TTFA Committee appoints trustees to negotiate debt repayment proposals

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Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee, has been appointed to manage the debt proposal process.

BROOKLYN, NY– The FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) says it has moved one step closer to developing an implementable plan to address the association’s long-term debt, with the appointment of a Trustee to negotiate debt repayment proposal.

The Committee has appointed Maria Daniel, a Licensed Trustee, to manage the debt proposal process.

It said in a statement that on Monday, it notified the Supervisor of Insolvency of its intent to propose 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.”

However, it stressed that neither has the NC filed for bankruptcy nor has the TTFA been put into bankruptcy.

“This process 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,” it further explained.

Once the proposal has been developed and approved by the creditors, the courts will sanction it, and the NC will proceed to implement the bid by its terms. It added that the NC’s day-to-day management of the TTFA will be unaffected during the development of the proposal and its implementation.

“The day-to-day operations of the TTFA and future football activity will be funded with subventions from FIFA  in the first instance,” the Committee assured.

An Ernst & Young report dated April 9, 2021, put the TTFA’s total outstanding liabilities and unasserted claims (contingent liabilities) at approximately TT$98.5 million (US$14.5 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.

“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 instead of dissolving the TTFA to preserve continuity and the development of football in Trinidad and Tobago for future generations,” he added.

It was in March last year that the international governing body for football announced the Bureau of FIFA Council’s decision to appoint an NC, by FIFA Statutes, to run the TTFA’s daily affairs; establish a debt repayment plan that is implementable by the association; review and amend the TTFA Statutes (and other regulations where necessary) and to ensure their compliance with the FIFA Statutes and requirements before duly submitting them for approval to the TTFA Congress, and organize and conduct elections of a new TTFA Executive Committee for a four-year mandate.

The NC’s tenure, which includes acting as an electoral committee, expires upon the execution of their mandate, but no later than 24 months after FIFA officially appointed its members.

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