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Creditors accept TTFA's repayment proposal unanimously.
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The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association’s (TTFA) creditors met today and voted unanimously in favour of a debt repayment proposal through the Bankruptcy `Act that will see them receive based on the current validated claims anywhere from 63 cents in the dollar to 100 per cent of the monies owed to them.

The meeting was held at the Home of Football, Couva and chaired remotely by the Supervisor of Insolvency, who was in quarantine.

Creditors were invited to vote after a comprehensive 45-minute presentation by the TTFA appointed Trustee, Maria Daniel, that gave a full illustration of how the TTFA found itself in its current state of debt and the options that were considered before arriving at utilising the restructuring option available through the `Bankruptcy Act option.

Referee’s Association representative Osmond Downer, complemented Daniel on the quality of her work and proposal, evoking applause from the entire room.

The proposal, which was developed by Daniel and her EY Team in collaboration with the TTFA’s FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee, will be funded by an interest-free USD3.5 million instrument that the TTFA will have 10 years to repay. Creditors owed up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full and the balances above that will be pro-rated. They will also have the option to be paid in US or TT dollars.

There were 299 creditors listed in the Trustee’s repayment proposal with a total unsecured debt of TT$84.5 million. Ninety-three of these submitted, had claims amounting to $59.3m of which eighty-eight were validated with a value of $34.4m before today’s meeting. Fifty-one of them (or their proxies) registered and voted at today’s meeting. Notably absent was the TTFA’s largest listed creditor, Austin Jack Warner, who topped the list with a debt of $22.7 million. Daniel advised the meeting that Warner did not submit a claim for validation.

The Trustee’s original proposal, which creditors received on April 22, was enhanced prior to the meeting – total funding was increased by US$500,000 to US$3.5 million, and instead of allocating a TT$3 million provision for the BIR and the NIB, funds would now be set aside for outstanding payments monthly.

The meeting included representatives from the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency; law firm Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan; EY; and Normalisation Committee chairman Robert Hadad and member Nicholas Gomez.

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Trinidad and Tobago FA creditors accept debt repayment proposal
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday)


ATTORNEY Keith Scotland, representing former Soca Warriors head coach Stephen Hart, said his client is elated following the outcome of Thursday’s meeting with TT Football Association creditors who voted unanimously in favour of a debt repayment proposal through the Bankruptcy Act.

Hart was among several coaches and football administrators owed money.

Scotland told Newsday, “I am very happy about it, it is better than nothing. It is a very happy day for us because we are getting 61 cents on the dollar as opposed to nothing for the past years.”

Hart was fired in 2016 after more than three years in charge of the national men’s senior football team. He still had time left on his contract and therefore money was owed to him.

Scotland said Hart is also satisfied, saying, “I spoke to him about an hour ago…he is elated that this matter is being brought to an end.”

The normalisation committee was praised by Scotland. “Mr (Robert) Hadad and they, sometimes we knock them but this one was well done between them and the trustees.”

The TTFA media release said the creditors will “receive based on the current validated claims anywhere from 63 cents on the dollar to 100 per cent of the monies owed to them.”

The meeting, held at the Home of Football in Couva, was chaired remotely by the Supervisor of Insolvency, who was in quarantine.

Creditors were invited to vote after a comprehensive 45-minute presentation by the TTFA appointed trustee, Maria Daniel, that gave a full illustration of how the TTFA found itself in its current state of debt and the options that were considered before arriving at utilising the restructuring option available through the Bankruptcy Act option.

Referee’s Association representative Osmond Downer, commended Daniel on the quality of her work and proposal, evoking applause from the entire room.

The proposal, which was developed by Daniel and her Ernst and Young team in collaboration with the TTFA’s FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, will be funded by an interest-free US $3.5 million instrument that the TTFA will have ten years to repay. Creditors owed up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full and the balances above that will be pro-rated. They will also have the option to be paid in US or TT dollars.

There were 299 creditors listed in the trustee’s repayment proposal with a total unsecured debt of TT $84.5 million. Ninety-three of these submitted, had claims amounting to $59.3 million of which 88 were validated with a value of $34.4 million before Thursday’s meeting. Fifty-one of them (or their proxies) registered and voted at the meeting. Notably absent was the TTFA’s largest listed creditor, Jack Warner, who topped the list with a debt of $22.7 million. Daniel advised the meeting that Warner did not submit a claim for validation.

The trustee’s original proposal, which creditors received on April 22, was enhanced prior to the meeting – total funding was increased by US$500,000 to US$3.5 million, and instead of allocating a TT$3 million provision for the BIR and the NIB, funds would now be set aside for outstanding payments monthly.

The meeting included representatives from the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency; law firm Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan; Ernst and Young; and normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and member Nicholas Gomez.

Unified Coaches: Don't repeat TTFA's mistakes

INTERIM president of the Unified Coaches of TT Jefferson George is hoping national football administrators learn a lesson from the bankrupt Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

George said football coaches and other stakeholders should not have to wait years to receive what is owed to them, as salaries must be paid on time.

On Thursday, TT Football Association (TTFA) creditors voted unanimously in favour of a debt repayment proposal through the Bankruptcy Act.

A TTFA media release on Thursday said the creditors will “receive based on the current validated claims anywhere from 63 cents on the dollar to 100 per cent of the monies owed to them.”

The meeting included representatives from the Office of the Supervisor of Insolvency; law firm Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan; Ernst and Young; and normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad and member Nicholas Gomez. The normalisation committee was appointed in March, 2020 by Fifa to help find solutions for the TTFA which was facing insolvency.The debt was approximately $50 million when the normalisation committee was appointed.

George hopes the situation does not repeat itself as in some instances coaches have been waiting more than five years to receive payment.

“I am concerned that things like this do not reoccur…salaries are something standard, salaries should be paid based on your terms, if it is fortnightly (or) monthly. That’s when salaries are due,” George said.

“The sheer number of coaches that’s on the list shows the type of (situations) that coaches endure as it relates to salaries. I would hope that this is a turning point.”

Some of those who are set to benefit from the proposal are TTFA technical director Anton Corneal, former national men’s senior football coaches Stephen Hart, Dennis Lawrence and Russell Latapy and former TTFA technical director Kendall Walkes.

“It is to be expected that some people are going to be more pleased than others with their settlement,” George said.

Thursday’s meeting, held at the Home of Football in Couva, was chaired remotely by the Supervisor of Insolvency, who was in quarantine.

The TTFA media release, giving more details, said, “The proposal will be funded by an interest-free US $3.5 million instrument that the TTFA will have ten years to repay. Creditors owed up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full and the balances above that will be pro-rated. They will also have the option to be paid in US or TT dollars.”

Creditors were invited to vote after a comprehensive presentation by the TTFA appointed trustee, Maria Daniel, that gave a full illustration of how the TTFA found itself in its current state of debt and the options that were considered before arriving at utilising the restructuring option available through the Bankruptcy Act option.

The release said, “There were 299 creditors listed in the trustee’s repayment proposal with a total unsecured debt of TT $84.5 million.”

George said because of inflation those coaches who will be paid will suffer a loss.

“The money that you are now receiving, although it is not the full amount, it is also less in value.

“I am pleased to get to a point where we can start with current bills being paid on time. I think coaches are going to be satisfied and it is going to be a better situation going forward.”

Corneal, who was rehired as technical director in February under the normalisation committee, was owed money by the TTFA in a previous stint as technical director.

Corneal wants the focus shifted on the field. On Friday, he told Newsday, “I was just happy that this chapter in my life is closed and hopefully we can just move on and take care of the development of the game which should be our priority at this time.”