A MATTER OF JUSTICE


Tom Tugendhat had been campaigning to be the next Prime Minister

Tom Tugendhat MP is not going to be the next Prime Minister but he has certainly performed as well as some of the others in the race to be the Leader of the Conservative Party and the next tenant of 10 Downing Street.


He certainly has a look of his father and reminded me of the many ‘happy days’ I spent in the company of his father, Sir Michael Tugendhat, when 15 years ago as a high court judge he presided over the case of Crystal Palace FC (and Simon Jordan) v Iain Dowie.


That case centred on whether Dowie was guilty of misrepresentation in order to exit his contract as manager of Crystal Palace without £1m compensation being payable. Justice Tugendhat found he was guilty of misrepresentation and based on the evidence I heard and I attended every day of the trial I have no argument with the decision reached.


In his judgement, he said he that the relevance of attaching Charlton Athletic FC and it’s senior personnel to the case was largely irrelevant to the case of misrepresentation as that was a matter related to conversations between Jordan and Dowie.


Jordan could of course have served legal papers on Dowie at any time as he wasn’t that difficult to find but he chose to have them served on Dowie during the press conference to announce him as the new Charlton manager. The agent serving the papers misrepresented himself to gain access to that press conference (is there a rich irony there?) and of course it was all pre-planned because Jordan was then immediately on TV to state his case.


The written evidence I was obliged to disclose under court rules proved that Dowie was not on my personal shortlist for the job largely due to his affiliations with Crystal Palace and I felt the fans would not accept the appointment. The club’s General Manager favoured Peter Taylor but in the end the senior Charlton directors made their choice in Dowie.


In Jordan’s book, he reveals his QC believed my evidence but I think we all know that Simon regards himself as a superior intellect to barristers! Having said that, he is a great daily performer on talkSPORT and talks a lot of common sense (most of the time...) and should certainly be involved in the governance of the game in some capacity.


Ironically, the period that followed Alan Curbishley’s reign at Charlton was one of abject failure and Charlton is still struggling on the back of the relegation from the Premier League that followed.


Hopefully there will still be good times at some point in the future but if not, no one can take away the memories!