Home / Volley / Global Football / DJW: They want to destroy the TTFA! Defiant President responds to frozen bank account with dubious ‘facts’

DJW: They want to destroy the TTFA! Defiant President responds to frozen bank account with dubious ‘facts’

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president David John-Williams broke his silence this evening on legal action taken by the National Futsal Team with defiance and a twisted version of events that led to the football body’s bank account being frozen by the courts.

The TTFA’s First Citizen Bank account was garnisheed yesterday after the organisation failed to honour a court order to pay TT$475,743 plus interest at three per cent per annum to 15 Futsal players and five technical staff members for unpaid salaries, match fees, per diems and expenses as well as TT$69,200.82 for the claimant’s legal costs.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Futsal Team player Jameel Neptune (left) heads the ball during training at the Maloney Indoor Complex in March 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/CA-images/Wired868)

The Futsal players and staff were represented in the High Court by Keston McQuilkin and Melissa Keisha Roberts-John while Annand Misir and Janelle Ganness appeared for the TTFA.

John-Williams, in a press statement, claimed that the Futsal court case was part of a debt inherited from the previous administration.

“We at the TTFA have inherited a debt of over 30 million dollars incurred by the previous administrations,” stated John-Williams, “and continue the uphill task of addressing that financial situation, while also addressing the ongoing operating requirements of the Association.

“The facts are that while these are not debts created by the David John Williams Administration, they remain the debt of the TTFA.”

In truth, John-Williams’ statement was not factual at all and flew in the face of the High Court judgment delivered by Justice Margaret Y Mohammed. Justice Mohammed declared, last December, that the deceptive behaviour of the John-Williams-led football body was a key factor in her ruling.

Photo: FIFA president Gianni Infantino (right) and TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 10 April 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“In my opinion it was disingenuous for the [John-Williams-led 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.”

John-Williams said the TTFA could not pay off its creditors and suggested that the controversial Home of Football project was the answer to the problems without offering any details as to how the almost completed facility—itself already mired in court action—would help the football body to address its debts in the short term.

“This matter at hand has to be dealt with in the same manner as other matters of a similar nature that we have dealt with over the past three year period,” stated John-Williams, who also owes an array of former coaches and staff including Stephen Hart, Russell Latapy, Anton Corneal and Sheldon Phillips. “Unfortunately the funding is just not there at this time to service these debts, but we at the TTFA continue to soldier on.

“Hence the reason for emphasis on completing the Hotel and the Home of Football, which will be a major income generation project not just for football but will change the face of sport in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Photo: (From right) TTFA president David John-Williams, Sport Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and FIFA official Veron Mosengo-Omba inspect the TTFA’s Home of Football in Couva on 20 August 2018.
(Courtesy MSYA)

Despite claiming to be unable to meet his financial obligations, John-Williams went on to apparently slam the very creditors whose patience and sympathy he must rely on to keep the football body afloat.

“We are very mindful of those whose sole agenda is to destroy Trinidad and Tobago football by their actions,” said the TTFA president, “but under no circumstances shall they derive such a result.

“The TTFA has [sought] to embrace all persons and resources who we have determined willing to rebuild football in Trinidad and Tobago, and will continue the work necessary to achieve success with the administration of football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The 15 Futsal players who succeeded in the legal action against the TTFA were: 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 were: Clayton Morris (head coach), Ronald Brereton (manager), Sterling O’Brian (assistant coach), Perry Martin (goalkeeper coach) and Brent Elder (trainer).

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

Morris, the captain of the iconic 1989 Strike Squad team, said the Futsal team were forced to take action after being continually disrespected by John-Williams.

“I’ve played football all my life and it leaves a bitter taste to have to take the governing body to court, just to demand respect,” said Morris, “for people who gave up family time and so much of their lives to do something positive for their country.

“These are players who sacrificed four days a week, three hours a day to prepare. Sometimes while they are training, their children are at the sidelines doing homework. [Guy] had a newborn baby and sometimes the mother would be there breastfeeding at 10 in the night while we trained.

“And for them to turn around and disrespect us in that way…”

(Full statement by TTFA president David John-Williams)

Documents on the action taken by persons who have approached the court to have instructions issued to freeze the bank accounts of the TTFA last Friday was received on Monday March 18th 2019 by the TTFA

We at the TTFA have inherited a debt of over 30 million dollars incurred by the previous administrations and continue the uphill task of addressing that financial situation, while also addressing the ongoing operating requirements of the Association.

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (centre) is flanked by Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat (left) and then SPORTT chairman Dinanath Ramnarine during a press conference on 29 September 2017.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

The facts are that while these are not debts created by the David John Williams Administration, they remain the debt of the TTFA.

This matter at hand has to be dealt with in the same manner as other matters of a similar nature that we have dealt with over the past three year period.

Unfortunately the funding is just not there at this time to service these debts, but we at the TTFA continue to soldier on, hence the reason for emphasis on completing the Hotel and the Home of Football which will be a major income generation project not just for football but will change the face of sport in Trinidad and Tobago.

We are very mindful of those whose sole agenda is to destroy Trinidad and Tobago Football by their actions, but under no circumstances shall they derive such a result.

The TTFA has sort [sic] to embrace all persons and resources who we have determined willing to rebuild football in Trinidad and Tobago, and will continue the work necessary to achieve success with the administration of football in Trinidad and Tobago.

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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33 comments

  1. Nobody I know wants to destroy the TTFA, but people who are owed monies generally want to be paid!

  2. Lasana Liburd, what’s going on with Prancing Knave? Has his preoccupation with CWI elections blinded him to the current TTFA imbroglio?

    Oh dear, what can the matter be? Why’s his coverage so unfair?

  3. any body know how we seeing d match later?

  4. Lasana Liburd you must be commended for keeping a straight face whist reading/listening to that release from the TTFA president…

  5. Excerpt Three: “John-Williams main­tained he and his as­so­ci­a­tion have had ab­solute­ly noth­ing to do with the agree­ment made be­tween the fut­sal coach Clay­ton Mor­ris and then TTFA pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee.”
    See first explanation given for Excerpt One.

  6. Excerpt Two: “Jus­tice Mo­hammed’s de­ci­sion to or­der the TTFA’s bank- First Cit­i­zens to freeze its ac­count, was made last month. The bank was giv­en a date of April 4 to ap­pear in court with a state­ment of the TTFA’s ac­count.”

    This was written to make it appear that Justice Mohammed was biased against the TTFA. But in fact it is Master of the Court Sherlanne Pierre who ordered the freeze on the TTFA’s bank account.

  7. Excerpt One: “Yes­ter­day Guardian Me­dia Sports re­ceived a copy of the tran­script from the court which showed Mor­ris ad­mit­ting he was cho­sen by Tim Kee as part of a steer­ing com­mit­tee back in 2013 to pre­pare a na­tion­al team for the first time. The ap­point­ments were strict­ly ver­bal and did not have doc­u­men­ta­tion to show the John-Williams-led ad­min­is­tra­tion when they as­sumed of­fice back in No­vem­ber of 2015…”

    Reality, TTFA president David John-Williams sent the Futsal team and staff to two tournaments and sent the staff to Concacaf draw–all based on the verbal agreement.
    For that reason, the Judge found it ridiculous that John-Williams suddenly refused to honour that agreement a year later when it was time to pay them.

  8. The Trinidad Guardian again publishes a story that is shockingly misleading, particularly with facts all available now.

    • Excerpt One: “Yes­ter­day Guardian Me­dia Sports re­ceived a copy of the tran­script from the court which showed Mor­ris ad­mit­ting he was cho­sen by Tim Kee as part of a steer­ing com­mit­tee back in 2013 to pre­pare a na­tion­al team for the first time. The ap­point­ments were strict­ly ver­bal and did not have doc­u­men­ta­tion to show the John-Williams-led ad­min­is­tra­tion when they as­sumed of­fice back in No­vem­ber of 2015…”

      Reality, TTFA president David John-Williams sent the Futsal team and staff to two tournaments and sent the staff to Concacaf draw–all based on the verbal agreement.
      For that reason, the Judge found it ridiculous that John-Williams suddenly refused to honour that agreement a year later when it was time to pay them.

    • Excerpt Two: “Jus­tice Mo­hammed’s de­ci­sion to or­der the TTFA’s bank- First Cit­i­zens to freeze its ac­count, was made last month. The bank was giv­en a date of April 4 to ap­pear in court with a state­ment of the TTFA’s ac­count.”

      This was written to make it appear that Justice Mohammed was biased against the TTFA. But in fact it is Master of the Court Sherlanne Pierre who ordered the freeze on the TTFA’s bank account.

    • Excerpt Three: “John-Williams main­tained he and his as­so­ci­a­tion have had ab­solute­ly noth­ing to do with the agree­ment made be­tween the fut­sal coach Clay­ton Mor­ris and then TTFA pres­i­dent Ray­mond Tim Kee.”
      See first explanation given for Excerpt One.

  9. Hahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha (deep breath) hahahahahahahahahahahahhaah this man really say they wanna destroy the TTFA!!!!
    Hahahahahahahahahaha somebody get me a oxygen tank plz!!

  10. I recall listening to an interview with DJW, and from the PR, one would believe everything is on track, nothing wrong, House of Football sounded good.
    If they can’t service it now, how/when do they anticipate it starting to generate income to assist with maintenance?
    If the accounts are frozen, how/when are recurrent expenditure going to be serviced?
    Asking the obvious here, but how on earth was this situation allowed to reach to this point?

  11. If they were not concern then maybe the president would have called the names of the so-called enemies of football.

  12. It will all come to and end one day

  13. Wait, nah. The current freeze on the TTFA Bank account has absolutely nothing to do with what a previous administration has done. Not one thing. This action, by legitimate court order because of King David’s wilful non- compliance with an adverse (to the TTFA) Court judgement is entirely on him.
    For him to somehow claim prior debt as the reason for non-payment is the most bogus red herring I’ve heard in ages. King David is trying to play smart with stupidness!
    Just in case there are those not in the know, King David has the TTFA in hot water because he did not want to pay the Futsal team their money. And not, as he seems to want to spin it, because TTFA were incapable of the payment.
    And I must note that a certain sports ‘journalist’, whose character is that of a Prancing Knave, has deliberately avoided any discussion of this matter. I guess one must do the bidding of the master one serves…

  14. Lasana Liburd do an expose and comparison on home of football and that of Costa Rica..

  15. DJW still doesn’t get it. Arrogance personified.