Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team interim head coach Angus Eve and his technical staff are among over a dozen Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) employees still awaiting outstanding salaries from the local football body.
Eve was hired as Soca Warriors head coach by the Fifa-appointed normalisation committee on 13 June and steered the twin island republic into the group stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup tournament, which guaranteed the TTFA a qualifying bonus of US$100,000 (TT$680,000) from the confederation.
Neither Eve nor his technical staff have seen their share of that purse yet though, as they await their first pay cheques. Their contracts expire on 31 August with the Robert Hadad-led normalisation committee due to select a full-time head coach for the men’s team at an unspecified time in the future.
The normalisation committee comprises: Hadad, Judy Daniel, Nigel L Romano, and Trevor Nicholas Gomez.
Eve’s technical staff comprise: Reynold Carrington (assistant coach), Hutson Charles (assistant coach), Clayton Ince (goalkeeper coach), Adaryll John (strength and conditioning coach), Saron Joseph (performance trainer/massage therapist), Roger Ryan (physio), Dr Akash Dhanai (team doctor), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Richard Piper (team manager) and Shaun Fuentes (media manager).
Team manager Adrian Romain and logistics manager Major Basil Thompson were also listed on Eve’s staff, although they did not travel to the United States for the Gold Cup. Piper and Fuentes are TTFA employees and would expect to be paid with the office staff.
Wired868 understands that the TTFA’s office staff have not been paid since May. At least one insider claimed that Women’s National Senior Team head coach James Thomas has been paid by the local football body, although it remains unconfirmed.
Hadad and acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed did not respond to questions on the matter. However, Mohammed acknowledged the debt to office staff members and offered a concession, which would be managed by accountant Tyril Patrick.
“We have been in consistent dialogue with Fifa on the matter and believe that we have made some progress for the disbursement of funds,” stated Mohammed, in an internal memo to office staff. “I hope that very soon, we will have a more definitive and promising update on this matter. In the interim, similarly to what was done previously, we will offer staff the option of receiving a salary advance (loan) of a specific amount.”
Patrick, incidentally, is expected to leave the TTFA by the end of August. It marks the conclusion to a tumultuous term for the employee, who was hired by controversial ex-president David John-Williams and was fingered for alleged negligence by the Kendall Tull-led finance committee in 2020.
Tull recommended to the then TTFA Board that Patrick be replaced. However, president William Wallace dithered and, remarkably, the accountant was asked to head the entire football body when the Bureau of the Fifa Council intervened with ‘normalisation’ on 13 March 2020.
Patrick now appears to be vacating office on his own terms.
At present, the TTFA has no operating standing committees, inclusive of the technical and finance committees—as Unified Football Coaches of Trinidad and Tobago (UFCTT) general secretary Rayshawn Mars pointed out.
As there is no active disciplinary committee active, the normalisation committee members reviewed a verbal altercation between then assistant coach and goalkeeper coach Kelvin Jack and teenaged player Gary Griffith III themselves.
Jack berated Griffith III in front of his teammates at the hotel in Nassau on 5 June, after the teenager allegedly refused to attend a team bonding exercise on the eve of a World Cup qualifier against The Bahamas.
“Reports were received one month ago from each party and the team manager (Adrian Romain),” stated a TTFA release. “Upon review, the TTFA NC has decided that no disciplinary action is necessary. The matter is now closed.”
Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith Snr, and the Trinidad Express described the normalisation committee’s statement as vindication for Griffith III. However, the player was already disciplined in Nassau and it was Jack’s role in the incident that the normalisation committee was asked to investigate.
Since Hadad and company sacked Jack over a month ago, the conclusion of its ‘investigation’ was predictable.
Mohammed also told staff that the TTFA has regained control of its controversial Home of Football, due to the ‘conclusion of our agreement with the Ministry of Health and the SWRHA’. The facility has been used as a ‘step-down facility’ for Covid-19 patients for over a year and was upgraded by the government during that period.
“Its maintenance and operations will need to be a high priority as we will be targeting to host the Senior Women’s National Team qualifiers in Trinidad later this year,” stated Mohammed.
The normalisation committee also promised to host its first annual general meeting on 26 September 2021—19 months since taking office.
“We look forward to your support in preparing the relevant documents for the agenda,” stated Mohammed.