Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) president William Wallace has already relinquished control of his secretariat, according to an anonymous staff member, and should now do the ‘humane’ and ‘rational’ thing and concede the local football body’s bank accounts to the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee.
The viewpoint was among several complaints of the stance taken by the football president in a letter entitled ‘Letter to Mr Wallace’. Despite its caption, the letter, which was unsigned and undated, was not sent to the TTFA president. Instead, it was emailed today to selected media houses.
Wired868 did not receive a copy from the disgruntled ‘employee’ but had one relayed through a separate source.
A football insider alleged that the letter was penned by Gary St Rose, a former W Connection employee who was hired by former president David John-Williams to manage the multi-million dollar NLCB-funded National Under-15 football programme.
St Rose was retained by Wallace to assist director of football, Richard Piper.
Wired868 asked St Rose if he wrote the letter and whether any other staff members were involved. He responded: “Lol.”
In the letter, the anonymous member pointed out that office employees have not been paid for two months while some technical staff members are unpaid since December. The writer suggested that office staff do not qualify for the government’s salary relief programme and ‘have also been refused assistance through NIS because of non-payment of statutory deductions’.
(The John-Williams-led administration withheld TT$4 million dollars due to the National Insurance Board (NIB) and Ministry of Finance for NIS, PAYE and health surcharge for employees between November 2017 and November 2019, when he was voted out of office.)
The author also referenced Trinidad Guardian articles which suggested that Wallace and technical committee chairman Keith Look Loy ‘did not have a problem’ with general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan working with normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.
“Please note that all of the employed staff members under the secretariat report directly or indirectly to the general secretary,” stated the staff member, “therefore it is difficult for us to understand—having acquiesce to the GS now reporting to the normalisation committee—how can any member of staff be expected to report to you. This is a contradiction of your own position.
“A simple example of this is, if the GS was to give anyone of us a direct instruction and you gave a counter instruction whose instruction should we follow?
“[…] It is our opinion that you having knowingly and consciously relinquished the GS from his reporting function to you, as a consequence […] you also relinquished the secretariat of the TTFA—and hence the secretariat and technical department now reports [sic] also to the normalisation committee.”
And if Wallace has conceded his general secretariat and technical staff to the normalisation committee, the anonymous writer asked, why not hand over the TTFA’s First Citizens Bank accounts so that they can be paid?
“We would kindly ask that you now do the only logical and right thing and pay us the same curtesy [sic] and consideration that was afforded to the GS,” stated the anonymous staff member. “[…] To cripple the secretariat through the continued dispute over the bank accounts—even though you have, of your own rationale, conceded the secretariat—can serve no useful purpose except jeopardise football and further put the staff under unnecessary stress during these difficult times.
“Mr Wallace, we humbly ask that you please abandon your fight for control of the bank accounts and allow staff to get paid.”
Wallace confirmed that he was not sent the letter by the staff member but declined comment on it—other than to say that ‘its origin is questionable’. Look Loy went further.
“Nobody could take an anonymous statement that has no signature, no letterhead and no date seriously,” Look Loy told Wired868. “This is just more evidence of the level of desperation that some people have arrived at to discredit the Wallace administration, because they realise legally they are losing the battle in this attempted regime change.
“[…] I have spoken to members of staff who have all either disavowed knowledge of it or said they refused to participate.”
Look Loy denied ‘permitting’ Ramdhan to work alongside Hadad.
“I never agreed to do that; I said it is his business what he wanted to do [and] I do not control Ramdhan,” said Look Loy. “But I also said if [Ramdhan] wanted to take a political position he would have to resign, which I also said is his business. Every man has to make his own bed.
“In any event, what is [the anonymous letter writer] basing his claim on? Newspaper reporting? And further, if legal advice changed one’s position, so what?”