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Fulham take Premier League chairman case to Court of Appeal

Fri 3rd Dec 2010 | Legal

Fulham Football Club’s fight to oust Sir David Richards as Premier League chairman was taken to the Court of Appeal on Wednesday after they challenged a High Court judgment for their dispute with him to be settled by arbitration.

It’s understood that Mr Justice Vos granted Richards and the Premier League a stay on the legal action taken against them by the Cottagers, who want the former removed for allegedly scuppering their bid to sign Peter Crouch in July 2009.

However, the judge also gave Fulham leave to appeal the verdict, which they confirmed in a statement.

"The High Court today ruled that Fulham could not proceed by way of court action in respect of the matters complained of by Fulham in its Unfair Prejudice Petition, issued in April this year, against Sir David Richards and the Premier League.

"Although it ruled that Fulham must pursue its complaints by way of private arbitration under the Premier League and Football Association rules, the High Court also gave Fulham permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal, recognising that there was a previous High Court decision in another case that came to a different conclusion on similar issues, and that an important point of law was involved.

"Fulham intends to take its case to the Court of Appeal so that this important issue can be resolved in its favour."

Granting Richards and the Premier League a stay, Mr Justice Vos said: "The arbitrators will have adequate powers to deal with Fulham's complaint properly, fairly and satisfactorily, and it would be extremely desirable for all concerned if they were permitted to do so without further delay."

Richards' removal is one of two possible outcomes sought by Fulham, the other being a ban on his involvement in future transfers.

Fulham are claiming that Richards interfered with their bid to buy England striker Crouch, who ended up joining Tottenham for £9million, £2million less than they were reportedly willing to pay.

Richards allegedly intervened because Spurs were prepared to offer Portsmouth a lump sum up front at a time when the south-coast club's very existence was under threat, while Fulham were thought to be planning to pay in instalments.

Fulham believe Richards broke both Football Association and Premier League rules and failed to act fairly by promoting the interests of one club over another.

 

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