Since coming into office with overwhelming public support the ‘United TTFA’ (T&T Football Association), led by William Wallace, has set about to satisfy the technical requirements that are expected to move T&T football instantly and eventually into the future but at what price or consequences?
The ‘United TTFA’ has to date, appointed a 35-member technical staff (for senior men’s and women’s; junior teams; beach soccer; technical director; and fulfil the technical requirements in every department of each team), together with new administrative personnel at a cost which the leadership of the sport is yet to provide John Public with as it relates to an estimated monthly or annual cost of this massive undertaking for the first time in the 112-year history of T&T football.
Five days into his tenure, Wallace told John Public that the organisation has TT$50 million worth of problems (meaning a debt of TT$50 million). Coincidentally, at the end of 2018, the TTFA assets stood at TT$64,292 million.
There were promises made to John Public by the ‘United TTFA’ during its campaign trail leading up to the November 24, 2019, annual general meeting (AGM) in which Wallace indicated that over $30 million in sponsorship was said to be on the horizon from several companies in the likes of American sporting goods giant, NIKE.
To date, nothing has materialised to demonstrate that there’s cash flow to cover the new coaching contacts handed out, far less those that are existing and the recent termination of former national coach Dennis Lawrence. He was fired back on December 15.
Even more troubling about the ‘United TTFA” financial position, is the fact that of the US$1,000,000 (TT$6.76M) given annually by FIFA to all its members in two tranches of US$500,000, the ‘New TTFA’ is likely to start with a deficit of US$100,000 which the FIFA will likely deduct in the same fashion it did as in 2019, to cover a 2010 TTFA debt to FIFA valued at US$240,000.
For the “United TTFA” to be guaranteed the other US$500,000 it must first spend on development programmes and youth teams and then prove to the FIFA how the money was spent in order to reclaim it.
Here’s the present financial position of the ‘United TTFA’.
Following the fortunes of the TTFA over the past several years but more importanly, the last five, during which time John Public has witnessed the changing of two presidents or in fact, two administrations. This article was prompted following an email sent to the technical staff of various national teams by the ‘United TTFA’ general secretary and former FIFA referee Ramesh Ramdhan.
The email read:
“I feel obligated to share our financial challenges with you. There are those who feel that this should have been done sooner, however, I have been tirelessly working with FIFA and our allies abroad hopeful for an early resolution to this issue. Despite all the efforts over the last month, we are still not where I would like it to be.
“As early as 3 am I was sending off one of many letters to FIFA in response to their queries about exorbitant costs of our technical staff. I trust that I will be able to satisfy them. In the meantime, I ask for your patience and your understanding with regard to the non-payment of your salaries for the last month and for some, the last two months.
“I am hopeful that the situation will be resolved soon as I ask you to keep the faith and continue to work with us. Together we aspire, together we achieve.”
Thanks for your understanding
Reporter: Keith Clement