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Prescott SC: TTFA Board can reject John-Williams’ proposal for general secretary

“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:

Photo: TTFA president David John-Williams (left) is assisted by Camara David (second from left) during a presentation to a swim club at the Home of Football last week.
David is considered John-Williams’ choice as general secretary and controversially accompanied the football president to an official FIFA event last year although Justin Latapy-George remains employed as GS.
(Copyright TTFA Media)

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.

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16 comments

  1. O gord look who talking , look Lasana Liburd, yuh see you.

  2. Have the TTFA FINANCIALS and Home of Football FINANCIALS been presented to the Board?

  3. You would think there would be process of review and assessment of the position including the job description, the contract…. a sub committee set up to deal with same and to attract prospective candidates, sit in on interviews, and then the President make a proposal to the Board as a formality. All transparent to the Board.

  4. ..The Big Boss and his minions don’t care about the Constitution unless they think they can use it to their advantage..

  5. A court needs to rule on this as there are implications for other NSOs that have the word “shall” written into their constitutions.

  6. A court needs to rule on this as there are implications for other NSOs that have the word “shall” written into their constitutions.

    • Chabeth there are two references to the appointment and dismissal of the general secretary in the constitution. One has the word “shall” but both have the word “proposal”.
      The argument is that there is a clue there.

    • Right. So unless one of the two sides is willing to cave, the argument should be made before a judge. Of course, if DJW feels he has the necessary votes, he may just being it to the board.
      Either way, from a PR perspective however, this opinion does DJW no favours.

    • Chabeth that’s the thing with DJW. He will essentially disrespect the other side before realising that he needs them.
      His mannerism causes him problems and costs the TTFA millions in legal fees.

  7. 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.

  8. That’s not a legal opinion as it’s hardly substantiated by legal argument or reasoning. He might as well have written:

    “Dear Board,

    ‘Shall’ does not really mean ‘shall.’

    Eltos.”