Saturday, May 12, 2007

'Legal Eagles'.............DowieGateDisgrace. Court Days One, Two & Three

Simon 'Robert Redford' Jordan Versus Iain 'Debra Winger' Dowie

Presiding is:- Justice Tugendhat.

Venue - Court 16 of the High Court.

In the Dock - Simon 'Bob' Jordan - Crystal Palace Football Club chairman & owner and Iain 'Debra' Dowie - Former Palace manager and now current manager of Coventry City F.C.

Mr Dowie's barrister:- Michael McParland.
Crystal Palace's barrister:- John Davies QC

Witness - Peter 'Reg' Varney - Charlton Athletic chief-executive
Witness - Richard 'Dicky' Murray Charlton Athletic chairman

The details outlining the case:

Crystal Palace's £1million legal battle against former manager Iain Dowie started in the High Court today.

Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan has accused Dowie of "fraudulent misrepresentation" when he negotiated his departure from the club a year ago and is suing Dowie for damages in excess of £1million.

Round One - Day One - Wednesday 9th May 2007

In Court today...

Jordan's evidence was that that Dowie (the manager) was released from his contract and as a gesture of goodwill, Jordan (the chairman) agreed to waive the clause in Dowie's contract to the effect that, if he left to join another club, his new bosses would pay Palace £1million in compensation, purely and simply because Dowie was homesick and wanted to move closer to his family in Bolton.
But eight days later, Dowie was appointed manager of Charlton - just a few miles down the road in South London.
In addition it is being alleged that Dowie in his senior position at Selhurst Park, owed the club a "fiduciary duty", or the highest duty of care, which ranked above his own interests.

Jordan admitted in evidence he fell out with Charlton over Addicks vice-chairman Richard Murray's comments, "enjoy the Championship, tosser" and "do you want a fight" when their 2-2 draw at The Valley in 2005 sealed Palace's relegation.

Jordan said: "As a result I would NOT do anything knowingly to assist Charlton."
But he added: "I assure the court I commenced this litigation intending to pursue it for proper purposes to recover compensation."

Dowie's lawyers claimed the Palace owner bought the case just to get back at Charlton.
Dowie himself denied he intended to join fierce rivals Charlton when he departed and has insisted he never publicly stated he wanted to leave the club to be nearer his family, and that he was in fact hounded out by Jordan.

In a show of yet more vintage Jordan song and dance, he then sent a henchman to hijack the Charlton press conference called to unveil Dowie as the new Charlton boss, and he issued the former West Ham man with a writ despite several attempts to banish him from the room. All of which was televised live by Sky.
(Even if I have to say so myself, the action and timing of the issuing of that writ by Jordan was in itself, undeniably a publicity masterstroke of monumental proportions!)

Dowie was sacked by Charlton after only 12 Premiership games in charge.
Charlton are not being sued but their chief executive Peter Varney is a witness in the case.

Counterclaims for defamation & breach of contract could follow.

Tale of the Tape: Dowie 6, Jordan 7
Temperature: Warming up nicely: 21*C

The case continues...

Round Two - Day Two - Thursday 10th May 2007

In Court today:

Palace reiterated that Dowie "made representations of fact which were knowingly false" when he said his reason for leaving was to go north.

In his written defence statement Dowie said that the compromise was a "clean break" with Palace letting him leave thus avoiding having to pay him substantial contractual entitlements.

The statement continued: "Unfortunately for Mr. Dowie, Mr. Jordan has a particular dislike of Charlton, Mr. Murray and their fans. In reality, Mr.Jordan's dislike of Charlton and a desire to damage that club, given that Mr. Dowie became their manager, was a particular motivation for bringing this action."

Jordan was so livid with the comments made to him by Charlton vice-chairman Murray after the 2-2 game, that he urged Dowie NOT to join a club "which was dancing on our f-ing graves."

Tale of the Tape: Dowie 5, Jordan 6
Temperature: Dull and overcast: 19*C

The case continues...

Round Three - Day Three - Friday 11th May 2007

In Court today :

Simon Jordan who was in the witness box for five hours, denied telling the lads' mag FHM he "hated" Iain Dowie but then admitted he "couldn't stand" his former manager.
What I said was that "I couldn't stand Iain Dowie," but it was 'tongue in cheek,' and said in a 'jocular' tone of voice.
But he admitted he told Dowie he did not like working with him and accused him of a "lack of respect."

Jordon also denied that he refused to give Dowie a decent transfer budget.
Jordan claimed he turned down Dowie targets Tim Cahill and Michael Carrick over agent's fees demands.

Jordan continued by saying when he offered to watch a video of a match with Dowie to discuss players, Jordon claimed: Iain said "under NO circumstances am I going to watch matches with you. If you want to manage, do your coaching badges."
Jordan added he did NOT want to sack Dowie, even after a heated telephone conversation following Palace's semi-final play-off defeat last season.
He said: "I told Iain in the past I did NOT enjoy working with him but I do have great regard for him as a coach and to lose him before this season - such a critical season - was a bloody disaster."

Dowie's barrister, Michael McParland, then put it to Mr Jordan that he had "no respect" for the legal system, an allegation he denied.

Mr McParland referred to other parts of the FHM article in which Jordan had said that it was "hilarious" that Tara Stout, who was convicted of stalking him, had spent extra time on remand in prison because he postponed a court hearing due to business commitments.

Arguing that he had been "misrepresented" in the article, Mr Jordan denied using the word "hilarious".

But Mr McParland insisted: "You thought you had pulled a stroke."

Jordan replied: "I was busy. I was otherwise engaged."

The barrister continued: "You made her life difficult."

Jordan said: "That's not my concern, what the legal system does. It's not my jurisdiction."

Mr McParland asked: "You misused the system because you wanted to punish her. You made a big joke of it in a lads' mag."

Jordan replied: "No I didn't. I may have said it is ironic. I'd had 18 months of systematic abuse."

Tale of the Tape: Dowie 8, Jordan 7
Temperature: Fire up that BBQ: 23*C

The case continues...

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