Twenty-four hours after Guardian Media Sports reported that the FIFA-appointed TTFA Normalisation Committee (NC) had secured resignation letters from assistant coaches Derek King and Kelvin Jack, the NC announced yesterday that it had terminated the services of Trinidad and Tobago head coach Terry Fenwick.
In a release on Friday evening, the TTFA said: "The FIFA-appointed Normalisation Committee (NC) of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) served notice of termination to senior men’s National Team head coach Terry Fenwick. Additionally, the NC has mutually parted company with senior men’s National Team assistant coach Derek King and is finalising same with assistant coach Kelvin Jack.
“Given the financial situation of the TTFA, which threatens its ability to fund the coaches at the salary levels that were committed, the NC has met with Derek King and Kelvin Jack and has come to a mutually agreed position.
The NC wishes to thank Derek and Kelvin for their work, professionalism and sincere understanding. We wish them all the best in the future."
The TTFA added that it will now prioritise the appointment of an interim head coach and coaching staff next week ahead of the Soca Warriors’ preliminary round action in the Concacaf Gold Cup, which is scheduled to kick off in July.
The TTFA decision comes three days after T&T failed to get out of the first phase Concacaf qualifying group stages for the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup.
The Soca Warriors were held to a goalless draw by regional minnows Bahamas last Saturday and also drew 1-1 with Puerto Rico, which left the team in the second position in Group F on eight points. The eventual winners, St Kitts & Nevis, gathered nine points despite being beaten by the Soca Warriors 2-0 on Tuesday in their final group match. Midfielder Duane Muckette (35th minute) and captain Khaleem Hyland (74th) scored the goals that gave T&T its second win in the group at the Estadio Alterno del Centro Juan Pablo Duarte in the Dominica Republic.
Even before this match, there were calls for Fenwick, 61, the former San Juan Jabloteh and Central FC coach, to be fired or to resign, T&T having been knocked out of contention following the 0-0 draw against the Bahamas.
Guardian Media Sports understands that the NC held a meeting on Thursday to decide the future of Fenwick, a former England international and his assistants King and Jack.
Fenwick's appointment from January 2020 has been controversial from day one, with questions being raised about how his initial one-year board-approved contract was extended to two years. His salary of an estimated US$20,000 per month has also been a national debate, since the TTFA remains in heavy debt which was last reported at TT$98.5 million. Prior to the start of T&T’s World Cup campaign, Fenwick was also engaged in an alleged head-butting incident with long-serving TTFA media director Shaun Fuentes during a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva in March.
The TTFA release added that a selection led by NC member Nicholas Gomez and comprising Anton Corneal, Anthony Sherwood and Richard Chinapoo will now meet to finalise the selection of an interim head coach. It said the interim coach and the panel will then establish the supporting team.
Guardian Media Sports understands that former national captain and midfielder Angus Eve, who led Naparima College to multiple titles in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), is among the frontrunners to take over as the team's head coach.
Once the technical staff is finalised, the Soca Warriors are expected to start preparations for the Concacaf Gold Cup tournament in the United States, where they will open against Montserrat on July 2.