh but Them really good yes.

  46. Trevor Brudglalsingh

    Even though there has been no questions about our accounts the SSFL at their last A GM decided to hire an Accountant to prepare our books and a separate independent Auditor. We will be submitting all our books from 2011 to the Accountant. We receive no funds from the Government .

  47. No coach taking up an appointment with a National team should do so without a proper contract. And their payment must be supplied by the TTFA unless a prior agreement has been reached. I know the TTFA is not self-sufficient and the Government has to foot-the-bill…however things of that nature must be sorted out long in advance…not 2 or 3 months before a major tournament.

  48. So he is blaming wired868 for their ineptitude???….Come better than that Mr. President
    I feel sorry for the National Coaches…all of them
    There are so many things that need to be ironed out within the TTFA.