“The [TTFA] Board may accept or reject any proposal [regarding the appointment or removal of a general secretary] and return the same to the President for his further deliberation and a proposal…”
The following opinion regarding whether the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) Board of Directors is obliged to follow the directions of its president in relation to the hiring and firing of its general secretary was submitted by attorney Elton Prescott SC to TTFA president David John-Williams and TTFRA vice-president Osmond Downer on Friday 4 January 2019:
New year greetings to you!
I note your inquiry and refer to the provisions to which you have pointed me.
In my view, they mean: (a) that the President is the only officer who may propose the appointment or removal of a General Secretary. The proposal must be made to the Board, which is the only body empowered to make such an appointment or to dismiss;
(b) that the Board should examine the proposal, including, in the case of a proposal for dismissal, satisfying itself that an opportunity to be heard had been given to the General Secretary.
The Board may accept or reject any proposal and return the same to the President for his further deliberation and a proposal. It is not within the power of the Board to propose any candidate.
It would be reasonable to expect the Board to provide to the President its reasons for its decision to reject a proposal. That step may allow the President to address any shortcomings or deficiencies in the original proposal and, if satisfied, resubmit the proposal or make a fresh proposal.
Editor’s Note: Elton Prescott SC was part of the TTFA Reform Commission that produced the constitution in 2015. Other members of the Commission were: ex-WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine, TTOC president Brian Lewis, archivist Patrick Raymond, former 2006 World Cup player Shaka Hislop, then MATT executive member Dr Sheila Rampersad, referees association vice-president Osmond Downer and Raoul John.