By Paul Nicholson
March 16 – The financial crisis that has engulfed the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) since the election of its new president William Wallace looks unlikely to be eased by the federation’s new kit deal with little known UK appareil company AVEC.
A copy of the ‘Kit Supply Agreement’ signed between the TTFA and AVEC, and seen by Insideworldfootball, states that the federation must, every year of the four-year deal, sell at least 7,500 replica shirts (via its retail partner) as well as spend £125,000 on equipment with AVEC before it can receive any of its national team kit free of charge.
If the targets are not met, the TTFA has to buy its national team match day kit and training kit at the full retail price. All monies are to be paid to AVEC in advance.
Surprisingly AVEC is not paying any license fee to the TTFA for the exclusive use of its logo and marks.
Wallace said that the deal with AVEC was worth TT$25 million to the TTFA but that looks like a difficult figure to substantiate for a deal that looks more likely to cost the TTFA money than make it any.
One kit manufacturer from the UK who wished to remain anonymous, said that it was the kind of kit deal you would associate with an amateur club or local association or league in the UK, and was probably the worst he had ever seen for a national association competing in regional and world competition with the tradition and history of the TTFA.
Nevertheless, the new TTFA has paraded the deal as proof that financially everything is on the right track.
The TTFA is currently TT$50 million in debt and is in court again today (Monday) facing a garnishee order that has frozen its accounts, leaving it unable to use what little funds it has available in its accounts.
As part of Wallace’s election manifesto that saw him and his United TTFA slate of candidates swept into power, was the statement that a deal with Nike was in the wings. That deal never materialised.
Prior to the AVEC agreement, TTFA’s previous kit sponsor was US fashion brand Cappelli that has been building a position in football kit provision. Cappelli paid a signing-on bonus to the TTFA as well as providing kit free of charge in a deal that covered the Concacaf Gold Cup 2019 and the warm up series held in Japan.
Asked how that kit deal was negotiated, Selby Brown, then a TTFA Board Member and Member of the Emergency Committee, said: “The TTFA Emergency Committee ensured transparency of the tender process by instructing the General Secretary to issue a (rfq) request to several Kit Sponsors for quotation with specific quantities, conditions and timelines with a deadline for submission.
“The list of Kit Sponsors submitted their response to the TTFA RFQ included JOMA, Macron, Puma, Capelli and others.
“The TTFA Emergency Committee reviewed, evaluated and selected Capelli Sport Limited as the successful TTFA Kit Sponsor Partner for the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2019 based on the best quotation conditions which included the following:
1. The Kit supply was at no cost to the TTFA and included a signing bonus paid to the TTFA by Capelli Sports Limited.
2. The term of the contract period was for the duration of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The selection of the Emergency Committee was presented to the TTFA Board of Directors for ratification in keeping with the Constitution of the TTFA.”
It is understood that Cappelli were approached by the TTFA but declined to submit a bid.
Browne is sceptical of the process in the award of the new kit contract: “In my capacity as President of the Veteran Footballers Foundation of TT a member of the TTFA in good standing, it would be interesting to discover the process by which the TTFA – Avec Kit Sponsorship Agreement was determined,” he said.
What is more pressing today for the TTFA is facing up to the garnishee order in court. At the last hearing on the order the TTFA failed to turn up. That will not have helped the TTFA in the rearranged hearing set for today. For the TTFA and Wallace the hearing could prove pivotal for the federation’s future. If its accounts are unfrozen it has an opportunity to continue operations. If not, then the it is hard to see where it will ever find the money to buy its next kit.
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