Thursday, May 27, 2010

And they call it Justice ....

I reproduce the statement from Dave Aspinall, Chairman of Ashton United, issued not long ago (45 minutes ?) with reference to the Marcus Hallows case ....

Ashton United v Marcus Hallows

As a club, Ashton United FC have been dealt a significant blow to their future by the recent court ruling, which rejected their appeal in the case brought by Mr Hallows.

At the outset of proceedings Ashton United clearly demonstrated that it did not have the financial means to meet any substantial claim from either its own funds or assets, yet Mr Hallows and his legal team continued with their legal action, aware that a successful outcome on their part would be liable to have serious implications for the club’s future. A dangerous precedent may have been set by this verdict, which Ashton United always felt was deeply flawed and everyone at Hurst Cross urges fellow clubs who may, one day, find themselves in a similar situation to take every possible action to protect their assets against potential claims in the future. Players cannot play without clubs to play for.

It is not difficult to determine who the real winners are here; Mr. Hallows will never get back the career he lost through an unfortunate accident on the field of play, the verdict will not help protect other players from accidental injury in similar circumstances, yet the cost of the legal fees due to both parties are much greater than any award granted to Mr Hallows by the court.

Further appeals would be financially unviable and unlikely to succeed so, over the next few days, officials at Ashton United will be consulting with their solicitors, insolvency advisors, the Northern Premier League, the Manchester F.A. and Tameside Council about the club’s position, with a determination to carry on the club’s proud 132 year history if at all possible. Due to the urgency of this matter it is unlikely that any further official statements will be forthcoming in the immediate future.

I wish to place on record my thanks to my fellow directors, the officials, players and supporters at our club who have helped fight this action from within, the officials from the Northern Premier League for their assistance during this whole affair and also to our fellow clubs, from all levels of the game, whose officials, supporters and players have so generously backed our cause.

David Aspinall, Chairman, Ashton United FC.

I'm going to leave it at that for now - until the full horrors of this "decision" finally kick in ... you all know the full details - maybe Marcus Hallows is the new "Jean-Marc Bosman" ... I go away to think about this - and no doubt the repercussions will begin ... now ...

Truly a sad sad day for non-league football ...

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