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Question of the Week
Do you support Cleethorpes Town?
Don't Hold Your Breath Waiting For The Cash!
By: Bill Osborne
IN the club statement regarding the legal action against the Hammonds solicitors group, the club issues a warning that we should not get carried away by the announcement as litigation can go either way.
One can be assured that the legal representatives of the insurance companies of Hammonds will try every trick in the book to defend their clients, as it is the insurance company or companies that will eventually pay out if the League wins.
One of the main issues to be resolved is the question of liability of the contract acceptance.
The defence will plead, according to the advice I have been given that: "The solicitors only offered advice and it was up to the League to either accept or not the advice given. The League decided to accept the advice and acted upon it. In short, the League signed the contract which was the cause of the financial losses sustained by the clubs due to no guarantees being obtained from the parent companies of ITV Digital. Therefore the League are responsible, not the solicitors."
Now that seems straight enough to me but fortunately or unfortunately, as the case may be, the law is much more complicated than that and it is not as clear cut as it appears.
In any case, we may not see any decision before we pay the outstanding tax bill, so that is another reason we should not get carried away.
I personally have been through the courts in a compensation case and my view is that if during the course of events an out of court settlement is offered, providing the offer is reasonable, the League should accept it rather than risking losing the whole lot.
Better to have half a loaf than none at all.
Mind you, if the case collapses and we get nothing, we can always sue the League for failing to protect us. Didn't one club suggest doing that just after the ITV Digital collapse?
Whatever happens, the Football League has learned a very expensive lesson.
Always read the small print before you sign! Everybody knows that.
Except the Football League perhaps.
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