The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) can finally begin paying off its creditors—under terms agreed in May—after High Court Judge Devindra Rampersad accepted its proposed debt repayment plan yesterday.
The key sticking point was legal objects raised by the British duo of former coach Terry Fenwick and salesman Peter Miller and disgraced former Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.
However, on Monday, Fenwick and Miller, via attorneys Bronock Reid and Kiev Chesney respectively, agreed to TTFA trustee Maria Daniel’s suggestion that money be set aside to cover the invalidated portion of their claims—pending the final determination of their appeal hearings.
And yesterday Warner, who was represented by attorney Rekha Ramjit, withdrew his case and requested only legal costs in return.
Warner previously claimed to be owed TT$22.7m while Fenwick and Miller insist on being paid TT$4.5m and TT$3.96m respectively, based on agreements entered into by former TTFA president William Wallace.
Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad crowed about the significance of the court decision while the TTFA’s website captioned the news under the heading: “TTFA lives!”
“I am grateful—we look forward to finally paying the debts that have crippled the Association for many years,” Hadad told the TTFA Media. “This is another milestone along the path to fully remediating football and we will continue to work on completing this process. I would like to thank the Trustee and her legal team and the TTFA staff for their efforts in helping us to reach this significant milestone.”
The TTFA’s ability to satisfy its creditors hinges on a loan from a still undeclared patron. In May, the local football body said it was assured of a US$3m loan with no interest. Yesterday, the loan was declared at US$3.5m.
The TTFA has 10 years to repay the mystery loan from an undeclared source at terms not fully understood. The creditors will probably not mind too much and, for Hadad, it was a feat worth celebrating.
“The Trustee will now work with the normalisation committee and the proposal’s financiers,” read the TTFA statement, “to prepare the payments to the validated creditors under the guidelines of the BIA and the terms approved by the creditors.”