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Offline Sam

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #150 on: April 11, 2017, 06:47:27 AM »
High Court orders TTFA to pay $.2 million to ex-GS; Hart, Corneal, Walkes could be next.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com).

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has until 30 April 2017 to make its first payment to former general secretary Sheldon Phillips or face the possibility of seizure of property, after a legal defeat in the High Court on 3 March 2017.

The total figure owed to Phillips is TT$227,194.87 plus interest at five percent per annum for debt, interest and costs. The money represents one month’s salary for Phillips at TT$26,400 plus three months’ rent and a host of payments made by the ex-general secretary on behalf of the football body, which included arrears on the salary of former coach Stephen Hart and one month’s payment of the TTFA staff’s salaries.

The debt was incurred during the tenure of former local football president Raymond Tim Kee but current TTFA president David John-Williams and his board must take responsibility for the issue ending up in court.

Despite several requests for payment and a demand letter sent on 15 July 2016, according to Phillips’ statement of case, the TTFA refused to settle “nor has it proffered any reasonable grounds for failing to do so.”

Yet, remarkably, once the matter reached the High Court, the football body didn’t even bother to defend itself. The court subsequently delivered “Judgment in default of defence against the defendant.”

It is, arguably, part of a cavalier attitude to legal matters by the John Williams-led administration, which can arguably lead to a handful of lawsuits over the next month.

Wired868 was reliably informed that the TTFA’s attorneys are handling financial grievances by Hart as well as former technical directors Kendall Walkes and Anton Corneal. And the combined cost of their unpaid wages is believed to be in excess of TT$10 million.

And, although some of the matters precede John-Williams’ term in office, the bombastic attitude of the current president was identified as a factor for the frustration of all the potential claimants.

At the head of the queue, though, is United States television giant Telemundo, who are suing for protection of their contract to exclusively broadcast Trinidad and Tobago’s 2018 and 2022 World Cup qualifiers to a Spanish-speaking US audience.

The TTFA has refused to accept the validity of the contract, which they are party to after signing their rights over to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) in 2012. John-Williams, on behalf of the TTFA, argued that the contract should be voided due to a bribe paid by Traffic USA president Aaron Davidson to former CFU normalisation committee chairman Jeffrey Webb.

The High Court granted an injunction to Telemundo, which ensured that the local football body would not interfere with their broadcast rights for recent qualifiers against Panama and Mexico on 24 and 28 March respectively.

Timothy Hamel-Smith SC, who represented Telemundo in the High Court, slammed John-Williams’ behaviour in the impasse.

“That is not the conduct of an honest commercial man,” said Hamel-Smith. “The conduct of an honest commercial man is that he respects the rights of somebody who is bonafide and he gets what he can get from the people who took advantage of him if he truly believes that.”

In Phillip’s case, it is revealing that, after forcing the general secretary into court to settle a TTFA debt to him, John-Williams and his body did not even attempt to defend their actions.

There is more than a whiff of the stalling tactics that Trinidad and Tobago Super League (TTSL) interim president Keith Look Loy and Central Football Association (CFA) general secretary Clynt Taylor both complained about in their own dealings with the local football body.

Hart, according to close sources, allege that the TTFA owed him five months’ salary as well as money for the rest of his contract, which expires in 2018. It works out to close to TT$4 million.

Crucially though, John-Williams repeatedly claimed that Hart was fully paid up while head coach. Both men cannot be telling the truth.

Corneal is owed roughly TT$3.5 million for his contract as technical director as well as reimbursements for money spent on accommodation and stipends for several national youth teams. He left his post, after being unpaid for more than a year, in April 2014.

Corneal’s exit occurred more than a year before John-Williams took office. But, again, John-Williams’ bullish attitude is believed to have exacerbated matters according to another source close to the coach who steered Trinidad and Tobago to the 2007 Under-17 World Cup tournament.

The current president made payments of TT$50,000 and TT$25,000 respectively to Corneal, soon after he took office in November 2015. But relationships soured when John-Williams allegedly decided he did not like the tone of the former technical director—although Corneal was the victim of the football body’s financial irresponsibility.

“[John-Williams allegedly told Corneal] you should be happy that you’re getting anything at all,” a source close to the issue told Wired868, on condition of anonymity. “[Corneal replied] with all due respect, two and a half percent of the money you owe me isn’t plenty money.”

Walkes, who replaced Corneal as technical director, got even less. John-Williams, he claimed, refused to even acknowledge him as technical director—although, ironically, the TTFA sent Walkes to Brazil to lead the Women’s National Senior Team within weeks of the president’s election.

The TTFA never paid Walkes since John-Williams took office. As in the case of Telemundo, the new administration simply ignored its contract with the employee.

“If nothing is said to you on anything you try to get from the TTFA, it is just as good as a loud F-U,” said Walkes. “Silence speaks volumes. John-Williams never said anything to me [and] he never wrote anything to me. It is as if I never existed.

“The only person who I ever had communication with is [former TTFA interim general secretary] Azaad [Khan]. That is how they were treating me and still treating me.”

The TTFA fired Walkes—although they still claim he wasn’t properly hired in the first place—in April 2016. The former Trinidad and Tobago international and US NCAA coach explained that it was the middle of the US university term and the timing meant there would be no job openings in his old field for months.

In the meantime, Walkes’ renewal for his United States Soccer Federation ‘A’ licence coaching badge came up. He said he was required to provide proof of his international experience as a player for Trinidad and Tobago as well as his role within the football body as technical director.

Walkes claimed that he wrote the TTFA to provide him with the necessary information in December 2016 for the requisite information. But a formal response did not come until last week after—with the help of former international teammate Everald “Gally” Cummings—he was able to contact Sport Minister Darryl Smith, who made a personal intervention.

Even then, a frustrated Walkes, who is assisting with coaching at the Philadelphia Union youth teams and their subsidiaries, thinks the information provided to him might be insufficient.

“Without my file being complete, when you go into the digital coaching centre I would be graded as a ‘B’ license coach,” said Walkes, “because I have not provided enough authentication to get my ‘A’ license renewed. And if that goes until a certain time, I will have to pay over US$4,000 to get my license from scratch.

“So, as far as I know, I am in the system as a ‘B’… I explained that to Azaad Khan and it still took between December of last year to last Thursday to superimpose some information for me on a letterhead because they didn’t want to do it.

“I explained to the TTFA and the TTOC (Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee) why I wanted this letter. Brian Lewis never responded to me. I sent it to Anthony Creed at SPORTT and he never responded to me.”

Walkes said he certified over 130 coaches in Trinidad during his time as technical director. It is a process that he said has not continued under his successor, Muhammad Isa.

Now, he is left incensed at the treatment meted out by his countrymen, which threatens to even affect his livelihood.

“I wasn’t a guy who just happened to play for Trinidad after a good domestic season,” said Walkes. “I was a constant presence in the Trinidad and Tobago team for years and I have well over 50 caps. If they want to verify that they can talk to Gally or Steve David, Ron La Forest, Selwyn Murren…

“There are 12,000 ‘A’ level coaches in the entire country [in the United States]. It is a privileged license to have and I have had my ‘A’ license since 2000… I cannot do State level coaching courses to earn money because my ‘A’ is not updated…”

On Monday 10 April, FIFA president Gianni Infantino is due to visit Trinidad and John-Williams will take him on to courtesy calls to President Anthony Carmona and Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.

Wired868 understands FIFA has increased FAP payments to national associations from US$250,000 per year to US$750,000 plus another US$140,000 for national team travel. This figure has not been confirmed by FIFA or the TTFA.

If accurate, it is a whopping climb from the annual subvention offered by Infantino’s predecessor, Sepp Blatter. Ironically, this funding—and, in particular, the lack of oversight regarding its use—was fingered as one of the ways that Blatter bought votes from national associations.

The FAP money means the TTFA can run its house without needing a cent from the government or commercial sponsors—the local football body often requested TT$6 million per year from the government although, in a best case scenario, they would hope to have a war chest of around TT$10 million.

But, if the complaints of Phillips, Hart, Corneal, Walkes, Look Loy, Taylor and Telemundo, have any merit, money is the least of the problems facing the John-Williams-led TTFA. It is about the shortfall in respect, integrity and appreciation for the efforts of employees and stakeholders as well as for the democratic process.

Bull them hard Sheldon !!!!!

Faster than a speeding pittbull
Stronger than a shot of ba-bash
Capable of storming any fete

Offline Flex

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #151 on: December 26, 2017, 04:45:39 AM »
Phillips: Arrogant, shifty John-Williams-led TTFA is steering T&T football to ruin.
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868).

“The [TTFA’s] handling of former coaches Stephen Hart and Randy Waldrum were nothing short of embarrassingly unprofessional and mean. [And the] TTFA leadership persists in acting in a manner that may very well push creditors to seek legal redress and have the TTFA placed in court-appointed administration.

“There simply seems to be no evidence of desire on the part of the current TTFA president and its board to pay debt unless creditors go through arduous litigation, win a judgment—at greater expense to the TTFA, I may add—and collect on said judgment.”

Former Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips, who won a $.2 million High Court case against his former employers earlier this year, gives his view on the current direction of the local football body, headed by president David John-Williams:

The David John-Williams-led TTFA has failed in serving both Trinidad and Tobago football and its members in every way.

Before accepting the position of General Secretary of the TTFA, which I held from  2013 to 2015, I sought assurances from the former TTFA president, Raymond Tim Kee, to place three matters as high priority items:

Reformation of the TTFA Constitution

The coaching selection process of the senior men’s and women’s national team programmes.

Substantive effort to reduce TTFA debt.

An accord was reached, assurances were given, and my tenure as General Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation began on 9 May, 2013.

Upon my arrival at the TTFA office on Ana St in Woodbrook, Mr Tim Kee was waiting at the top of the stairs holding a large pile of manila folders which contained invoices, contracts, and correspondence connected to what would end up being over $35 million dollars in debt incurred by the organisation.

I knew the organisation was in debt but, until I reviewed the files, I did not know the actual breadth and depth of the problem. In a gallows humour moment after locating and verifying an additional set of claims, I told Tim Kee that for the next two years we will be acting more like a claims department than a football association.

All manner of service providers—large and small, corporate and sole trader enterprises—had legitimate claims for goods and services provided. Of even greater concern were unpaid invoices for coaches, players, and other service providers who had performed in the context of the TTFA’s national team programmes.

It was heartbreaking to see the evidence and even worse to hear the stories of dismissiveness and even hostility meted out by prior TTFA administrators to respectfully made inquiries about payment for services sought by the TTFA and professionally rendered.

Our commitment to reducing the debt was real and sincere. Among the over 100 claims, the largest and most visible was the one by 13 senior national team 2006 World Cup players who had won a High Court judgment against the TTFA for breach of contract; and, though the determination of damages by the Court had not yet been reached, all signs pointed to an award eclipsing $20 million.

These events had taken place before Tim Kee was elected president and I assumed the GS position.

I was convinced a debt-reduction strategy was indeed going to be a priority while attending a meeting held at CONCACAF offices between the then CONCACAF President and General Secretary, Jeffrey Webb and Enrique Sanz respectively, and Mr Tim Kee and myself. The question of how a recently discovered sum of US$1.5 million belonging to the TTFF should be used was posed by Webb to Tim Kee.

Having already discussed the matter prior to the meeting, Tim Kee and I looked at each other and he then turned to Webb and said  “We will use it to pay the players.'”

“All of it?” asked Webb.

“Every red penny,” Tim Kee replied, enunciating each syllable to ensure no chance of ambiguity.

Sharing these events is not an attempt to reminisce or offer self-praise but to present the fact that,

while our debt to income ratio was 4:1, the earnest steps we took to address the debt saved the organisation from becoming ripe for creditors petitioning the court to wind up the TTFA.

It is not lost upon myself that the current administration has demonstrated an acute level of proficiency in tarnishing each of the three areas of greatest concern—constitution, senior team relevance, and debt management—I shared with Tim Kee and pledged to give priority care.

In the area of constitutional reform, the current administration was elected in a flawed and constitutionally illegal election. The vast majority of members were not in compliance with the new constitution nor were proper steps taken in the General Meeting to offer and pass a motion to waive the statutes, which outlined the steps for a properly assembled Annual General Meeting (AGM) and election.

As a result, the legitimacy of the current TTFA administration is as shifty and murky as the Pitch Lake.

In regard to the football product, from the very moment Williams assumed power, the gradual deterioration and string of poor results from each national team programme became apparent. Our youth national teams were losing by scores of 15-0 and 8-2 in tournaments and coaches responded by saying such abominations were “good experiences” for the players.

The Senior Men’s team’s leadership was undermined to the point where the players knew their coach was no longer the leader and authority of the team. The administration’s handling of former coaches Stephen Hart and Randy Waldrum was nothing short of embarrassingly unprofessional and mean.

However, it is the current administration’s overall approach to the debt that most clearly demonstrates a wanton disregard of the most basic duties of care and loyalty officers and directors of any company must uphold.

Based on reports from various creditors, Williams’ approach to legitimate financial obligations isn’t based on empathy but rather on frivolous defences, hostility, misrepresentation of facts, and overall disrespect towards other parties involved in disputes that can be easily and amicably settled.

(Full disclosure, I have a current matter pending in the Industrial Court against the TTFA and won a High Court decision earlier this year to recover money lent to the TTFA that Williams refused to pay back).

Instead of humbling themselves and acknowledging claims from people who have shown great patience, the TTFA faces the very real threat of a creditor-led wind-up effort and its officers, directors, and members face the possibility of personal liability.

Here is what may very well happen. The Companies Act of Trinidad and Tobago (81:01) presents various circumstances where a company may be wound up should the Court find reason that the organisation is insolvent and unable to properly meet its obligations:

Winding Up By The Court

Section 355. A company may be wound up by the Court if—

(a) the company has by special resolution resolved that the company be wound up by the Court;

(b) the company does not commence its business within a year from its incorporation, or suspends its business for a whole year;

(c) the company is unable to pay its debts;

Liability of Members

Section 349.

(1) Subject to this section, in the event of a company being wound up every present or past member is liable to contribute to the assets of the company to an amount sufficient for payment of its debts and liabilities, and the costs, charges and expenses of among themselves.

Liability of Directors and Officers

In re CLICO Investment Bank – in Compulsory Liquidation. In re The Companies Act, Chap. 81:01

In the above-cited hearing decision, the Court considered and subsequently denied a defence motion to prohibit the liquidator’s use of company shares from another company owned by the defendant for the purposes of satisfying creditors of CLICO in which the defendant was a director.

The Court surmised the liquidator was well within his rights to apply the value of the shares so long as doing so represented an element of fairness in the carrying out of the liquidator’s duty to the creditors.

Based on the cases I have reviewed and the statute itself, the powers given to the Court to protect the interest of creditors under the Companies Act are vast and the Court as well as its representatives is free to consider a number of variables to determine whether a petition for wind up and the ensuing actions will be granted or denied.

In short, the TTFA and its actions, attitude, and overall disposition toward creditors can be considered. Any steps taken by an organisation targeted for wind up or even its failure to take basic steps to mitigate damage to the organisation can be considered by the court and its appointed representatives.

In my view, Williams and his board have greatly diminished any objective claim of taking serious steps to manage the organisation’s debts.

No organisation can operate properly when it is undercapitalised and saddled with debt. However, based upon their own 2016 audit statement, the TTFA paid over TT$15 million in professional fees. So, while capital does not seem to be as severe an issue as it was during my tenure, it would be reasonable for the Court to review the purpose of the professional fees and ask why couldn’t a portion of the increased revenue be used to address debt.

Additionally, the court can seek minutes of Board meetings and General Council meetings to review how much time and discussion was dedicated to addressing the organisation’s debt.

From a structural standpoint, it can be argued that the inactivity of the Finance Committee—the official entity responsible for recommending fiscal policy for an organisation—is another illustration of the organisation’s negligent and apathetic approach to debt management.

In this era of “wrong and strong,” TTFA leadership persists in acting in a manner that may very well push creditors to seek legal redress and have the TTFA placed in court-appointed administration. There simply seems to be no evidence of desire on the part of the current TTFA president and its board to pay debt unless creditors go through arduous litigation, win a judgment—at greater expense to the TTFA, I may add—and collect on said judgment.

This is not a prudent or honourable manner of stewardship of the game; in fact, it marks a further deterioration in the relevance of the sport and general goodwill towards it.

Should TTFA members further entrust to Mr Williams and the Board of Directors the levers of policy making on their behalf, such an indulgence could be reasonably judged as negligent and hasten an existential threat to the organisation and perhaps place members as well as TTFA officials and directors themselves within the line of legal liability.

The TTFA Constitution provides that the TTFA is a member-centered organisation. It is neither owned by the president nor controlled by the Board. As p.er Article 12 of the TTFA Constitution, Members can insist upon being informed of the affairs of the TTFA. Members also have the ability to remove officers and directors who are not performing in the best interests of the organisation should members choose such a route.

If TTFA members are unable to convince current TTFA leadership to properly and earnestly address the organisation’s debts, it is obliged to remove the current leadership—if not for the best interests of the game in Trinidad and Tobago, then to protect themselves in the event of a company wind up and liquidation.

In closing, it important to note that football does not begin or end with the TTFA leadership. Though the TTFA leadership and their sycophants may attempt to convince the public they are indispensable, the truth is the game will go on without them.

Leagues and clubs will still operate, coaches will still pass along their knowledge and ply their trade, and the general business of football will still continue should the TTFA find itself freed from the grasp of its current leadership—whether through member action or through Court involvement.

However, it is preferable that the creditors work with the TTFA and its members to create a debt restructure plan that would make the TTFA a better and stronger organisation led by an administration that embraces transparency and based on sound business acumen.

And one that understands it must use its power to properly serve the players, coaches, referees, administrators and fans in order for Trinidad and Tobago football to reach its maximum potential at all levels of play and for us to present ourselves well on the global stage.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Storeboy

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #152 on: December 28, 2017, 10:49:22 AM »
Why would anybody do business, sign a contract or make loans to these guys. This is endemic Trini disorganization and corruption.
On a better note, I am praying that there is a new spirit, new leadership and a return to winning on the field in 2018. "Happy New Year to all Forumites."
Never, never, ever give up! Go T&T Warriors!

Offline Flex

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #153 on: March 30, 2019, 12:35:42 AM »
Phillips tipped for football commission spot.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).

Shel­don Phillips, the sacked for­mer gen­er­al sec­re­tary of T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TTFA), is set to be one of two in­de­pen­dent mem­bers on a com­mis­sion to steer foot­ball for­ward.

Sev­en mem­bers will make up the com­mis­sion, two from the T&T Su­per League (TTSL) and the T&T Pro League and as many in­de­pen­dents. There will al­so be one mem­ber of the TTFA.

Guardian Me­dia Sports learned that Kei­th Look Loy, the TTSL's rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the board of di­rec­tors of the TTFA, will again rep­re­sent the in­ter­est of his league, along with Ter­ry Joseph, the Bethel Unit­ed own­er and man­ag­er.

Cen­tral FC's Brent San­cho and Ja­mal Shabazz (Mor­vant Cale­do­nia Unit­ed) have been cho­sen to be the Pro League's rep­re­sen­ta­tives while Phillips has been joined by busi­ness­man Lyn­d­say Gillette as the in­de­pen­dents. Mean­while, An­tho­ny Moore, pres­i­dent of the To­ba­go Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (TFA) was picked as the foot­ball as­so­ci­a­tion's mem­ber.

Phillips' name was among at least five that have been pro­posed by mem­bers of the com­mis­sion and Guardian Me­dia Sports un­der­stands he is set to get the nod when the com­mis­sion meets again next Wednes­day at a venue in Port-of-Spain.

The com­mis­sion meets week­ly to po­si­tion the sport on a sta­ble and prof­itable foot­ing in the fu­ture and ac­cord­ing to San­cho, the meet­ings have been very fruit­ful so far.

How­ev­er, he made it clear there is still a lot of work to be done if the Ju­ly 3 start of the new first tier league is to be kept, as well as the com­mence­ment of the sec­ond tier com­pe­ti­tion which is set for June 7.

San­cho said in ad­di­tion to de­cid­ing on the names of the two com­pe­ti­tions, the com­po­si­tion of them al­so need to be sort­ed out with com­pli­ance is­sues still to be ad­dressed.

Clubs de­sirous of par­tic­i­pat­ing in the league must be TTFA/CON­CA­CAF/FI­FA com­pli­ant. Last year, 11 teams in the TTSL were re­ject­ed for be­ing non-com­pli­ant which al­lowed the TTSL to be con­test­ed in on­ly one di­vi­sion with 13 teams from its ini­tial 24 in two di­vi­sions.

San­cho be­lieves the com­mis­sion al­so has to de­cide on putting out a prop­er le­gal frame­work for the leagues, en­sure the right peo­ple are re­cruit­ed, the rules and reg­u­la­tions by which the leagues will be run are pre­cise and in-depth and the prop­er de­ci­sions are made with re­spect to en­sur­ing the leagues are com­pet­i­tive in­ter­na­tion­al­ly.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #154 on: March 30, 2019, 12:41:07 AM »
Very good pick, Sheldon is a good candidate. I hope he gets the job.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Flex

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #155 on: July 11, 2019, 12:46:26 AM »
FIFA debt relief plan, monthly financial reports, Messi… Phillips’ blueprint for T&T football success.

“If such a move can be accommodated, there would be no more potent injection to jolt T&T football than to leave CONCACAF in order to join CONMEBOL…

“Regular competition against clubs and national teams from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay seem daunting but two things would occur: one, our football will be forced to improve; and, two, people will come out and watch football again.

“Fancy a Lionel Messi or Neymar appearance at Hasely Crawford Stadium for a World Cup Qualifier?”

Former TTFA general secretary Sheldon Phillips offers his ideas to revamp football in Trinidad and Tobago by addressing debt, sustainability, organisational instability and loss of public confidence:

(Phillip’s blog was sent to Wired868 before football stakeholders announced their attention to dethrone TTFA president David John-Williams at a press conference last week.)

To say football in Trinidad and Tobago has suffered and regressed over the past four years would be an understatement. The failures are numerous and well known. But merely advocating for personnel change without committing to an overhaul of a deeply flawed system is folly.

In the words of Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

The current TTFA president did not rise to power nor operate in a vacuum. He is a mere symptom of a wider set of system failures that will continue to corrode the organisation long after he is gone.

TTFA policy makers and members must be committed to embracing substantive and process-driven change starting with addressing these five vital challenges currently bedevilling the organisation:

1. Severe Debt Matters

2. Under-Capitalisation

3. Sustainability

4. Organisational Instability and Apathy

5. Loss of Public Confidence

(Severe debt matters)

No organisation can survive, much less thrive, when it is saddled with a toxic brew of debt. Adopting a sensible debt management program is essential to the survival of the TTFA or whatever governing body is charged with developing football in T&T.

For good reason, corporate sponsors will not provide financial support to service debt and government bailouts in the current economic climate is politically unreasonable. The only rational and accountable solution is to petition FIFA to provide a multi year advance of funds appropriated every year to FIFA member associations and set aside at least 40% of those funds to service creditor and vendor debt until it is extinguished.

The previous TTFA administration assumed a $35 million debt when it came to office in 2012. The subsequent and current administration assumed a $15 million debt when it came to office in 2015. Yet, as of today, the debt has increased to $30 million.

The direct correlation between earnestly servicing debt and providing a good football product as opposed to ignoring and incurring more debt and delivering a poor football product is unmistakable.


Any business that is undercapitalised is doomed to fail. Operating a full fledged national football association requires substantial resources; both financial and value in-kind. Some of the major operational costs include staffing, player fees, transportation, and lodging. In order to adequately meet its operational demands, a football association should not work below an annual operating budget of $80 million TTD.

Recurring revenue streams drawn from sponsorships, government grants, gate receipts, FIFA/CONCACAF grants, and media/IP rights are fixtures in any budget review.

In addition to activating traditional revenue streams, the TTFA should welcome the input and participation of an active diaspora that is supportive, nostalgic, and has access to foreign exchange.

In light of growing public calls for change and desire to have some level of input in the direction of the association, the time has come for the TTFA to offer individual memberships to fans located both at home and abroad.

It is not unreasonable for an internationally based member with an affinity for T&T to pay a $65 USD annual membership fee. Nor would it be unrealistic to set a goal of 10,000 members worldwide; which would enable TTFA to acquire a level of funding similar to what FIFA currently provides to its member associations.


A sustainable organisation is a relevant organisation. Nowhere does the TTFA show its irrelevance more than in its inability to properly develop youth footballers and coaches that are on par with their international counterparts.

First, the TTFA must show maturity and candour in recognising its inability to objectively and efficiently support a proper development structure and outsource that responsibility to a national governing body that will provide year round football development opportunities and competition for youth footballers and coaches.

Under the current ad-hoc model, there are limited development opportunities for youth footballers (ages 6-12) in T&T. Nowhere is this more evident than in girls football where competition and training is scarce and the players often engage in organised competition later in their lives than boys.

The second initiative follows the adage; “Fortune favours the bold” as it can boost the standing of T&T football both at home and abroad. If such a move can be accommodated, there would be no more potent injection to jolt T&T football than to leave CONCACAF in order to join CONMEBOL.

Aside from geographic and increasingly political considerations that favour such a move, T&T athletes have historically “boxed well above their weight class”.

Regular competition against clubs and national teams from Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Uruguay seem daunting but two things would occur: one, our football will be forced to improve; and, two, people will come out and watch football again. Fancy a Lionel Messi or Neymar appearance at Hasely Crawford Stadium for a World Cup Qualifier?

A move to CONMEBOL would immediately register Trinidad and Tobago as a potential giant killer in a football rich ecosystem and develop a compelling story that would increase our marketing value beyond our current level as a member of CONCACAF. Relevance matters.

(Organisational instability and apathy)

The TTFA is an institution currently incapable of reform and weakened by self interest. However, it can become a more accountable and transparent organisation boasting active members with the implementation of four simple initiatives;

1. Public broadcast of board of directors meetings,

2. Compulsory activation of committees or face mandatory recall of elected officers,

3. Create a clear separation between policy makers and operational staff, and

4. Introduction of an Ombudsman to monitor and ensure actions of TTFA officers are consistent with the TTFA constitution.
“Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants” – US Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis

Reports of non disclosure forms being forced upon board members and secret ballots being held at board meetings provoke reasonable suspicion that skullduggery is afoot. Public broadcast of board meetings will dissuade those who seek to introduce or endorse less than honest schemes to further advance their personal agendas.

The clandestine nature of the current leadership is supplemented by a level of negligence and apathy among some members that nicely sets the table for industrious malcontents.

Quorum rules are manipulated and cowardly acceptance through silence serves the interests of those who wish to maintain the status quo. When officers are elected to represent a constituency yet fail to participate in the process of attending board, committee, and general meetings they should be dismissed at the earliest practicable moment.

It is time for sports administrators to roll up their sleeves and work rather than seek the trappings of free trips, booze, and food.

On the matter of policymakers overstepping their boundaries, the TTFA constitution is fatally flawed in its granting of operational responsibilities to board members.

Sporting policy should be made in consultation with sporting professionals. Marketing policy should be made in consultation with marketing professionals. Legal policy should be made in consultation with legal professionals. When educated policy is adopted, implementation should be carried out by professionals, not elected officials.

Yet, the TTFA constitution provides the board of directors a wide swath of duties and responsibilities in which they should have no role, such as setting rules and regulations for competitions or to lead efforts in the selection of coaches and technical staff. This square peg in a round hole dynamic is further exacerbated when the policy making/implementation process is consolidated within a cabal of sycophants masquerading as officers.

The president of a multi-million dollar public interest like the TTFA is merely a steward and should not be in the business of being the chief, cook, and bottle washer. It is not a sign of professional virtue but rather reflects poor efficiency and arrests the development of the overall organisation.

An organisation that represents the public interest should not be led down an ill advised path by the whims of a leader who has questionable priorities that rival the best interests of the organisation. Based on my experience, the presence of a neutral and respected third party is necessary to ensure basic fairness and due process is practiced within the TTFA.

While the triggers for activation can be debated, the introduction of an Ombudsman to monitor and serve as a resource for dispute resolution matters and overall compliance to best practices would not only be a welcome cheque on the executive but also serve as an important step toward reversing loss of public confidence in the organisation.

(Loss of public confidence)

While working on Capitol Hill, I had a mentor by the name of Donald Temple. Donald is a Howard University alum and pugilistic Philly-style lawyer who had this great saying: “It’s easier to build a house with no nails than it is to rebuild a damaged reputation.”

The TTFA is a damaged brand that may be beyond redemption due in large part to the management of its current president and negligent entrustment by its members.

However difficult the path to redemption may be, the organisation could win back the favour of the public under different leadership that conducts its business in a proper and ethical manner.

The next set of TTFA officers will have to recognise its obligation to frequently share relevant association business with the public. Weekly press briefings and an active social media presence are standard fare; no longer seen as an indulgence. Monthly financial reports must be volunteered and not withheld from members nor the general public.

There is simply no upside in operating with little to no accountability and contempt toward the same general public whose support you ultimately seek and need.

In the end, the path to regaining public confidence will be dependent on the people working with and for the association. Treatment of the employees, players and coaches will greatly influence the quality of the product on the field. But nothing less than the best efforts from administrators will be required in order to have a chance to succeed in achieving the difficult task of rebuilding the woefully damaged reputation of the TTFA.

It can be done.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 12:51:25 AM by Flex »
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline kounty

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #156 on: July 11, 2019, 07:33:31 PM »
Seem like Sheldon thinking about a run for presidency, or campaigning to be on the team of somebody who running. If that is so, I want to request that Tallman / Flex organize an interview like you all used to do.
2 questions to start with is a) The incident with the man with the bag of money in Movie Towne parking lot (if that was before he got fired).. tell us about that [As he mention transparency a few times]. b) Tell me about what he said about paying how much they pay for a stupid website -- nepotism/ corruption; what did he say to his boss at that point in time?

Other than that I think Sheldon would be a decent candidate.

Offline soccerman

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #157 on: July 12, 2019, 09:43:26 AM »
If so I he hope he came mend his differences with Tim Kee and join forces with the special committee they're forming. We don't need a number of different parties running for this presidency. It will be best to have one strong alliance with the interest of resuscitating T&T football to challenge the current administration. The best minds need to come together and work selflessly and professionally.

Offline Flex

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Re: Sheldon Phillips Thread
« Reply #158 on: September 03, 2020, 07:49:30 AM »
The overrated bliss of being right.
T&T Express Reports.

The following was written as a Letter to the Editor by former general secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, Sheldon Phillips, on the current impasse between the sidelined TTFA executives and world governing body, FIFA.

The greatest place to be is at a World Cup during the first week of competition. It is a time when the excitement of the trip, anticipation of matches, interaction with fans from all over the world, and the festivity of the event is at its highest.

Having experienced this euphoria three times each in different capacities—1994 as an executive for the Washington DC Venue, 2006 as a spectator and 2014 as general secretary for a member association—it was the 2006 tournament that provided the most gratifying sporting moment I’ve ever experienced.

For those who went through the agonising disappointments of the 1974 and 1990 World Cup qualifiers, seeing our country’s players and flag amassed at midfield alongside Sweden’s players must have raised pores. For many, including myself, hearing the national anthem play on that sunny June afternoon in Dortmund lifted our spirits to heights not experienced since. What also made that moment special was it provided an opportunity to spend two weeks driving around Germany, immersed in world class football, and its culture with my father; an unforgettable time I will forever treasure.

Fast forward to 2020 and it’s safe to say the prospects and performance of T&T football have greatly diminished since 2006. Though 2012-2015 witnessed a brief resurgence of our national teams, the organisation and its programmes have since fallen into a desperate state. Like many, I have watched with growing sadness and concern at the expanding impasse between FIFA and ousted TTFA executives.

Having served football in various capacities for over 30 years, I am acutely aware of the serious consequences this completely avoidable conflagration can inflict on the development of the local game. However, the combatants seem to be oblivious or perhaps not empathetic enough to recognise the trauma being heaped upon an already battered and abused corps of players, coaches, and referees.

One has to ask; is FIFA’s sabre rattling accompanied with the threat of suspension or expulsion really the most constructive approach to take against a troubled organisation?

Does the ousted TTFA executive team really believe they have the right to volunteer the dreams of current and future generations of footballers and coaches as collateral damage?

Can it be credibly accepted that a team consisting of a successful captain of industry, a banker, and a lawyer is unable to find a way to communicate with stakeholders whom they have pledged to deliver desperately needed assistance?

The truth is none of the actors in this saga have bathed themselves in glory or can claim the prospects of the game are better today.

Past the point of right or wrong

The prospect of FIFA, the ousted TTFA executives, and the Normalisation Committee reaching an amicable resolution in their increasingly toxic and expanding impasse can still be achieved.

All sides would have to initiate a reasonable offering as a sign of good faith. A prudent place for FIFA to start is to cease its threats of suspension or expulsion of the TTFA, while the ousted TTFA executives can remove their High Court substantive claim and refile said claim with CAS. As for the Normalisation Committee, its Chairman can engage in substantive and meaningful communication with TTFA members and all its staff on a regular basis. Once such steps of reasonable accommodation are taken, a noticeable reduction in tension should follow. The advancements of those aforementioned offerings can provide each side an opportunity to take a step back from the proverbial edge.

FIFA is the world governing body of football; when it sneezes, its members catch a cold. Showing restraint in its language and actions will do little to undermine its authority as FIFA will always have the right to bring its members in line with its statutes and regulations. More importantly, favouring restraint over force will do more to underscore FIFA’s legitimate interest in helping all its members develop football in their respective territories.

The ousted TTFA executives’ removal of the claim from the High Court will preserve its asserted rights as proscribed in the FIFA statutes without placing the organisation; which they still hold a duty to protect, in the path of direct liability.

Lastly, the Normalisation Committee can establish its local relevance through respectfully acknowledging the very people who are key to the organisation’s overall performance; specifically the players, coaches, and referees.

Principle-based leadership from all sides is what is called for rather than the transactional leadership we see all too often—leading to not benefit yourself but to benefit others. When stakeholders approach an impasse in good faith and with the mindset of principle-based leadership, the chance of resolution to the reasonable satisfaction of all parties will significantly increase. The end product will be a much better foundation to launch proper and sustainable reform of not only the TTFA, but also, its member associations.

Hopefully, recognising the folly of this unfolding and impending tragedy will inspire wisdom to prevail to de-escalate the tension and forge a new beginning that values the main pillars of the game; our players, coaches, and referees. But first, we must undo the Gordion Knot constructed by those who seem to have forgotten why we all love football. It will require humility, mindfulness of others, and a willingness to acknowledge that being right is often overrated.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.


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