Four T&T Super League clubs- 1976 Phoenix FC, Harlem FC, Youth Stars and Central 500 Football Club, are threatening to take legal action if they are refused voting rights at today's virtual annual general meeting (AGM) and election of officers.
The clubs have acquired the services of Attorney at Law Peter Taylor after being suspended by the T&T Super League (TTSL) in 2019, a decision that prevented them from exercising voting powers.
This decision came after the T&T Football Association (TTFA) at an EGM in 2018 agreed to regularise non-compliant clubs and organisations, giving them the time to put their houses in order. They were given until December 31 of that year to do so.
However, the TTFA through its general secretary Amiel Mohammed on August 27, wrote a letter to TTSL secretary Peter Thomas requesting information, that TTSL clubs were suspended. Mohammed had said his association had no documentation to support the suspension of the TTSL clubs.
Taylor in a pre-action protocol letter to TTSL general secretary Peter Thomas on Friday said: "We act on behalf of 1976 Phoenix FC, Harlem FC, Youth Stars and Central 500 Football Clubs who instruct that they are fully registered members of the T&T Super League Limited (“TTSL”) within the definition of bylaw 5.1(i) of By-Law No 1 of the TTSL.
"Our clients instruct that sometime on or around September 28, 2019 an arbitrary decision was taken by the Board of Management of the TTSL to suspend them along with the Defence Force for being in non-compliance with the rules and regulations of the TTSL.
"However, non-compliance with the rules of the TTSL is not a ground for disenfranchising the said clubs from exercising their right to vote at meetings of the TTSL. Section 31 (a) of the Companies Act of T&T provides 31... When a company has only one class of shares, the rights of the holders are equal in all respects and include the right to vote at any meeting of shareholders."
Today's AGM already has the item of suspension of clubs to be dealt with after the election. Three candidates Lee Davis, Keiron Edwards and Ryan Ottley will contest the post of president. Current president Clayton Morris has pulled out.
Taylor in his letter also stated: "The TTSL has 24 ordinary shares valued at $1,000.00 each, one each of which was issued to its 24 full members inclusive of our clients.
"It is therefore unlawful for the Board of Management to debar any bona fide shareholding club from voting at any meeting of the TTSL. We are also puzzled that the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) the governing body of football in T&T has expressed no knowledge of any club having being suspended as confirmed by a letter dated August 27 ultimo, from Mr Amiel Mohammed, acting general secretary of the TTFA.
"We are of the considered opinion that the alleged suspension of the aforementioned clubs is nothing more than a legal fiction and a clumsy attempt to prevent the said clubs from voting in the upcoming election for the new Board of Management carded for Sunday, September 19 2021. We wish to advise against any unconstitutional attempt to disenfranchise our clients at the upcoming election."
Taylor said further: "Should you fail to heed this admonition, please be advised that we have our client’s firm instructions to initiate proceedings against you without further notice at the relevant Disciplinary Tribunals of the T&T Football Association (TTFA), the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and if necessary, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 3 We have enclosed the aforementioned letter from the acting general secretary of the TTFA for your ease of reference."