THE TECHNICAL staff members of the various Trinidad and Tobago football teams (men’s and women’s) have been feeling the pinch of the current economic climate, as far as their monthly salaries are concerned.
A few technical staff members (both men’s and women’s) are getting their monthly salaries, whereas others have either received partial payments or no salaries at all from the TT Football Association (TTFA) for the past few months.
During the last decade, a number of coaches and administrators have pursued legal action towards the TTFA (or then TT Football Federation) for outstanding salaries. That list includes Stephen Hart, Russell Latapy, Wim Rijsbergen (coaches), Anton Corneal, Kendall Walkes and Sheldon Phillips (administrators).
Latapy is back in the coaching arena, as the head of the national youth teams (Under-15, Under-17 and Under-20). Former Under-17 coach and men’s team assistant Corneal has returned as the TTFA technical director.
Dennis “Tallest” Lawrence, national men’s coach, declined to comment on whether or not his salary payments have been affected lately.
Yesterday a technical member, who did not wish to be identified, said the TTFA needs to find a solution to the matter as his salary has not been flowing as it should in recent times.
“It’s affected the smooth running of the programme, the ability to arrange proper practice games,” said the technical member. “We do have financial constraints and we have to work around them as best as we can. Unfortunately, it is going to affect all the teams.”
Asked if he is among the group of personnel who are yet to paid in full, the technical member replied, “Of course (but) I’m hoping it could be rectified very soon.”
He continued, “This is the situation of the Association right now. It’s difficult to ask teams to perform, especially when proper planning cannot be implemented. The main thing is to find solutions to these ongoing problems.”
When contacted last evening, TTFA first vice-president Ewing Davis acknowledged that his organisation is aware of the problems, and said a meeting would be planned to discuss the matter.
“While that is the reality (referring to the TTFA financial woes), I don’t want to comment on that until the Board meets and we take a position,” Davis said.
Speaking on conditions of anonymity, two national team officials outlined contrasting fortunes, with regards to the salary scenario.
One official said, “I have been paid. I’ve heard that (some officials have not been paid) but I can’t confirm. I can speak for myself that I’ve been paid.”
Another official admitted that he is yet to be paid in full for the past few months. But he understands the financial issues afflicting the TTFA.
“It’s affecting the Ministry of Finance, it’s affecting everybody,” he said. “Finance is a problem in every organisation. Everybody in the (TTFA) is undergoing hardship. No team is being spared, it’s a squeeze.”