Five days after former “Strike Squad” captain Clayton “JB” Morris was elected the new president of the T&T Super League (TTSL), defeating Jameson Rigues for the post on December 5 at a reconvened annual general meeting (AGM), Rigues has penned a letter of protest to the Robert Hadad, the chairman of the TTFA normalisation committee.
Morris, who is the head coach of TTSL team University of T&T (UTT) FC, replaces inaugural president Keith Look Loy—who resigned in October— and Rigues, who was interim president and has since returned to his substantive role as first vice-president.
The reconvened meeting was attended by five out of 14 Super League clubs: Matura Re-United FC, Erin FC, Petit Valley/Diego Martin United (PVDMU), Guaya United FC and Cunupia FC.
However, Rigues' letter dated December 11, 2020, has called on Hadad to look into three matter of concerns which he outlined as the unconstitutional suspension of members; the Super League AGM which took place on November 29, 2020 and the convening of a closed AGM to elect a president.
With regards to the suspension of the clubs, Rigues explained that two letters of suspension were sent out by the League secretary. The first letter was issued on September 22, 2019, to six members - Central 500 FC, Harlem Strikers FC, Marabella FCC, 1976 Phoenix FC, WASA FC and Youth Stars FC. The suspension letters sent out by the League secretary outlined a decision by the Board to suspend their membership in the League due to the club’s failure to participate in TTSL competition for two years – 2018 and 2019.
He further stated that: "Subsequent to the issuing of the letters of suspension to the six clubs at an EGM held on September 28, 2019, a member, FC Santa Rosa (the club belonging to the former president, Keith Look Loy) moved a motion:'To prolong the suspension of TTSL clubs for non-participation in TTSL competition for two years (2018-2019) until the end of the season on December 15, 2019.'
"The motion was passed by the meeting. Furthermore, there is nothing stated in the TTSL By-Laws or Constitution that suspensions could be prolonged. It says, in Article 10.2 of the By-Laws: 'A suspension shall be confirmed at the next General Meeting by two thirds (2/3) of the members present and eligible to vote. If it is not confirmed, the suspension is automatically lifted.'
"Article 14.2 of the Constitution is identical. After December 15, 2019, and on January 27, 2020, a new letter of suspension was issued by the League Secretary to the six clubs, with the inclusion of a seventh member, Defence Force. This letter titled 'Suspension of Members' stated 'Subsequent to the correspondence issued to your clubs dated September 22, 2019, I hereby advise you of the decision taken by the TTSL Board to suspend your membership in the League due to your club’s failure to participate in TTSL competition for two years 2018-2019.'
"The letter went on to quote the motion that was passed at the EGM on September 28, 2019. It is unclear as to who the League secretary acted on behalf of because there are no Board minutes to show that this discussion took place at the Board level and that the Board reached a decision at a Board meeting, to suspend the members until the next General Meeting. Therefore, the question arises; how could the League secretary, allegedly acting under the directive of the former president, Keith Look Loy, issue letters of suspension in the name of the Board, when there was no discussion and decision by the Board? Those actions were unethical."
Rigues has asked Hadad to clarify, that the TTFA has in fact suspended - Defence Force, Harlem Strikers, Central 500, 1976 Phoenix, Youth Stars, Marabella FCC and WASA FC - for compliance issues, while looking into the other two matters raised.