TTFA Presidents speaks on 100 days in office

TTFA Presidents speaks on 100 days in office

Trinidad and Tobago Football Association President William Wallace addressed the media on Wednesday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain on the occasion of his first 100 days in office along with his Executive team.

See Below Video of the Press Conference

As reported widely by the media and in a Guardian report which stated, “Over $4 mil­lion in pay­ments for na­tion­al in­sur­ance (NIS), health sur­charge and PAYE (Pay As You Earn) re­mains un­ac­count­ed for, by the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA) under the previous administration

“On Wednes­day, new pres­i­dent William Wal­lace, in giv­ing an up­date on what his ad­min­is­tra­tion met when they as­sumed of­fice what they have done so far af­ter 100 days, said they have al­ready re­port­ed their find­ings to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and are seek­ing ways to bring the pay­ments of em­ploy­ees up to date.

On Wednes­day, new pres­i­dent William Wal­lace, in giv­ing an up­date on what his ad­min­is­tra­tion met when they as­sumed of­fice what they have done so far af­ter 100 days, said they have al­ready re­port­ed their find­ings to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and are seek­ing ways to bring the pay­ments of em­ploy­ees up to date.

The un­paid $4 mil­lion, Wal­lace said is for two years as the last pay­ment on NIS, PAYE and health sur­charge was made in No­vem­ber 2017.

This was on­ly one of many sit­u­a­tions the Wal­lace-led ad­min­is­tra­tion said it en­coun­tered on No­vem­ber 24, last year. Ac­cord­ing to Wal­lace, he was not cast­ing any as­per­sions on any­one but is stat­ing the facts, said: “In a press con­fer­ence in De­cem­ber 2016 the then pres­i­dent of the TTFA, David John-Williams, in­di­cat­ed that there was a debt of $16 mil­lion. That debt is now at $50 mil­lion and count­ing. When we got in there in No­vem­ber, there was no mon­ey to pay staff. We dis­cov­ered that NIS, PAYE and health sur­charge, the last time that was paid to the rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties, was in No­vem­ber 2017. We have since ac­cu­mu­lat­ed a debt of $4 mil­lion. Im­por­tant here, this mon­ey was re­flect­ed as be­ing tak­en out of the salaries of the em­ploy­ees.”

In a grim de­scrip­tion of why the sport had sunken to the point it has been at for the past four years, Wal­lace said: “We have trav­el agen­cies be­ing owed over $850,000 and these agen­cies are at the verge of clos­ing down at this point; A loan tak­en from CON­CA­CAF for US$600,000. That loan was tak­en in 2017 and in­ter­est on the loan, month­ly is US$2,500. The prin­ci­pal is still out­stand­ing, plus the in­ter­est to­talling US$63,000. We were al­so faced with 29 bounced cheques to­talling $345,000, in­ci­den­tal­ly, four of those cheques were paid to clubs in the League that was formed just be­fore the elec­tions (the League of Cham­pi­ons),” Wal­lace re­vealed.

The teams re­ceiv­ing the bounced cheques were De­fence Force, Guaya Unit­ed, Youth Stars Unit­ed and Moru­ga FC.

“In an­oth­er jaw-drop­ping rev­e­la­tion to a packed me­dia gath­er­ing, Wal­lace said the TTFA last year al­so re­ceived $990,000 for the pro­posed T-League, which was de­signed to re­struc­ture top-flight lo­cal foot­ball and put it on par with some of the top Leagues world­wide. In­stead, Wal­lace said the mon­ey was used for the League of Cham­pi­ons, and de­spite be­ing in a sur­plus po­si­tion, cheques giv­en to clubs bounced,” the Guardian stated.

Wal­lace added that match agents are be­ing owed despite claims of monies being earned for international game between 2016-2019.

“Ac­tu­al­ly, one per­son went to the FI­FA and FI­FA ruled against the FA. So we have out­stand­ing for match agents $148,000. And match fees to play­ers for those game were not paid since June, to­talling just over a mil­lion dol­lars. Coach­es and tech­ni­cal staff have not been paid since June, to­talling $1.3 mil­lion.”

Mean­while, in­ten­tions to use the Home of Foot­ball as an in­come-gen­er­at­ing mea­sure has been dashed, due to struc­tur­al flaws. Wal­lace said, in ad­di­tion to huge sums of monies be­ing owed on fa­cil­i­ty to the tune of $2 mil­lion, they have had to close the Home of Foot­ball be­cause of no fire clear­ance, no alarm, no emer­gency voice com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem, no emer­gency light­ing, no portable fire ex­tin­guish­ers, no fire hose reel sys­tem, no ded­i­cat­ed wa­ter sup­ply, no fire pump, no li­a­bil­i­ty in­sur­ance, leak­ages, flood­ed steps, and poor­ly in­stalled door frames.

The Guardian also reported “Af­ter 100 days in of­fice the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA), un­der the lead­er­ship of William Wal­lace, has had a lot to brag about.

In a com­par­i­son of what Wal­lace and the TTFA met when they as­sumed of­fice last year, to what they have done to date, Wal­lace at a press con­fer­ence at the Pres­i­dent’s Box of the Queen’s Park Oval on Wednes­day said a sig­nif­i­cant step has been made to clear off the debt of the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion.

The lo­cal foot­ball boss said they have signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) to treat with the debt sit­u­a­tion, which has now reached $50 mil­lion, and they have al­so set­tled a 15-year dis­pute with for­mer ra­dio com­men­ta­tor and jour­nal­ist Sel­wyn Melville on the right­ful own­er of the ‘So­ca War­riors’ name.

“The debt of $50 mil­lion, we have signed an MOU where that is con­cerned and we should be able to take care of that debt in two to three years, and who knows, it might prob­a­bly be be­fore that. There was a mat­ter in the court for prob­a­bly 15 years, the Sel­wyn Melville mat­ter where the is­sue of the trade­mark was in the court. And re­al­ly and tru­ly, when we looked at every­thing, the FA had ab­solute­ly no ev­i­dence to claim the trade­mark. So here we have a mat­ter in the court, we are pay­ing le­gal fees and so on and we have no ev­i­dence. We have tak­en that mat­ter out of the courts, it has been set­tled, and at this point in time we are draw­ing up an arrange­ment to move for­ward with Sel­wyn Melville, who has claimed the trade­mark, for prof­it-shar­ing from the trade­mark,” Wal­lace ex­plained.

The MOU comes at an ide­al time af­ter a team from the CON­CA­CAF and FI­FA vis­it­ed re­cent­ly and ad­vised the TTFA to not both­er to use the Home of Foot­ball in Bal­main, Cou­va as a rev­enue-gen­er­at­ing av­enue. This Wal­lace said was be­cause of the many struc­tur­al flaws that ex­ist­ed, as well as the in­abil­i­ty to se­cure prop­er emer­gency sys­tems.

Wal­lace al­so said there was no kitchen at the fa­cil­i­ty and there­fore they will at­tempt to have their youth teams, use the dorms, or try to part­ner with a com­pa­ny to see how it can be uti­lized. “The build­ing is up but we have to find a way to uti­lize it. In terms of project mon­ey that we were sup­posed to have to the tune of $2 mil­lion is now down to $109, 000 at this point in time, and we have not re­ceived our FI­FA mon­ey yet which is for op­er­a­tions. The Board is dis­cussing ways we can move for­ward, once the build­ing can be used, whether it’s a prof­it-shar­ing arrange­ment, I don’t know that we have the ex­per­tise to run a ho­tel,” Wal­lace said.

The TTFA has al­so se­cured a $25 mil­lion ap­par­el deal: set up a new web­site: se­cured a broad­cast and dig­i­tal rights part­ner: sealed its first do­mes­tic spon­sor: se­cured a spon­sor for the FA: com­mis­sioned the cre­ation of a strate­gic plan: meet­ing with cred­i­tors on an on-go­ing ba­sis: paid out $1 mil­lion to cred­i­tors: paid $227, 000 to the tech­ni­cal staff: paid $135, 000 to play­ers: ac­quired the ser­vices of a Se­nior Coun­sel pro bono: se­cured a spon­sor for elite foot­ball- new League for Pro League, Su­per League and zon­al clubs in a three-Tier sys­tem: and has set up a Sports and Sci­ence Med­ical Com­mit­tee with a man­date to de­vel­op pro­grammes, among many oth­ers.

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