Home / Volley / Global Football / Hotel Normandie considers run on TTFA’s accounts after winning $750k judgment; Look Loy: TTFA effectively bankrupt

Hotel Normandie considers run on TTFA’s accounts after winning $750k judgment; Look Loy: TTFA effectively bankrupt

The legal and financial woes of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have intensified with Hotel Normandie joining the list of creditors weighing up a run on the football body’s finances.

Last month, attorney Tamilee Budhu gave TTFA president David John-Williams two weeks to satisfy a judgment for over TT$750,000 awarded to her client, Hotel Normandie. However, it was not until Sunday 7 April—just 48 hours before the deadline—that John-Williams, via his general secretary Camara David, revealed the debt and legal threat to his board.

Photo: Hotel Normandie in St Ann’s.

Although details are scarce, Wired868 can confirm that Hotel Normandie won a High Court judgment against the TTFA on 26 February 2019 for TT$751,682.90. Justice Carol Gobin also ordered the John-Williams-led body to pay the hotel’s legal fees of TT$1,606.38

Almost two months later, the TTFA has paid neither and Budhu pointed out that, according to the Remedies Creditors Act, the local football body is obliged to also pay interest which increases by TT$102.97 for the hotel and 22 cents for the attorney on a daily basis.

At the time of writing, the TTFA owes an additional TT$4,736.62 to Hotel Normandie and TT$10 to Budhu.

“In light of the foregoing, please submit to my office on or before 9 April 2019: a certified cheque made payable to ‘Hotel Normandie Limited’ in the sum of $754,669.03 (together with the additional interest accrued up to the date of payment),” stated Budhu, in her letter to the TTFA on 26 March, “and a certified cheque made payable to ‘Tamilee Budhu’ in the sum of $1,606.38 (together with the additional interest accrued up to the dates of payment).”

TTFA Board members Keith Look Loy and Sharon Warrick told Wired868 they had never even heard of the Normandie judgment before last Sunday and the board played no role in the football body’s ultimately unsuccessful legal defence.

“The TTFA Board was not aware of that before; we don’t have anything to do with these cases,” said Warrick, who represents the Women’s League of Football (WoLF) on the board. “I came on the board on the 21st of April last year and there is lots of stuff that I learn about in the media although I’m sitting in the board room.

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)

“And I just know there are other things that will come out that we are not privy to as well; and that is why I keep calling for transparency and accountability.”

On Friday 5 April, Look Loy, the Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) president, urged his colleagues to support his call for an emergency Board meeting to address allegations of commingling of funds by John-Williams, which emerged during a recent court hearing with the National Futsal Team.

John-Williams, via his attorney, allegedly told the court that US$24,000 in the TTFA’s First Citizens Bank account was his personal money. Master of the Court Shurlanne Pierre rejected the request due to a perceived lack of evidence.

Pierre ordered First Citizens Bank to empty all seven of the local football body’s accounts and hand over what was there—minus banking fees—to 15 former National Futsal players and their five technical staff members and attorneys.

The decision saw the Futsal contingent awarded TT$270,871.33 from a judgment of over TT$500,000. They are expected to return to court with another garnishee order for the remaining sum.

Look Loy said the TTFA is in crisis mode and urged his colleagues to act.

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)

“If members do not support my call for an emergency Board meeting in these circumstances,” stated Look Loy, in an email to the board that was copied to John-Williams and David, “then the TTFA Board is complicit by way of continued inaction and is truly useless.”

Thus far, five board members have supported Look Loy’s request for an emergency meeting. The six petitioning members are: Raeshawn Mars (Northern FA), Colin Partap (Central FA), Joseph Taylor (Referees Association), Julia Baptiste (Pro League), Warrick (WoLF) and Look Loy (TTSL).

The TTFA Board has 13 members and more than half must support the call for an emergency meeting for it to be triggered, according to the constitution. It means Look Loy is short of just one signature.

The other seven board members are: Ewing Davis (vice-president), Richard Quan Chan (Southern FA), Anthony Moore (Tobago FA), Bandele Kamau (Eastern FA), Sherwyn Dyer (Eastern Counties FU), Selby Browne (Veteran Footballers Foundation) and John-Williams (president).

“It is quite clear that the TTFA is in a financial crisis which will only deepen, as there are court cases in the pipeline including that of former general secretary Sheldon Phillips,” said Look Loy. “When you can’t pay your office staff then that tells you how bad things are. We have the National Under-17 Team preparing to go into a tournament soon. How do we finance this team?”

Photo: The T&T National U-15 Team pose at the 2017 CONCACAF Championship.
Those players are expected to make up the spine of the current U-17 Team.
(Back row, left to right) Darian Bradshaw, Justin Araujo-Wilson, Adriel George, Jean-Heim Mc Fee, Marc Wharfe, Cephas St Rose.
(Front row, left to right) Randy Antoine, Josiah Edwards, Jaiye Sheppard, Jabari Lee and Kernel La Fon.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

Look Loy claimed that there is growing concern among members of the proposed merged league, involving Pro League and TTSL clubs, about the TTFA’s financial status and how it might impact on them.

The league, tentatively christened the ‘T-League’, was due to kick off in June and seeks to bring local top flight football back under the direct supervision of the TTFA for the first time in over two decades.

The seven-member Commission to guide the T-League is chaired by businessman Lindsay Gillette, who is the current Swimming Association (ASATT) president and ex-Petrotrin chairman, and includes Anthony Harford (independent), Jamaal Shabazz and Brent Sancho (both Pro League), Look Loy and George Joseph (both TTSL) and Moore (TTFA).

Last Wednesday, the Commission selected former TTFA general secretary Justin Latapy-George to run its administrative arm.

Look Loy said members of the Commission are concerned that the money earmarked to run the T-League can be seized by the TTFA’s creditors if it is put into the football body’s accounts and want a meeting with John-Williams to address their fears.

Photo: TTFA president and W Connection owner David John-Williams (centre) greets players (from right) Hughtun Hector, Alvin Jones and Maurice Forde before kick off against Police FC in the TTFA FA Trophy final at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 8 December 2017.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Moore, according to Look Loy, told the Commission that the TTFA’s emergency committee will meet soon to address the issue. However, as Wired868 pointed out in February, only one from 16 TTFA standing committees is active at present.

“Moore said he was in touch with the president and the emergency committee of the TTFA will call a meeting soon,” said Look Loy. “But that is a fiction [because] there is no emergency committee! They are trying to forestall the signatures that would force such a meeting to be called. You ask them when and they reply: as soon as possible.

“[…] The president and his cohorts are fiddling while Rome burns.”

Look Loy described the TTFA as effectively bankrupt and urged local football stakeholders to act decisively to address John-Williams’ supposedly disastrous stewardship.

“The TTFA might as well be bankrupt because it cannot receive or spend money,” said Look Loy. “Another aspect of this is the growing vulnerability of the Home of Football to creditors. Other than old computers and bibs and balls, the one asset the TTFA has is the Home of Football; and it is increasingly likely that [creditors will move on the recently completed technical centre and hotel].

“The ripple effect of all that is happening is provoked by the bad management style and substance of David John-Williams [and] it is only going to get worse. I cannot see how it can continue this way for another seven months until the election in November.”

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.

Check Also

Dear Editor: John-Williams’ gala Home of Football opening is just a cheap political trick

“Lo and behold, the TTFA elections are due in less than two weeks and out …

37 comments

  1. Ah Cliff you left me with no other choice but to continue laughing.

  2. Would the November elections change the way the TTFA conduct its activities? Is there an emerging knight in Armor?Same players! Same attitudes!Same facilities! Same programs! Same problems! Same managers and Coaches! The month of November is famous for “All Saints and All Souls” this is where they all R.I.P. !

  3. Like everything’s mashing up all around us. Smh

  4. BANKRUPT??
    WHO is going to BAIL out the Association??

  5. Hhahaaha no profit bill go deal with them

  6. The man continues to be a jackass

  7. This board needs to resign…

  8. Cud sum1 tell me what DJW hav done 2 benefit T&T football since cumin into power all I see is tings happening 4 him

  9. When will t&t finally penalize sum1 for white collar crime

  10. John-Williams, via his attorney, allegedly told the court that US$24,000 in the TTFA’s First Citizens Bank account was his personal money.We have the National Under-17 Team preparing to go into a tournament soon. How do we finance this team?

  11. Keith look loy, keep pressure on and get d board to vote him out. I want to know how come this man holdin money of his own $24000 us in the account of the ttfa, and u could of put ur money on ur personal account, same on u time to go.

  12. DJW and Board members have no Damn Shame;then again its the TTFA!!

  13. Lord have mercy! So what will become of the Superleague? Also of serious concern is the travel arrangements for the Boys U17 team (unless another entity is footing the travel expenses)

  14. “although details are scarce” . Sums up the DJW presidency.

  15. Look Loy is correct. John-Williams’ role in the nonsense is beyond doubt. The OTHER Board members who are just sitting around watching, whilst doing nothing, are the ones who should be ripped to shreds in the press and removed from office.

  16. Were I a current TTFA board member, I would be looking to resign post-haste! Salvage as much of my reputation as possible.
    How does an organisation become embroiled in so much punitive litigation and board members remain unaware of same? So if payments come out of that, would they warrant offhand line items in the annual reports?

    King David has somehow managed to totally eclipse Tim Kee Kee Kee and Fillups combined! Not only physically (DJW eh no small man in girth) but administratively too!

  17. I repeat, Home of Football/hotel will be mortgaged. JW & JW again smiling

  18. Like a stick record I type again

    #Fifanormalizationcommitteetime

  19. DJW needs to be removed and temporary financial administrators installed to investigate and record all outstanding debts. The result to inform a proper financial plan for the organisation to move forward.

  20. John Williams and his minions must go now. But dont bring back Tim Kee either

  21. I would like to know what is TTFA overall debt as opposed to what the TTFA has in it’s bank accounts.
    This here is bordering on insanity.
    What has TnT Football benefited from the 180 Million they collected from the WC and or our participation itself??
    Can someone pinpoint where we were before and after the 2006 WC?

  22. If so can it be also used against the governmentS

  23. Isn’t there anything we the people of T&T can do to have the TTFA disbanded for corruption, mismanagement and simple incompetence

  24. “Moore, according to Look Loy, told the Commission that the TTFA’s emergency committee will meet soon to address the issue. ”

    Emergency committee ?

    Well this is comedy central !!!

    They supposed to met daily then ? Hourly ?

    Look I cracking up here !!!!!!!!!

  25. Father send help we need it now more then ever hmm.

  26. “John-Williams, via his attorney, allegedly told the court that US$24,000 in the TTFA’s First Citizens Bank account was his personal money. Master of the Court Shurlanne Pierre rejected the request due to a perceived lack of evidence.”

    Brrrr ?

  27. They should all resign.
    TnT Football need a new direction.
    The 2006 WC was a Blessing but also a Curse to TnT Football, since then, there has been a plethora of court battles, Bankruptcy, Presidential Changes with no light at the end of the tunnel.

    I’m sick and tired of all of them tbh.