Normalisation Committee: Terry Fenwick sacked due to ‘affordability issue’

TTFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.
TTFA normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.

ANGUS EVE, the new coach of the TT men’s football team, has been handed a performance-based contract, according to Robert Hadad, chairman of the FIFA-appointed normalisation committee, which oversees the affairs of the TT Football Association (TTFA).

Hadad made this disclosure during an interview on Monday afternoon, moments after a Zoom media conference, organised by the TTFA, which introduced Eve as the replacement for the sacked Terry Fenwick.

On Saturday, Eve was hired on an interim basis, until August 31.

Hadad declined to say if Eve’s salary will be on par with Fenwick’s earnings of US$20,000 per month.

Asked about Eve’s salary, Hadad replied, “It has been decided but that is private, and I would not like to reveal that just yet. What I can tell you is his salary is based – a big part of it – on performance.”

Fenwick took over from Dennis Lawrence as TT coach on a two-year deal, effective January 1, 2020, with the understanding that he would be paid US$17,500/month with other bonuses. In the incentive package, Fenwick’s salary would have increased to US$20,000/month if the team qualified for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.

However, an agreement was signed by former TTFA president William Wallace, ex-general secretary Ramesh Ramdhan and Fenwick which meant that Fenwick would get a starting salary of US$20,000/month and would have increased to US$25,000/month if the team earned a spot in the Gold Cup.

Earlier this month, TT, under the guidance of Fenwick, were eliminated from the 2022 FIFA World Cup Concacaf Zone first round qualifiers, after they failed to top Group F. TT finished second with eight points, one point behind St Kitts/Nevis.

The national team will be involved in the Gold Cup qualification stage at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States.

On July 2, TT will meet Montserrat while, a day later, Cuba will oppose French Guiana. The winners of those matches will square off on July 6 for a Gold Cup spot, in Group A (alongside Curacao, El Salvador and Mexico).

According to Hadad, Fenwick is still owed outstanding salaries and that matter is being dealt with by the normalisation committee.

“He was paid from January to April of this year,” Hadad said. “We are owing him, I believe, about six months from last year. We’re owing him another two months (from) this year. We will have to negotiate what happens with his salary from now till the end of the year.”

Concerning the salaries of Fenwick’s assistant coaches Derek King and Kelvin Jack, Hadad mentioned, “We’ve agreed on a settlement with them already and they’ve been really great about it. Both of them have understood our affordability issue and we’re paying them up until the end of June. They’ve been very kind to the Association and TT football.”

During the media conference, normalisation committee member Nicholas Gomez revealed that Fenwick’s dismissal as TT coach last week was not only due to the World Cup elimination but financial issues as well.

“This matter has purely to deal with the affordability issue,” Gomez said. “The Association has been challenged financially. Some of the arrangements that were established before the normalisation committee came in, just have proven not to be affordable.”

Gomez continued, “We had to make a judgement call and determination as to how we deal with it. Our approach was to deal with it in the way that we had. We’ve taken this measure on that basis.”

Were the team’s performances used as means to dismiss Fenwick as coach? Gomez responded, “Trinidad and Tobago (have) not been satisfied with the outcome, having been eliminated from the World Cup qualifiers. The impact of that is quite significant on the Association, and the players. Whilst we had to deal with that, the fact is we remained very uncomfortable with the arrangements that were in place.

“This was always a matter that was of concern for us. We attempted to have conversations in that context but it did not lead to any different outcome. We took the opportunity to make a decision. We’re hoping that this measure is going to create an opportunity, a change in leadership, a change in tone, a change in culture, some inspiration and motivation for the players.”


"Normalisation Committee: Terry Fenwick sacked due to ‘affordability issue’"

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