Berry: Hadad’s unsuitability is T&T football’s biggest problem, not identity of next TTFA president

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“[…] Robert Hadad has spent more than two and a half years plodding along whilst receiving a nice monthly sum from Fifa, for achieving what?

“[…] By March 2023, he will have personally been paid about US$220,000 (TT$1.49m) and you can more than double that for his cronies—while creditors have not even received one brass cent and got only spurious spasmodic promises on the odd occasion…”

The following letter to the editor on the Robert Hadad-led Normalisation Committee’s response to a motion for their removal by the TTFA membership was submitted to Wired868 by British football agent Mike Berry, who represents former national coach Dennis Lawrence:

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad is in charge of the TTFA at present.
However, he shut down all of the TTFA’s standing committees while only one from eight national teams is active at present.

There seems to be a current concern by the “Financier” of the TTFA debt solution about whether the next slate will fulfil the necessary Fifa requirements and wishes.

Indeed the Trustee, Judy Daniel, has stated that the debt payment agreement is dependent on the unnamed “Financier” being confident in things going forward.

KFC Munch Pack

If I was the financier, I would be more concerned about Robert Hadad and Co and the snail-like pace of their abysmal efforts to date.

This is a guy who has openly said on appointment that he would like to become the next TTFA president, even though his football experience is extremely flimsy to say the least—without any noteworthy network of contacts in the game.

Photo: (From left to right) TTFA press officer Shaun Fuentes, then head coach Terry Fenwick, normalisation committee chair Robert Hadad, team manager Adrian Romain, and assistant coach Derek King pose at the Piarco International Airport before the team’s departure for Santo Domingo on 18 March 2021.
The photo was taken a day after Fenwick’s public altercation with Fuentes.

He actually stated in the media after the 7-nil cutass by the USA that it was a great marketing opportunity to put T&T on the regional map. I think you will find they are already there pal and that hiding was a distinct embarrassment.

His relentless support of Terry Fenwick, who was obviously unsuitable for the senior coach position in so many obvious ways, just illustrated his bad judgement of character. Particularly when he even fully supported him after the alleged head butt on media officer Shaun Fuentes without even a public enquiry or admonishment.

He once said that he trusted Peter Miller and that he was pleased with how “reasonable” he was in trying to settle his many outstanding claims. But never a mention of how much it cost to settle the loss-making Avec deal, the Arima Project and other dodgy deals that took place under him.

He has spent more than two and a half years plodding along whilst receiving a nice monthly sum from Fifa, for achieving what?

It took him two years to organise a trustee to settle the debt, which was a blatantly obvious need from day one, and is still yet to formulate a new constitution or professional football league.

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad (right) and TTFA acting general secretary Amiel Mohammed look on from the covered stands as Trinidad and Tobago and Nicaragua clash in a 2022 Concacaf W Championship qualifying fixture at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 17 February 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

He also stated that two more experienced members would be appointed to the Normalisation Committee on his arrival, but there has been nothing yet apart from an ex-cricketer.

By March 2023, he will have personally been paid about US$220,000 (TT$1.49m) and you can more than double that for his cronies—while creditors have not even received one brass cent and got only spurious spasmodic promises on the odd occasion.

Indeed, former coach Dennis Lawrence is still waiting to be paid his more than five year old bonus from the historic World Cup qualifying qualifying win against USA in October 2017 and his salary from 2019, while these guys are being rewarded handsomely and promptly for doing very little.

Coach Dennis Lawrence gestures from the sideline during Trinidad and Tobago’s 3-0 loss away to Panama in a 2018 World Cup qualifying contest at Panama City on 5 September 2017.
Lawrence is owed by the TTFA for unpaid salaries and breach of contract.
(Copyright AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

The numerous abortive appointments of coaches for the Women’s Senior Team, Beach Football and others again illustrate Hadad’s lack of judgement in hiring the right footballing people.

It is also glaringly obvious that Hadad does not like transparency, as he still has not had a full scale press conference since his appointment and his relationship with the media, creditors and stakeholders is very fractious and sadly lacking the diplomacy of such an important position.

By his own admission, he is prone to “hot-headedness” which is not the ideal quality required for such a critical role.

Fifa-appointed normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad (right) with Trinidad and Tobago Men’s National Senior Team and U-20 Team head coach Angus Eve in March 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

So my advice to Fifa, the Financier and indeed the whole football fraternity of Trinidad and Tobago is to be more concerned about how much more damage Hadad can unleash on the nation’s football than any other potential slate that may be considering the massive challenge of resurrecting the TTFA from the current doldrums.

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  1. Let us be clear: there is neither law nor legal precedent that prevents T&T football from rejecting out of hand both Hadad’s NC and the jokers lining up to replace Hadad and co. when they get their marching orders in a few decades’ time.

    It is perfectly acceptable to want out of the frying pan while protesting at the prospect of jumping into the fire. Or vice-versa.

  2. A few Fat Cats are always able to weasel their way into positions of influence. This is so typical of T&T. People being paid handsomely while chaos and decay reigns. All this while the game in T&T continues to suffer. One wonders if football can be salvaged given the turmoil and lack of direction we are witnessing.

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