By Paul Nicholson
June 13 – Just when you thought he was out of football’s finances altogether, former Concacaf president and football’s most-wanted, Jack Warner, has reared his head looking for a final feed at the Trinidad and Tobago FA’s FIFA-financed trough.
Excluded from a creditors’ agreement last month that was designed to not only settle the TTFA’s debt problem but provide a pathway out of management by a FIFA Normalisation Committee, Warner (pictured) subsequently filed a case in the Trinidad and Tobago courts against the trustee charged with coming up with the creditor’s agreement.
The short term result of Warner’s litigation is that none of the verified creditors (about 100 claims) can get paid.
The long term implication, if Warner is successful at court, is that they all stand to receive substantially less than the amount agreed at a creditors meeting with the trustee in early May. Warner’s claim was for TT$22.7 million ($3.3 million). The loan arranged to pay creditors is $3.5 million.
Warner’s case is being heard in the Trinidad and Tobago courts on July 27.
Whether Warner gets to fill his wallet again with money from football remains to be seen – whether he wins his case against the trustee in the Trinidad courts or not.
Sources tell Insideworldfootball that “there is no way in hell FIFA will loan money to Trinidad and Tobago FA to pay off Warner”.
The obvious implication is that FIFA will withdraw its loan – though FIFA have never officially confirmed they are providing the loan. Withdrawing the loan would plunge the TTFA back into financial and administrative crisis.
Last month the trustee appointed under the country’s insolvency laws to find a solution to the crippling TTFA debt, informed creditors of the $3.5 million loan that had been secured and asked for their approval of a debt repayment proposal was being sought through the country’s Bankruptcy Act.
The trustee said Warner had not submitted a validation of his debt claim and hence his claim was outside the settlement.
The TTFA trustee outlined that the $3.5 million loan would be repaid over 10 years. The source of the loan was not revealed though clearly it is from FIFA with the claw back most likely to be taken from the TTFA’s annual grant.
Creditors owed up to TT$200,000 ($29,000) will be paid in full and the balances above that will be pro-rated at 60% of what is owed.
“There were 299 creditors listed in the Trustee’s repayment proposal with a total unsecured debt of TT$84.5 million. Ninety-three of these submitted, had claims amounting to $59.3m of which eighty-eight were validated with a value of $34.4m before today’s meeting. Fifty-one of them (or their proxies) registered and voted at today’s meeting,” said a TTFA statement.
Warner has long been a spectral presence within Trinidad and Tobago football despite having been banned from all football activity.
He is currently battling extradition proceedings to the US as part of the FIFAgate scandal and the indictments issued by the US Department of Justice issued in 2015 that brought the world governing body to its knees.
Warner, having been cleared for extradition, appealed the decision on a legal technicality. That case was heard by the UK Privy Council last month and a verdict is awaited.
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