Is the TTFA ‘technically’ insolvent?

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 16:30

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