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.