AFTER meeting with the normalisation committee over the past few days, national football coaches are confident they will get a favourable response by next Wednesday concerning outstanding salaries owed to them since the committee was formed in March.
TT coaches Angus Eve, Clayton Morris, Richard Hood and Wayne Sheppard held a media conference at Fatima Grounds in Mucurapo, on Friday morning.
On August 25, more than 20 national coaches claimed they were barred from delivering a document concerning outstanding salaries at the TT Football Association (TTFA) head office at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.
National coaches, including senior coaches and youth level coaches, have not been paid since FIFA appointed the normalisation committee in March to run local football.
Eve told Newsday most of the coaches were not allowed to enter the compound, except for a few coaches who arrived early.
Two days later, the normalisation committee said it was not intentionally delaying payments to coaches and also said that the Ato Boldon Stadium was closed to prevent the spread of covid19. The compound includes the Home of Football, which is being used as a step down facility to fight the virus.
Eve, the national Under-17 men’s coach and assistant national men’s Under-20 coach, explained on Friday what transpired over the past week.
“After we went last week Tuesday to drop off our contracts to advance the process, we then had a phone call from the normalisation committee (saying) that they would like to meet with us on an individual basis which they had promised about five months ago, so we were happy for that.”
Eve said those meetings have been held and the coaches were satisfied.
“We did meet with them on an individual basis. Each one of the head coaches was able to meet with them and articulate our position as coaches and the meetings were very cordial.”
The former national midfielder and captain said the coaches are aware that the normalisation committee has only been operating for the past six months and are willing to cut them some slack.
“The meetings were very interesting because they are now coming in. (I am) not trying to make any excuses for them whatsoever, but we did sort to give them a little bit of latitude simply because they did not know what they were getting into. It still does not give them any reason for the lengthy (time) not communicating with us. There is something on the table. They have to go back and talk to the necessary people whose giving the money to them.”
The coaches have given their banking information to the normalisation committee and they expect feedback next week. Eve is “very confident” that the national coaches will get all the money owed to them.
“They have until the 9th of September to get back to us…what is the remuneration package that all of us are going to get. That was not finalised based on the fact that they had to go back to FIFA to get the monies to be released.”
Over 40 coaches are owed outstanding salaries.
Discussing not getting paid for the past six months, Eve said, “It is demotivating. As you said we do it for the passion, but (for) some of us this is now our jobs. This is the way we take care of our family. Even the guys who have (other) jobs it is still a job. When you’ve been given a job opportunity and you supposed to be paid (you expect to be paid)…everybody is in the same boat and when you don’t get paid for work done and work being done it borders (on) a level of disrespect as we have said before.”