Friday, 15 June 2007

Jordan Loses Court Case

Always interesting to see how an initial interpretation/reporting of an event becomes accepted fact. All the reports seem to be headlined 'Jordan wins case against Dowie', even 'Jordan wins £1m court case'. As I understand it (I am not a lawyer and have no inside track on the case) the judge has ruled that Dowie was freed from his contract on the basis of "fraudulent representations", ie that he lied about his reasons for agreeing to the termination of his contract with Crystal Palace, but also that the compromise agreement between Dowie and Palace is not scrapped - in other words that whatever was said and done that agreement remains in place.

So whether Jordan has won or lost depends on what he was trying to achieve by going to the court. If it was to have reinstated a £1m compensation clause for Dowie then Jordan has clearly lost. If it was to prove a point and (presumably) to win some damages from Dowie then it looks like he has won. Not surprisingly he is emphasising the latter.

What still seems surprising to me is how Jordan can continue to claim that he had no reason other than 'goodwill' to waive Dowie's compensation clause. He didn't waive anything. Dowie's contract with Palace was terminated by mutual agreement under the terms of the compromise agreement. With the contract terminated the compensation clause became redundant - as did any thought of Dowie being paid by Palace for the remaining term of his contract.

The compensation clause was in Dowie's original contract to cover the event that a bigger club comes knocking. It was not intended to be instrumental in a situation where Dowie was getting shown the door.

The following is pure supposition. The relationship between Jordan and Dowie breaks down and Jordan wants him out. How can he do this without sacking him and paying him off? The usual way to get rid of an employee and limiting the risk of a tribunal is to first have a talk about what we both want, the way forward, whether we can work together etc. Move Dowie towards an agreed parting of the ways. Dowie says he would like to return up north (in an ideal world, while stressing that he still needs to work), Jordan presents a 'waiving' of a now non-existant compensation clause as an act of kindness, when in reality it is the means of avoiding paying Dowie off. Both parties have their own version of events and remember different aspects of what was actually said.

Dowie falls for the ruse and Jordan believes he has pulled a stroke - well, he's such an intelligent guy how could this not be the case? At the press conference to announce that Dowie's contract with Palace has been terminated by mutual consent a journalist asks whether Dowie wants the Charlton job. 'No, no' thinks Jordan, that's not possible because if he gets that job it would make me look a muppet.

Fact is he still does.

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