Home / Volley / Global Football / TTFA’s bank account frozen! DJW compared to Trump as court leans on football body again

TTFA’s bank account frozen! DJW compared to Trump as court leans on football body again

The David John-Williams-led Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) was enveloped by fresh chaos today as the body’s bank account was frozen, due to a court order requested by members of the National Futsal Team.

TTFA general secretary Camara David and president John-Williams were informed of the development today by First Citizens Bank, which received a garnishee order from the High Court.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams enjoys himself at former head coach Tom Saintfiet’s maiden training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 15 December 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Williams/Wired868)

The legal manoeuvre, instigated by attorney Melissa Roberts-John on behalf of the Futsal team, is the latest twist in a three year battle between the two parties. On 13 December 2018, Justice Margaret Y Mohammed awarded 15 Trinidad and Tobago National Futsal players and five technical staff members roughly TT$475,743 plus interest at three per cent per annum for unpaid salaries, match fees, per diems and expenses.

The TTFA was also ordered to pay the Futsal Team’s legal costs of TT$69,200.82.

The High Court ruled that the local football body was to pay immediately. However, TTFA asked the claimants for 28 days’ grace to get the money together. Instead, John-Williams instructed his attorney, Annand Misir, to file an appeal.

More than three months after their court win, National Futsal Team head coach Clayton Morris said they had had enough of John-Williams’ stalling.

“We have run out of patience,” Morris told Wired868. “All the guys thought they were getting something extra for Christmas; but Christmas and then Carnival come and gone and now Easter is coming.

“The behaviour of John-Williams has been really disappointing but I wasn’t surprised because I have gotten to realise the character I am dealing with. He is someone who doesn’t care about the time, effort and commitment that people give towards football.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Futsal Team coach Clayton Morris (left) gesticulates during an interview with Wired868 reporter Amiel Mohammed (centre) at the Maloney Indoor Sport Arena in March 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-images/Wired868)

“Today is the 18th and almost three months after the High Court said we should be paid immediately, we still haven’t been paid. So definitely the guys are out of patience.”

The Futsal players who succeeded in the court action are: captain Jerwyn Balthazar, Kevin Graham, Adrian Pirthysingh, Colin Joseph, Kerry Joseph, Jameel Neptune, Ishmael Daniel, Anthony Small, Kevaughn Connell, Keston Guy, Kareem Perry, Jamel Lewis, Noel Williams, Bevon Bass and Cyrano Glen—whose elder brother Cornell Glen was one of 13 Soca Warriors who successfully sued the TTFA in the landmark ‘2006 World Cup bonus dispute’.

The technical staff members are: Morris (head coach), Ronald Brereton (manager), Sterling O’Brian (assistant coach), Perry Martin (goalkeeper coach) and Brent Elder (trainer).

The TTFA has never activated its legal committee under the current president and, in its absence, John-Williams has thrown the local football body into a host of legal cases on his own volition—often without discussions or consensus at board level.

Justice Mohammed made it clear in her ruling that she was decidedly unimpressed with the football president.

“In my opinion it was disingenuous for the [TTFA] to adopt the position it took with respect to the payment of the monthly stipends, per diem and match fees to the [Futsal] technical staff and the players respectively,” stated Justice Mohammed, “since based on the [TTFA’s] conduct, it actively led the [Futsal Team] to believe that nothing had changed and that the [TTFA] would have honoured the oral agreement made by Mr Tim Kee on behalf of the [TTFA].

“[…] In cross-examination, Mr John-Williams’ evidence on this issue was entirely discredited.”

Photo: Kareem Perry (centre) and his teammates juggle the ball during Trinidad and Tobago National Futsal Team practice in March 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-images/Wired868)

The TTFA has not issued a statement on the legal decision with John-Williams and David opting, as is customary, for silence and urging board members to follow their lead. David has refused to comment to Wired868 and is understood to be attempting to introduce a formal media blackout for all TTFA office staff and coaches.

As Master Sherlanne Pierre set a date of 4 April 2019 to hear both sides on the matter, the TTFA will almost certainly be unable to pay salaries at the end of March. It is likely that the ruling could also force a delay in the payment of match fees to the Men’s National Senior Team players, who tackle Wales in an international friendly in Wrexham on Wednesday.

The court ruling follows on the heels of a Concacaf ban on Trinidad and Tobago clubs, due to the TTFA’s alleged failure to properly implement a club licensing set-up. The local football body has also operated without a technical director—a mandatory position according to FIFA—since January 14 when Anton Corneal downed tools and stated that he was “tired of the disrespectful and inhumane manner in which I have been treated by the President of the Association.”

John-Williams was also criticised, earlier this year, for his failure to activate 14 of the TTFA’s mandated 16 standing committees by FIFA IFAB board member and 2006 World Cup goalkeeper Shaka Hislop, TTOC president Brian Lewis, TTFA board member Keith Look Loy, UWI Sports Management lecturer Sherlan Cabralis, management consultant and ex-TIDCO president Brian Harry and management accountant and ex-Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) official Kendall Tull.

Photo: Soca Warriors head coach Dennis Lawrence (far right) poses with TTFA president David John-Williams (second from right), team manager Richard Piper (second from left) and Camara David (far left) in 2018.
(Copyright Alan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Today, the Barbados Nation News unveiled Trinidad and Tobago National Under-20 Team head coach and TTFA youth football staff coach Russell Latapy as the Barbados National Senior Team head coach-in-waiting.

Latapy is still owed a substantial amount in wages by the TTFA and has criticised John-Williams’ treatment of him in the recent past.

Look Loy, who is also the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president, said the order freezing the TTFA’s bank account was ‘entirely avoidable’ and ‘further evidence, if we need any, of the mismanagement of the TTFA and its finances’.

“In real terms, with month end fast approaching, this means no TTFA staff can be paid and all programmes—already comatose as they are—will grind to a halt,” said Look Loy. “This is the consequence of DJW’s failure to activate the Association’s legal committee, which advises the board on legal matters, and his preference for unilateral action on legal matters as opposed to board discussion.”

Look Loy, who is a member of the newly formed seven-member Commission to handle the UEFA-proposed merger of the Pro League and TTSL, reiterated his stance that the local top tier leagues would be crazy to put its finances in the TTFA’s accounts.

Photo: Police FC goalkeeper and captain Adrian Foncette (top) tries to hold on to the ball between teammate Nequan Caruth (left) and W Connection attacker Marcus Joseph during the TTFA FA Trophy final against W Connection at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

“On the heels of Concacaf’s ban on TTFA clubs from the Caribbean Club Championship, this is a double whammy,” said Look Loy. “Moreover,  this unfortunate development substantiates my stance that state monies for the proposed  League should not be given to TTFA, as there is no shortage of TTFA creditors who may follow suit on the Futsal action.

“What more do the members of TTFA need to see to remove this man from office?!”

On the weekend, only five from the TTFA’s 49 delegates were present for the start of the reconvened AGM and John-Williams was forced to abort the meeting, as there was nothing close to the quorum necessary to address proposed constitutional amendments.

Look Loy suggested that the dwindling attendances was due to the partisan nature of meetings under the current president and the feeling that nothing was changing.

“In my estimation, at least some members believe attending meetings is becoming increasingly redundant,” he said, “as logic is being overwhelmed by political allegiance to the status quo.”

Northern Football Association (NFA) president Anthony Harford agreed emphatically with Look Loy.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (left) shares the stage with board members Julia Baptiste (centre) and Keith Look Loy at the presentation of FIFA refereeing badges to local officials on 23 January 2019.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

“I think people are suffering from fatigue, because these meetings go on for the entire day and we never discuss the serious business of football,” said Harford. “We spend the entire time outing fires and discussing the misdeeds of the administration and people are just getting tired of it, as David [John-Williams] has shown that he has the required numbers to win a vote.

“[…] People are fed up of asking questions and not getting answers… [John-Williams] seems to be like the Trinidad version of Donald Trump, where you see so many cases for impeachment and yet the man seems impervious to everything; and just continues to lie and deceive people.”

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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82 comments

  1. Another press report with no facts or information.

  2. Lol that’s not how confirmations work lol

  3. A high-rank­ing of­fi­cial of the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion con­firmed yes­ter­day that fi­nal pay­ment of over $300,000 was paid ear­li­er this week to com­plete an over­all pay­ment of over $500,000 to the T&T Fut­sal team which dragged the David John-Williams-led TTFA to court for un­paid wages, per diem, re­fresh­ment and oth­er ex­pens­es. How­ev­er, Clay­ton Mor­ris, the fut­sal coach said he nor his at­tor­neys were in­formed about the pay­ment up to yes­ter­day.
    http://www.guardian.co.tt/sports/freeze-on-ttfa-bank-account-off-6.2.852599.e57b678ba4

  4. When will it be about football Lord?

  5. Self- serving statement that even includes poor grammar and spelling. This is our national association. All round SHAME.

  6. “[The] appointment [of the two TTFA vice-presidents] were broadcast throughout the media and even on the official website of the TTFA, and appeared in the roll call list for the meeting […] when, in fact the, appointment of these two ‘vice-presidents’ was not in keeping with the dictates of the present Constitution of the TTFA.
    “[…] I proceeded to move the following motion: ‘Whereas the selection of 2 Vice-Presidents for the TTFA at the last Board Meeting was not done in keeping with the Constitution of the TTFA, be it resolved that the AGM now directs the Board of Directors to now proceed to elect the three Vice-Presidents, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, separately in keeping with the dictates of the TTFA’s Constitution’.
    “This motion was seconded by Mr Clynt Taylor of the Central Football Association (CFA) and unanimously accepted by the delegates present.”

    The following statement on the improper election of TTFA president David John-Williams’ two vice-presidents, Richard Quan Chan and Anthony Moore, at a recent board meeting was issued by TTFRA vice-president Osmond Downer, who helped frame the TTFA Constitution:

    https://wired868.com/2019/03/19/ttfa-members-rule-djws-vice-presidents-were-illegally-appointed-downer-explains/

  7. Sean, FIFA AND CONCACAF will stick with him as long as it is their interest. THE MOMENT he becomes a liability – he dead.

    • Keith Look Loy at this current time, what’s he doing that’s in their interest? I think he might be indirectly doing their message about stamping out poor governance and all that goes with it more harm than good

  8. Ladies and Gentlemen, I dont see FIFA nor CONCACAF initiating the much overdue intervention though I am not sure what else they need to see or read

  9. God forbid. But it seems likely.

  10. Like its only Concacaf or FIFA could do that as some board members seem afraid to vote against the president

  11. One of my problems with this is that while the organisation suffers, the person directly responsible for the suffering personally suffers very little.
    King David needs to be held accountable *and* liable for every legal snafu in which he has embroiled the TTFA!

  12. This is an existential threat to the TTFA. Make no mistake about it.

  13. The assets of the TTFA such as the much heralded Home of Football((HOF) and any/all income streams are surely next to be levied against or receive encumbrances. If I was a creditor of the TTFA, no way in hell I sitting back waiting for my money while they have a $20 million dollar sports entertainment and hotel complex generating revenue.

  14. Most sporting bodies are not designed to be democratic. DJW would eventually get replaced with someone worse.

  15. When will enough be enough. Beyond disgraceful to see the state of football in our country. Other countries are surpassing us and we still sit here allowing this clown show to continue. We are a full blown embarrassment.

  16. And vice presidents are being elected to sure up his votes

  17. Is POWER so sacred to this “wannabe dictator” that he is refusing to release the reins of his failed unpopular administration?

  18. Seem like our promising young footballers may have to become lawyers to receive renumeration and a career from this football administration.

  19. So how is it possible to freeze an account that has no money??

  20. All other Caribbean nations are pushing ahead with their football development

  21. So, yet again, just when we feel the TTFA has hit a new low and no one can possibly limbo u der that, King David manages somehow to skitter under the bar like a cockroach!
    This guy needs to get gone!

  22. “The [TTFA’s] handling of former coaches Stephen Hart and Randy Waldrum were nothing short of embarrassingly unprofessional and mean. [And the] TTFA leadership persists in acting in a manner that may very well push creditors to seek legal redress and have the TTFA placed in court-appointed administration.

    “There simply seems to be no evidence of desire on the part of the current TTFA president and its board to pay debt unless creditors go through arduous litigation, win a judgment—at greater expense to the TTFA, I may add—and collect on said judgment.”

    Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips, who won a $.2 million High Court case against his former employers earlier this year, gives his view on the current direction of the local football body, headed by president David John-Williams:

    https://wired868.com/2017/12/23/phillips-arrogant-shifty-john-williams-led-ttfa-is-steering-tt-football-to-ruin/

  23. Football needs a good attorney to launch a class acton lawsuit against the TTFA, on behalf of fans and players.

    • Are the TTFA and its membership consulting legal entity?
      Were they Providing legal content practitioners of various specializations with pertinent case related evidence.
      Attorneys with the ability to quickly and efficiently find necessary legal information they need, when and where they need it.
      By facilitating access to primary law as well as state specific law, records, forms and treaties on law. If the TTFA can’t meet its contractual obligations; then there is bankruptcy as an option. Was this a considered option for protection? Was there an imbalance in the expectation? Was the expectation of payment reasonable?
      However, of greater importance is the legal evidence of law flow chart; if professionally adhered to, it offers a schematic of the relations between certain rules of law and its relevant case applicability.
      Many law practitioners perceived the subject of evidence as a series of discrete areas, such as hearsay, character, and expert testimony and so on; this is the perceived consideration without knowing or appreciating how the evidence of law closely relate to one another.
      The rules of law, however, are intended to provide a comprehensive scheme to resolve questions of admissibility. Evidence of law does not come neatly divided into discrete packages labeled: ”hearsay,” ”character” or some other inquiry in to the focused designation.
      A single item of evidence might raise an assortment of evidence problems spanning the spectrum of the rules of law. The challenge comes from the difficulty in recognizing the range of possible objections posed by a particular form of evidence of law.
      The T&T court has once again been engaged to decide the next step from the board room, to the soccer battlefields of unresolved disputes, to why being in charge isn’t what it used to be.
      The argument of whether the TTFA power is corrupt or is actually decaying is clear.
      The non-verbal argument seems clear and persuasive: the arrogance, bullying, deception, a misunderstanding of the applicable law of contract whether verbal or written is a presumption of the violation of law.
      Could it be that those who have power wants to hold on to it by any means necessary? Yes!
      Will the current TTFA soccer administration power be shifting to a loose band of insurgents, from group leviathans to sprightly start –ups, from dictatorship to the public square of discourse? This is a questionable life expectance. Is this a reasonable discourse expectation?
      The TTFA and its membership are in shambles; its leadership is indiscipline; the membership’s collective concept of power is like the wind, constantly changing positions;
      Their motivational gravitation for power is becoming harder to solidify; harder to acquire; once there difficult to relinquish; difficult to control; even difficult to lose.
      This also illuminates the struggle between once-dominant mega players and the new micro powers challenging them in every field of human endeavor.
      Drawing on provocative life experiences of the TTFA‘s President and Membership; the elusive end of or manipulative power based of the President and the court will reconfigure the future behavior of the T&T soccer world.
      Interesting groups are finding it harder to defend their fortifications. No leader of savvy significance has emerged to engage in clinical discourse about the TTFA.
      Those who do not have power want it badly; but do not know how to confront authority and take it. this inspires the imagination, stimulates a strategic process; it creates a wonderment that is fascinating to note how modern day power is acquired ,used, and lost, and how these changes affect the functions of organizations .
      The soccer community of T&T are finding it difficult to
      use an extensive range of literary devices .these devices reflect a conversational rather than a constant adversarial relationship approach, and may offer some insight into the methods of entreaty, exposition, logic and restraint. This approach comes across as absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense to deaf ears.
      Now the claimants are demanding and requesting favorable judgement compensation from the wisdom of the court.
      There is a profound reliance on the courts for guidance because organizations are incapable of planning progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with the process of business management.
      They again find a sense of immediate gratification when they enlist sympathy from the public domain.
      Their expressions are one of gratified consolation; they seek open outlets for their pent up emotional release on Facebook as the presence of an opportunity to express entreaty, agitation, and ecstasy.
      However, they still don’t perceive or accept the presence of the dynamics of change in a complex power matrix.
      When the courts decide on a course of action, “to be or not to be”; would the administrative glass be half full or half empty at the end of the deliberations? Would there be an enforcement and respect for a rule of law ?

  24. This ongoing saga with the Futsal team is disturbing. So you didn’t like the arrangement they made with Tim Kee? But these were national players who trained and then went to represent our country at an official international tournament. Now you want to act as doh dat doh mean nutten and is not worthy of remuneration? If DJW wasn’t so damn arrogant, he would have tried to negotiate a settlement with the Futsal team instead of being so boldface to suggest is SALT for dem.

    • Nigel Myers negotiation, compromise and good faith are but just abstract constructs in the court of King David, with no real world application whatsoever.

    • Nigel Myers let’s go down the probability rabbit hole for a bit. Let’s say our Futsal team had performed even more admirably in the tournament, dare I say even winning the tournament! What would have been King David’s response and treatment of them then? Would he have so backhandedly dismissed them and their recompense?

    • Based on how he’s acted so far, I wouldn’t put it past him to still not pay dem. He might say dey was volunteering. LOL.