"Non-compliant clubs in the T&TSL can vote" so said David John-Williams, president of the T&T Football Association and Jameson Rigues, vice president of the T&T Super League.
Their comment comes amidst circulating reports that non-compliant clubs cannot vote ahead of the TTSL Extraordinary General Meeting to remove Keith Look Loy as their representative on the Board of the T&TFA.
Fifteen clubs are making an attempt to have the TTSL convene an Extraordinary meeting for the purpose of removing its president from the TTFA board. To secure such a meeting the clubs must gain the support of more than 50 per cent of its 22 members.
But after securing the signatures of approximately 15 clubs via a petition, Look Loy told Guardian Media Sports the entire petition was fraudulent as some of the clubs that signed were non-compliant and others were unregistered.
Yesterday Rigues, the TTSL vice president who publicly sided with the clubs' call to remove its president for his inability to represent the interests of the super league at the TTFA's Board level, is reminding clubs, whether they are non-compliant or unregistered, that they can vote.
Rigues made it clear the TTSL's constitution does not state that. "In fact, clubs that are non-compliant are still bonafide members of the TTSL and can only be prevented from voting if they are no longer members through expulsion. All clubs have shares in the company TTSL and cannot exercise their right to vote only if they lose that membership," Rigues explained.
Guardian Media Sports was reliably informed that at Saturday's AGM of the TTSL at the Queen's Park Oval, Look Loy attempted to move a motion for non-compliant and unregistered clubs to be mere observers during any voting process, but the motion was not on the agenda as an item. To date, only three clubs, Siparia Spurs, Youth Stars from Tobago and Central 500 Spartans are non-compliant.
However, the registration of clubs for this season will depend on whether or not a proposal by the UEFA/CONCACAF team to the TTSL to have 12 teams, will be adhered to as recommended. That matter is currently being dealt with by a tripartite committee comprising Julia Baptiste (TT Pro League), Richard Piper (TTFA) and Look Loy (TTSL).
Yesterday, Look Loy said he was not worried about efforts by clubs to gain the Extraordinary General Meeting as they did have the numbers to do so. "Between clubs being non-compliant, not registered and those that have withdrawn their signature, they just do not have the number of teams to do so," Look Loy explained.
After 15 signatures were scribed on a petition by the clubs last week, three of them, namely WASA, Erin FC and Club Sando have since rescinded. And RSSR, which through Ruthven Charles, appeared to have supported Look Loy, said yesterday they are sitting on the fence.
San Fernando Giants, on the other hand, can be the difference in the clubs receiving the 50 per cent support, but its representative Anthony Clarke said their views have already been communicated to the super league, as they will not do so through the media.
John-Williams, who admitted he did not want to get into the business of the TTSL, sought to shine some light on the situation, saying, "All clubs of the TTSL and the Pro League are members of the TTFA. Non-compliant clubs cannot take part in any competition held under the auspices of the TTFA and also cannot vote.
However, the TTSL and Pro League are not members of the TTFA and therefore cannot vote. They are totally separate entities/companies that run a competition that is sanctioned by the TTFA."
He pointed out that, "As a company, in which shares are bought and teams are members, clubs have the rights to vote unless the constitution states otherwise. For clubs to not be able to vote, they must lose their membership through expulsion etc."
He told Guardian Media he was shocked a few months ago when TTSL clubs were debarred from voting on the compliance issue because they were non-compliant, saying that was illegal.