CHAIRMAN of the South West Zonal Council of the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) Ramesh Dharamdeo, said the executive of the TTCB has betrayed the trust of former sponsor National Gas Company (NGC) and hurt the board’s chances of attracting future sponsorship.
A financial audit by the NGC, has shown that 24 per cent ($2,983,000) of its funds to the local cricket body was not spent according to stipulation between 2014-2016.
Section (1) clause (iv) of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the TTCB and NGC expressly stated, “TTCB shall not transfer disbursement allocated to any of the line items on the Funding Requirement and Disbursement Schedule to items not included in this schedule unless agreed to by the NGC. All requests for transference must be made in writing. NGC reserves the right to refuse any such request for transference.”
According to the audit, the TTCB did not inform NGC of their intention to reallocate funds.
The TTCB executive has said, however, it reallocated funds that were not utilised to other cricketing areas within the framework agreed upon.
Yesterday, in a letter to president of the TTCB Azim Bassarath, Dharamdeo said, “The architecture of the arrangement between the NGC and TTCB was to provide funding for very specific facets of cricket. The MOU between a corporate sponsor and a sporting body such as the TTCB is a sacred instrument. It is an expression by the corporate sponsor as to how it expects the money being donated to be spent towards the charitable cause it is interested in supporting.”
Dharamdeo said when a corporate sponsor decides to invest in a national sporting organisation, they expect cooperation and communication.
“NGC had a specific vision in mind, and expressed that in the memorandum. What has happened is that the TTCB has betrayed that trust completely through its unilateral allocations without permission and accountability,” he added.
The letter said this situation may spoil any chance of corporate TT sponsoring local cricket again. “This will no doubt be a huge obstacle in getting further NGC funding, but perhaps more damaging for cricket is that other potential corporate sponsors will be reluctant to provide any sponsorship to the TTCB or cricket in general unless there is change.”
Dharamdeo is asking the TTCB to confirm that the $2,983,000 reallocated was spent on cricket. “This situation is further exacerbated by the fact we are yet to see, since the publication of the audit, documentary and/or other evidence that this money was actually spent on cricket and I call upon the executive to do so now. Further, unilateral reallocation can also lead to financial impropriety. For instance and as an example, if the NGC said they wanted $100 to be spent on women’s cricket, but the executive said we are taking that $100 dollars to have an executive retreat in Tobago, would that not be inappropriate even though the argument could be made that technically the money went to cricket?”