Trinidad and Tobago FA creditors accept debt repayment proposal


In this file photo, former TT senior men’s coach Stephen Hart oversees a practice session at Lakeside Park, Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo courtesy TTFA Media

LAWYER Keith Scotland, representing former Soca Warriors head coach Stephen Hart, said his client was delighted with the outcome of Thursday’s meeting with TT Football Association creditors who voted unanimously in favor of a proposal to repay the debt through bankruptcy law.

Hart was among several football coaches and administrators who owed money.

Scotland told Newsday: “I’m very happy about it, it’s better than nothing. It’s a very happy day for us because we’re getting 61 cents on the dollar against nothing over the past few years.

Hart was let go in 2016 after more than three years in charge of the senior men’s national football team. He still had time left on his contract and therefore money was owed to him.

Scotland said Hart was also pleased, saying: “I spoke to him about an hour ago… he’s delighted to have this matter resolved.”

The standardization committee has been welcomed by Scotland. “Mr. (Robert) Hadad and them, sometimes we hit them but this one went well between them and the trustees.”

The TTFA press release said creditors “will receive based on current validated claims between 63 cents on the dollar and 100% of the monies owed to them.”

The meeting, held at the Maison du Football in Couva, was chaired remotely by the Insolvency Supervisor, who was in quarantine.

Creditors were invited to vote after a comprehensive 45 minute presentation by TTFA Appointed Trustee, Maria Daniel, who gave a comprehensive illustration of how the TTFA ended up in its current state of indebtedness and options that were considered before arriving at using the restructuring. option available through the bankruptcy law option.

Umpires’ Association representative Osmond Downer congratulated Daniel on the quality of his work and his proposal, drawing applause from the entire room.

The proposal, which was developed by Daniel and his Ernst and Young team in conjunction with the FIFA-appointed TTFA Normalization Committee, will be funded through a $3.5 million interest-free instrument that the TTFA will take ten years to complete. for repay. Creditors owing up to TT$200,000 will be paid in full and balances above that will be pro-rated. They will also have the option of being paid in US dollars or TT.

There were 299 creditors listed in the trustee’s repayment proposal with a total unsecured debt of TT$84.5 million. Ninety-three of those submitted had claims totaling $59.3 million, of which 88 were validated with a value of $34.4 million before Thursday’s meeting. Fifty-one of them (or their proxies) registered and voted at the meeting. The TTFA’s largest listed creditor, Jack Warner, who topped the list with $22.7 million in debt, was notably absent. Daniel informed the meeting that Warner had not submitted a validation request.

The initial trustee proposal, which creditors received on April 22, was improved ahead of the meeting – total funding was increased from US$500,000 to US$3.5 million, and instead of allocating a provision from TT$3 million for BIR and NIB, the funds would now be set aside monthly for delinquencies.

The meeting included representatives from the Office of the Insolvency Monitor; Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan law firm; Ernest and Young; and Standards Committee Chairman Robert Hadad and Member Nicholas Gomez.

Tana T. Thorsen