THE FIFA-appointed normalisation committee has responded to the Eastern Football Association’s (EFA) questions regarding the TT Football Association’s (TTFA) financial situation in 2020 and 2021.
In a letter dated September 13, 2021 the EFA outlined their issues to normalisation committee chairman Robert Hadad.
They addressed areas of concern including increased debt under the normalisation committee.
Addressing the debt facing the TTFA, the EFA said, “Since the normalisation committee have been appointed and have taken charge of the association in the year 2020, the TTFA has continued to record a deficit and each year the deficit increases.”
The EFA letter continued, “The normalisation committee continues to spend more that it earns and there is an obvious pattern of overspending since the committee came into office. It is quite alarming that during the covid19 pandemic, a nationwide and a global shutdown on sport and travel, the normalisation committee has still managed to increase the expenditure of the association.”
The EFA said the normalisation committee was hired to improve the association’s debt situation. “The normalisation committee was appointed to liquidate our outstanding debt, under your stewardship, the TTFA has been incurring increasing debt and this illustrates how the normalisation committee has not adopted a prudent management structure for the funds provided by FIFA and the Government of TT. This method of management continues to push the association into a downward spiral of insurmountable debt.”
In a response to the normalisation committee’s debt, a letter dated September 19 by Hadad to EFA president Keiron Edwards said work is being done to clear debts.
“It should be noted that the normalisation committee has ensured that all debts incurred by the TTFA under its watch are being paid in a timely manner.”
The normalisation committee also said, “Loans and borrowings have actually declined under the normalisation committee. Falling by 30.77% from $4.03 million in 2019 to $2.79 million in 2021.”
The normalisation committee has paid a number of people owed by the TTFA for years including former national coaches. The normalisation committee said, “However, accounts payable increased by 10.88% over the same period, from $44.11 million in 2019 to $48.91 million in 2021. Of this, interest payable increased by 63.57%, from $519,829 in 2019 to $850,278 in 2021.”
The normalisation committee said interest must be paid. “This represents interest due on the GORTT (Government of TT) and CONCACAF loans for which no interest has ever been paid. Therefore, each year we accrue for the interest payable for that year. The interest on the CONCACAF loan must be paid in 2025/26 after the final principal payment is made, as per the agreed amortisation loan schedule. Therefore, we can expect this line item to continue to increase going forward. Other payables and accruals have remained fairly consistent around the $29 to $30 million mark.”
The normalisation committee, who was appointed to deal with the day-to-day affairs of the TTFA on March 17, 2020, are in a process of cleaning up the association's financial arrears.
“However, what has been increasing are amounts due to the GORTT for statutory deductions like income tax, national insurance and health surcharge and the interest and penalties due on these. The normalisation committee inherited a situation where deductions were made, but not remitted to the statutory authorities. In fact, the TTFA was never registered with the Board of Inland Revenue or the National Insurance Board and we found no evidence of remittances being made with respect to statutory deductions. Therefore each year, as interest and penalties rise, these figures continue to increase and as at December 31, 2021 this figure totalled $9,080,751. We are now in the process of regularising this situation.”