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...as he aims to continue TTFA strategic reform

Radical changes to the management of local football are underway says Raymond Tim Kee, president of the T&T Football Association (TTFA).

Even as his term of office comes to an end in June after four years in office, he has offered himself for re-election to the post, Tim Kee was talking tough on the issue of strategic reform.

He said gone were the days when practitioners were installed in key positions because they simply knew the sport. The TTFA head did not say if this was among the suite of constitutional reforms a special committee of the TTFA was presently reviewing.

In order for football in T&T to become a major revenue earner and as a consequence ensure the TTFA achieved self-sufficiency, he said, business professionals needed to be enlisted by the football body.

This said the TTFA head, was one sure way to win the confidence of the private sector about the tremendous returns to be had from this type of investment.

Speaking at the TTFA 2014 Awards held at the VIP Lounge of the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Woodbrook, Tim Kee said, “The TTFA is undergoing change management exercises which seems go against the thread of what has become habit or natural, as you would say, because our focus is a new one and a different one. Our focus is on good governance with emphasis on transparency and accountability. And as time progresses, we are going to see emerging some new faces, some different faces, many of whom may not have ever played football; probably never bounced a ball.”

He added, “I came out of the business sector and I recognised by looking and observing that football is a product. But the people who market and sell products are the business people, not practitioners in the craft that produce the product. So Mr Hart (Stephen) and his team and other members of the technical staff, it is their business to produce the product on the field and they are accountable to those who sit, not in their ivory towers, but those fairly comfortable rooms–air conditioned rooms–who at times would complain of heat because of challenges. So, we expect a different product. We expect a different behaviour. We expect different norms. Football as anything else depends on economics.”

Turning his attention to the development of the sport, Tim Kee cited the level of capital that went local governing bodies for the sport in Concacaf.

While the Mexican Football Association had an annual budget of US$100 million, he said, the United States Football Association got an allocation of US$75 million.

“You know what our own is? Five million and we struggle to make it. And yet, we go out and produce a quality of that product that is comparable to some of those other countries who are better endowed financially and who enjoy the financial support from so many different corporate citizens,” he said.

Tim Kee added, “So when people say that ‘God is a Trini’, I am inclined to believe that sometimes, because against all odds, we still prevail and not only prevail, prevail with distinction. Our commitment is that qualifying for World Cup would not be a flash-in-the-pan anymore. We intend to pursue qualification for World cup from 2018 onwards.”

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