Sun, Oct

FCB gets new deadline from Wallace's lawyer.

A legal wrangle over control of the T&T Football Association (TTFA)'s bank account appears set to go to court.

In a legal letter sent to lawyers representing First Citizens Bank (FCB) on Thursday morning, lawyers representing former TTFA president William Wallace and his executive team questioned the bank's response to its previous letter of April 17, seeking information on an alleged request by Fifa's normalisation committee to change the signatories to the TTFA's account.

While their lawyer Matthew Gayle suggested that his previous correspondence may have been inadvertently misinterpreted, he stated that his client resisted the temptation to draw adverse conclusions from the response issued by FCB's lawyer Kendell Alexander on Tuesday. 

"My client's directors were taken aback by the aggressive tone and defensive nature of your email," Gayle said. 

Gayle was careful to note that in his original correspondence, he merely sought to point out that his clients were lawfully elected to the TTFA board in November, last year, and had received information that an attempt had been made to change the signatories to the TTFA's account, after Fifa appointed a normalisation committee to take control of the organisation on March 27. 

Gayle said: "There is no, as Mr Alexander, puts it, assertion/implication that your client has engaged in these matters, whether deliberate or inadvertently. The fact that you have seen it fit to deny with such force allegations which have not been levelled at your client is very concerning to my client." 

Gayle also firmly denied that his letter potentially defamed the bank. 

"In actual fact, if your client's image and/or reputation has been reduced in any way, it is by your summarily failing to respond to my client's principal concerns, and your client's failure to deny the contents of the 18th April 2020 article referred to above," Gayle said, as he questioned Alexander's request for 28 days in which to respond to his letter. 

"One would expect a competent and prudent financial institution to provide an instantaneous assurance that no such attempts would be entertained, not a request for 28 days which will do little to address my client's concern, and may only serve to be interpreted as an attempt to delay and obfuscate," Gayle said. 

In the letter, Gayle gave FCB until 8 am on April 27 to respond to his clients' concerns before he files a lawsuit over the issue. 

Gayle also stated that he was ready to respond to the bank's defamation allegation after it complies with pre-action protocols for such lawsuits. 

"In particular, your email fails to particularise the words complained of, the meanings attributed to the words, who the words were spoken of and fails to give an explanation as to why the words are defamatory," Gayle said. 

In his response on Tuesday, which was also obtained by Guardian Media Sports, Alexander denied any wrongdoing on FCB's part and stated: "Be advised that our client has strict policies and procedures in place which must be adhered to and require that all the requisite due diligence must be completed before the Bank can act on any request to transfer or change signatories on any account." 

Wallace and his three vice presidents Clynt Taylor, Susan Joseph-Warrick and Joseph Sam Phillip are also currently challenging FIFA's decision to remove them from office at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).