THE technical staff members of the TT football teams have moved a step closer to getting their promised salaries from the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, headed by Robert Hadad.
A media release issued by the technical staff members said, “The normalisation committee met with the TT technical staff and youth team coaches on September 9 as promised. In the meeting (which was facilitated virtually), the normalisation committee outlined proposals for the settlement of outstanding payments to technical staff members.
“The proposal was generally satisfactory, however nuances in some individual contracts require further engagement.”
The media release continued, “The commitment was given by the Normalisation Committee to return to our group with a final proposal for settlement in a couple days.
“We believe there is good reason to be optimistic of this process being completed within the time frame suggested by the normalisation committee. This optimism is borne out of the productive and transparent nature of the meetings between both parties thus far.”
The various men’s and women’s technical staff members were hired in December 2019 and January 2020, when William Wallace assumed leadership of the TT Football Association (TTFA).
However, Wallace and his executive were removed by FIFA in March due to mounting debts and the normalisation committee was established.
Wallace is challenging FIFA’s move, but the global governing body has threatened to suspend TT from all football activities if Wallace and his United TTFA do not withdraw the legal matter from the TT courts.
National men’s Under-17 coach and Under-20 assistant coach Angus Eve commented on Thursday, “Talks have been going very cordial. The coaches’ intention here is not to distract from whatever scenario that is going on. We are not a part of (the TTFA vs FIFA) scenario. We feel, just like the staff in the office and everybody else have been paid, we deserve to be paid.
“I think the normalisation committee is also of that view,” Eve added. “So, it makes the conversation a lot easier because, when the coaches would have taken up (their posts), it’s not any exorbitant amount of money. We did it for our country because it was told to us that (the TTFA) didn’t have enough money. Basically, we operated on stipends. We did it to help develop the young people and to have the country at heart when we took up the appointments.”
Eve, the former TT midfielder and captain, pointed out that the contracts for the TT technical staff members (excluding the men’s team) were set to end in August, following respective Concacaf World Cup qualifiers. Excluding the Concacaf Under-20 Women qualifiers (which took place in February), the other scheduled events were postponed due to the covid19 pandemic.
Asked if the coaches hold the view that things could have worked out better, in terms of salary requests, between themselves and the normalisation committee, Eve replied, “I would say yes, it should have to reach that point.
“I don’t want to blame (the committee),” he said. “They came in at a time where they had to sort out and do fact-finding. I’m not making any excuses for them. It’s still unacceptable that we had to wait five months to hear anything, but they did walk into a barrage of fire. I think that’s why the communication between us and them were so cordial because we still understand the position that they came (into) and we emphasise with them, but we still had to thread the course that we had.”
How have the coaches been keeping occupied during the covid19 period?
“I know several of the coaches have been doing their stuff online,” Eve replied. “All over the world, we can see they’re still playing football. I went on a number of courses, one with the Olympic (Committee), the CFU and the Sports Company. I’ve been very busy. Talking with some of the guys, I know they’ve been doing their stuff also.”