Former national midfielder now turned coach Angus Eve is calling on the Football Players Association of T&T (FPATT) to come to the assistance of the Soca Warriors now.
The footballers are locked in talks with the T&T Football Association (TTFA) over match fees for the Concacaf Gold Cup, the International Friendly match with Nicaragua, the World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala on November 13 and the game against the United States here at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on November 17.
On Wednesday, the board of directors of the TTFA formed a three-member committee to address the issue of payments to the players and they are to meet with the players’ representative Jan Michael Williams or Kenwyne Jones this week.
The FPATT was formed in 2007 out of a similar battle for monies owed to the players from the TTFA and then special adviser Jack Warner regarding the 2006 World Cup campaign.
Among the items the organisation had promised to negotiate with the authorities on behalf of the players were: match fees insurance for the players; to provide a vehicle to facilitate collective bargaining on behalf of the membership including pre-set international appearance fees; a maximum standard contract of employment for professional footballers and youth players; security for clubs and players; a system that would offer access free legal advice and the implemention of a professional footballers group pension scheme, among many others.
Contacted yesterday, Eve called on the FPATT to assist the players, saying both Michael Williams and Jones should not have to be representing the players now. According to the St Ann’s Rangers coach a number of players were at the forefront when the organisation was formed, such as Central FC managing director Brent Sancho, former national goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and another goalkeeper Kelvin Jack.
Eve said: “As soon as those players were paid by TTFA and the government their World Cup monies, it seem as though FPATT became non-functional. I have not heard from FPATT after monies were paid to those players and the sad thing is that we have a situation similar to what happened back in 2006 here.”
According to Eve, the coach of Naparima College, the reigning InterCol and premiership champion school team: “Players are not supposed to be fighting battles to be paid. What that does is take away from their focus on the game. This is why players have managers and agents and its what FPTT should be doing.”
He told the T&T Guardian he felt disappointed by the latest episode of players having to fight for money that belonged to them.
“When a player enters a national team, a number of things must be listed out to him, such as how much he will earn in match fees among many other things. It cannot be like now where players have to lobby for match fees months after the game because when players leave their professional clubs to represent their country, they are putting themselves at risk of getting injured,” Eve said.
He added: “I have seen a situation where a TT player left his club to represent his country and he was injured in a match and eventually lost his contract. Now if players are not properly compensated for their service while on national duty, what will happen to them?” Eve asked. Attempts to reach Sancho, Jack or Hislop proved futile.
Some of the FPATT objectives
1. To provide an elected representative body that can address the concerns of professional footballers in T&T.
2. To achieve 100 per cent membership of professional footballers in T&T.
3. To provide professional footballers with the ability through a representative body to help govern and shape the future of profesional football in T&T.
4. To provide a vehicle to facilitate collective bargaining on behalf of the membership including pre-set international appearance fees.
5. To provide a maximum standard contract of employement for professional footballers and youth players to provide security for clubs and players alike and to give players access to free legal advice.
6. To arrange sponsorship and funding to put into place insurance for players in case of career ending injuries.
7. To work alongside TTFF to help encourage football in the community projects to help to increase the attraction of the professional game in T&T with both supporters and prospective players.
8. To arrange an affordable professional footballers group pension scheme with the long term aim of clubs contributing on behalf of players.
9. To provide education and advice to assist players leaving the game to obtain new careers outside football.
10. To liaise with FIFPRO and the other CONCACAF players associations to develop similar working practices across the region, improving the attraction of football as a profession and increasing the standards of professional football in the Caribbean.
11. To lobby for changes in the governing of the game at all levels to provide financial transparency.
12. To provide player representation for the benefit of players and clubs alike, to reduce much needed finances going to outside parties, and to arrange in association with the TTFF more stringent agent licensing.
Minister unveils fresh plans for sport in 2016
By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH (Newsday).
AFTER SPENDING just over 100 days in office as Minister of Sport, Darryl Smith yesterday unveiled a unique list of new administrative and practical techniques which have been designed to revamp his Ministry’s overall competencies towards national athletes and non-governmental organisations.
The recently appointed Minister announced these welcomed revelations at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday, to an audience comprising of multiple national sporting representatives who were clearly in full support of Smith’s fresh and creative ideas towards marketing sport on the global stage. However, the former Diego Martin Regional Corporation chairman made it clear early on, that sport, like all other national entities, would be unavoidably hampered by the continuously falling price of oil – Trinidad and Tobago’s biggest income earner.
Firstly, Smith admitted that a lot of work has already been done towards cleaning up and correcting the discrepancies of the past regime. While he opted to not dwell too much on these negative actions of the past, the Minister used his opening days in office to personally meet with members of every national sporting organisation – an act which may have never been done so early in by past holders of this post. This move to converse with the sporting bodies has already created a positive impact within each fraternity.
With respect to the formation of new sporting policies, Smith explained, “There are people who make sports policies, and I don’t know how that was done before, but I think the Ministry now has a better vision going forward.
Even while doing that document (policies) we will be still calling on a number of you (NSO’s) all to come back and meet with us and get your two cents in with regards to the policy.” He also touched on programmes affiliated to athlete assistance and ensured that these strategies will be reworked to affirm an easy and smooth transition forward.
“The private sector will be included with regards to bridging the gap towards funding,” he added. “We are hoping next year to implement SELL Sport.
We want to have a tradeshow and expo where we are going to encourage all the NGB’s to set up booths and sell to the private sector. One of the initiatives I have spoken about from day one is data collection. That is going to be key for this programme.
People don’t spend their money unless they know they’re getting a bang for their buck.” Smith is also working assiduously towards highlighting one national sport per week throughout 2016 in an effort to raise national awareness in both rural and urban areas.
He intends to go to the media/ schools and promote these sports so they can be more marketable and in tune with young people.
“Coming out of the meetings (with NSO’s), and this has not been approached to Parliament as yet, is we want to make the process of donating funds easier because it is apparently very tedious right now and the returns on tax breaks aren’t that attractive. This is not etched in stone but we would like to have discussions where people, personally, can donate and also get a tax break. It is done in the First World countries but we still have to work that out and ventilate that through the Minister of Finance and so on,” continued Minister Smith.
Another new initiative on Smith’s slate for 2016 is to increase the relations between his Ministry and local sports media.
He believes that media houses are privy to a lot of underground stories which are hardly brought to the forefront and is goal bound on ‘interviewing’ several media personalities to gain knowledge on what is happening under the radar.
He further revealed more new plans for the coming year.
“The Ministry has to also tighten up and we want to set the example for the NGOs with proper management and databases and maintenance. I don’t think we had good examples across the board in the Ministry before, so we must lead by example. One of the other key things that we want to push is that we want to work with the young people. The youth aspect is also kicked in the background, and this is why they were one of the first we met with.
We have to align ourselves a little better with our youth,” Smith noted.
Yesterday’s meeting featured a heavy cast of sporting administrators such as Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport Joan Mendes, acting SporTT chief executive officer Adrian Raymond, Trinidad Youth Council president Sean Nicholson and David King and Sudhir Ramessar, TT’s Paralympic Committee president and treasurer, respectively.
Smith concluded, “It’s been a fantastic experience thus far.
But we are still mindful of the financial situation in the country and across the globe. When we came in on September 7, it was approximately US$85 per barrel, now it’s at US$36, and no one can ignore that. This will affect us in several ways since it is our main stream of revenue. We remain optimistic.