Friday, May 18, 2007

DowieGateDisgrace.........Court Day Seven

Round Seven - Day Seven - Friday 18th May 2007

In Court today...

The final witness in Crystal Palace's marathon legal battle has denied approaching their former manager Iain Dowie before he had formally left the club.

Taking the stand today, Charlton Athletic chairman Richard Murray denied approaching Mr Dowie for an interview before he left Palace on May 22 last year.

Mr Dowie is being sued by Palace for alleged 'fraudulent misrepresentation' when he left the club last summer and joined bitter rivals Charlton Athletic.

However, Mr Murray said he had phoned Mr Dowie before he left Palace and suggested meeting up after a press conference announcing he would be leaving Selhurst Park, although he insisted he had not made any mention of him becoming Charlton's manager.

Mr Dowie says he thought Mr Murray wanted to talk about Palace players who would be of interest to Charlton.

At the time, the Addicks were looking for a replacement for long-term boss Alan Curbishley, but Mr Murray said that then Preston North End manager Billy Davies was in the frame.

"I did want to meet him," said Mr Murray, who admitted his call could have been viewed as a "nod and wink" to Mr Dowie that he would be considered for Charlton.

But he added: "As I have said many times, he was not my first choice. Billy Davies was. But I was not going to say, 'You are totally ruled out'."
Mr Dowie had a clause in his contract to the effect that if he left to join another club, Palace would be due £1million compensation.

Palace chairman Simon Jordan says that, as a gesture of good will, he agreed to waive that clause when Mr Dowie left because he had stated he wanted to move nearer to his wife and family in Bolton.

Within days, Mr Dowie had joined Charlton.

Mr Dowie says the compromise agreement was a "clean break" under which Palace dispensed with his services and avoided having to pay him substantial contractual entitlements.

Mr Justice Tugendhat adjourned proceedings until Tuesday. He is expected to reserve his judgment in the case after he has heard closing arguments.

Tale of the Tape: Dowie 6, Jordan 6
Temperature: Rather a lot of cloud & a plenty of 'hot air' 20*C

The case continues on Tuesday 22nd May...