'It was never about the money…I felt cheated' – Stephen Hart

By November 22, 2019

Former Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart said he was happy with Tuesday’s High Court TT$5million ruling because he felt cheated by the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, who fired him from his head coaching job after three and half years in charge and at a critical stage of the 2018 World Cup campaign.

The TTFA fired Hart in November 2016 during the Hexagonal Round of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign after the national team suffered consecutive losses to Costa Rica and Honduras.

Many, including Hart, saw the dismissal as unjust given that the head coach had led the team to knockout stages of the 2013 campaign and 2015 Gold Cup competitions. TT topped their Gold Cup group in 2015.

 During his 43-match tenure in charge of TT Hart had a record of 16 wins, 12 draws and 15 losses.

 He sued the TTFA citing wrongful dismissal a claim that the association did not contest. On Tuesday, Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell, in a default judgement ordered the TTFA to pay the Canada-based coach $5million (approximately USD$739,000).

 “Obviously, I am pleased with the court ruling. It was, in my view, so unnecessary, mainly because I thought that at least I should have been given the opportunity to finish what we started. My staff and myself had worked very hard to bring the team to a certain point; we were already in the Hex, and of course, we were not allowed to do so,” Hart told Sportsmax.TV on Friday from his home in Canada, where he now serves as General Manager of HFX Wanderers in the Canadian Premier League.

 “Winning a judgment is one thing and collecting is something else completely, but really and truly it was not about the money, it was about doing a job for Trinidad and Tobago football, trying to bring some joy back to the game and the people who love the game and I just felt a little bit cheated out of that.”

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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