Friday, 11 July 2008

Dealing With The Devil

The one sure way to conciliate a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured...

The club has released a statement on the official site confirming an
out of court settlement with Terry Brown in relation to their respective legal claims. The settlement brings to an end all outstanding disputes between the two parties.


Former Chairman Brown had previously announced plans to sue the club's Icelandic owners for lost earnings and privileges after he was perfunctorily expelled from Upton Park by Eggert Magnusson as a result of the Tevez/Mascherano affair. A condition of the sale of the club in December 2006 was that Brown would continue to be paid his full £592,000 salary for two further years whilst retaining certain other privileges such as executive seats in the directors box, eight hospitality seats in the Chairman's suite and a lifetime honoury Vice-Presidency.

However he was kicked out in February 2007 after the now-departed Magnusson revealed that the club would be taking legal action against Brown and former MD Paul Aldridge for damages incurred as a result of the Tevez/Mascherano fiasco. Shortly afterwards, he received
a letter terminating the contract he signed when he sold the club which guaranteed earnings of £1.5million until 31 May 2009. Magnusson, who was increasingly keen to distance himself from the previous regime, held the former chairman largely responsible for the problems with the deals. He made the decision to withhold the payments as a means of seeking some redress for the £5.5 million fine levied by the Premier League.

Brown's former managing director Paul Aldridge had also threatened legal action, saying his reputation has been "besmirched" by the inquiry into the transfers of Tevez and Mascherano. Aldridge said at the time: "Naturally, my sympathies lie with the club I was chief executive of for 10 years in respect of what seems a very harsh sanction. However, my own personal and professional reputations have been besmirched. The findings accuse me of acting dishonestly and lying. This is hardly natural justice in my view. Until the publication of these findings, my integrity has never been questioned during my career. Accordingly, I have placed the matter in the hands of my lawyer who will be taking the matter further on my behalf."

Commenting on the agreement, West Ham United Chairman and owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, said: "It is time to move on from old disputes and legal battles. My focus, and that of the whole Board, is on the future. To do that we need to draw a line under past issues and also recognise that what matters is building a successful football club. Terry Brown has a long history with West Ham United as former Chairman and leading shareholder and there is no reason for the club and Terry to be at odds with each other. We have settled our differences and Terry will be a welcome guest at the club as we move forward into the new season."

Terry Brown said: "I am pleased that we have brought these matters to a sensible conclusion. Mr Gudmundsson has made clear his focus is on the future not the past and I totally support that vision. West Ham United has always been a special part of my life and I am delighted that I will again have an opportunity to show my support for the club. The new Chairman and Board genuinely believe in this great club and I wish them every success in the years ahead."

While one dispute draws to a discreet close, the club will now have to wait until September before finding out whether or not they will be forced to pay 'compensation' to Sheffield United as a result of the Tevezgate case. Chairman Kevin McCabe said he remains hopeful about the upcoming verdict. "It's down to the panel to make their award which should be September," he told BBC Radio Sheffield. "The formal arbitration hearing was concluded last month but there'll be one more day at the end of July for further oral submissions."

The Blades said they were unfairly demoted from the top flight after West Ham were found guilty of breaching Premier League regulations in the signing of Argentine Tevez and his compatriot Javier Mascherano. Rather than being docked points by the three-man arbitration panel, the Hammers were fined £5.5m and went on to survive the drop on the final day, while United were relegated. In July 2007 the High Court refused United leave to appeal the panel's decision over the affair. But McCabe has continued the club's fight for a financial settlement and it is being heard by a Football Association tribunal.

2 comments:

Silus-Phalax said...

Just when we thought he was out...they pull him back in!!! Terry Brown will never be welcome back at West Ham for as long as he lives.

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