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Normalisation committee seeking to declare TTFA insolvent
Ian Prescott Nov 8, 2021 Updated 4 hrs ago Comments
Robert Hadad (copy)
SOUGHT PROTECTION UNDER BANKRUPTCY ACT: Robert Hadad, TTFA normalisation committee chairman.
The FIFA-appointed normalisation committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has taken a drastic step to address the TTFA’s long-term debt.
Yesterday, the NC announced a decision to pursue insolvency, via a media release from TTFA general secretary Amiel Mohammed.
“The NC today (Monday November 8, 2021) notified the Supervisor of Insolvency of its intent to make a Proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Trinidad and Tobago which will enable a structured approach to the restructuring of the TTFA and the preparation of a fair, transparent and acceptable payment proposal to address the TTFA’s debt.”
Shocked at the turn of events, in an immediate reaction, Veterans Football Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago (VFFTT) president Selby Browne felt that normalisation committee Robert Hadad had betrayed a position he took at the TTFA Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on October 10.
“I am not aware that any such power has been invested in the normalisation committee. Any such decision must come from the membership of the TTFA. The first responsibility therefore, is not to issue a press release to the media, but to issue a press release to its membership and call a meeting,” Browne contended.
He added: “If you receive such a report from an accountant, you have no such authority to appoint a trustee without consulting with your membership.”
In taking its position, the normalisation committee, appointed by FIFA on March 17, 2020, to manage the Association’s affairs, cited a report by auditors Ernst & Young report, dated April 09, 2021, which put the TTFA’s total outstanding liabilities and unasserted claims (contingent liabilities) at approximately $98.5 million.
Commenting on the decision to seek protection under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, NC chairman Robert Hadad said: “The TTFA is currently hamstrung with debt, and we can’t allow past mismanagement and poor governance to cripple the future of football or indeed its daily operations.”
He added: “This option, under the supervision of the Supervisor of Insolvency, the Trustee and the courts, ensures transparency, equity and independence in the process while, at the same time, ensuring that our current subventions are used for the day-to-day running of the TTFA and its present and future needs.”
“The intent is to rehabilitate as opposed to dissolve the TTFA with a view to preserving continuity and the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago for future generations,” he explained.
The NC has appointed Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee, to manage the debt proposal process, which will be guided by the rules of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, Chapter 9:70.
The process will include meetings with and the submission of claims (and supporting documents) by all creditors; a review and verification of the claims; and the development of a proposal to deal with the valid outstanding liabilities.
The TTFA stated once the proposal has been developed and approved by the creditors, it will be sanctioned by the Courts and the NC will proceed to implement the proposal in accordance with its terms. During the development of the proposal and its implementation, the NC’s day-to-day management of the TTFA will be unaffected.
“This process (insolvency) as it was designed, will allow the TTFA to manage its operations and provide a stay from all legal proceedings and creditor actions for a period of up to six months, thereby securing the TTFA’s assets while the management and NC work under the oversight of the independent Trustee to develop and present a proposal to address the TTFA’s debt to all creditors,” the TTFA release stated.