THE ISSUES of salaries owed to Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) administrative staff, coaches and players is among the first issues chairman Robert Hadad expects to confront, now that his FIFA-appointed normalisation committee has been given the green light to proceed following the lifting of an international suspension against the country on Thursday by football’s world governing body (FIFA).
Lifting of the suspension combined with the halting of recent court action against FIFA by William Wallace’s executive has given Hadad‘s committee space to work at addressing the huge debt facing the TTFA. Hadad’s comments came during an interview with regional cable TV broadcaster SportsMax.
“We believe that we have a good grasp of the financial situation at this time and we are starting to address all of the salary issues as our first priority,” said Hadad, “and I know it’s a big question in everybody’s mind.”
Hadad said it was a huge relief that FIFA’s suspension of T&T had been lifted in under two months and after months of conflict with the former TTFA executive.
Hadad said the normalisation committee now has to go to work at re-organising and tackling the TTFA’s huge $70m plus debt.
“It’s a big relief to get over all of the problems we have had to deal with in the past with the battle between the United TTFA and the TTFA and FIFA, and it’s a good place to be today that we don’t have any of that looming over us anymore,” Hadad declared.
“It’s great that everybody (is) celebrating that the suspension has been lifted in a very short time frame. However, it doesn’t take away the debt and the governance issues that we have to deal with,” Hadad announced.
He added: “We have to get the bank account back up and running. We have a lot of work to do.”
Hadad also disclosed that he had been in contact with men’s national team captain Khaleem Hyland and assured that he will also be tackling outstanding monies owed to the players as well.
“He is representing the players and they are very excited,” said Hadad. “We are going to work with them to get their payment to them and most importantly get them back training and fit as fast as possible.”
Hadad reinforced the fact that FIFA money can only be used for football development and not debt consolidation.
“We can’t use the money that we have now for football because we have to study current football. We have to get current football back up and running,” Hadad said.
Hadad also revealed that in short time, overseas pros such a Joevin and Alvin Jones and Kevin Molino will rejoin the national team in training under Englishman Terry Fenwick and that priority is being given to have the national teams back up and running.
“A lot of the national teams don’t have national coaches because their tenure expired in August. So, we have to look at all the different teams and see who has contracts,” Hadad said.
The local business tycoon is also hopeful that in short time FIFA will appoint the two additional members of the normalisation committee as promised because serious work has to begin in the restructuring of the TTFA.
“We are going to put a committee to deal with past debt and the negotiation of it probably will be headed by Mr (Nigel) Romano and the legal matters are to be headed by Judy Daniel. We are going to put different groups of people to deal with different things.”
“We have a huge debt to clear up and everybody has to be patient. But I think they should celebrate because I am going to be in contact with everybody and we are going to negotiate and discuss all their claims and come up with payment plans for everybody that they will be happy.”