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Defamation bill passed - Owlstalk celebrates this 'win' !


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The interesting (I think thats the right word) thing for me was that the legal action against Owlstalk that ended up in the High Court was to get Neil to give the personal details of the posters so that the club and the individuals could issue libel proceedings

 

Given that the legal action was required to overturn the data protection act, I think the reason for requesting the details was fairly important

 

Once granted the club and individuals then used the information, not to issue libel proceedings, but to issue a threat and demand for money.

 

 

That's a very important point

Even more confusing was the responses that Kaven Walker gave at the time about whether or not they planned to sue these fans

When interviewed on Radio Sheffield he appeared to choke big time when asked..

 


Owlstalk Shop

 

 

 

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Guest Johnbloodaxe

Bullies, cretins and scum all of em....

Well done to all concerned...and its disgusting that daz never got his promised costs..

Whatever happened to all on that list of names, i hope none of them ever got to be on a position of responsibility ever again....

Where are they now??

Bullies, cretins and scum all of em....

Well done to all concerned...and its disgusting that daz never got his promised costs..

Whatever happened to all on that list of names, i hope none of them ever got to be on a position of responsibility ever again....

Where are they now??

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That's the thing

 

There are STILL people who think that Owlstalk is full of anti-swfc people, that Wednesdayite were the anti-christ, and that Dave and Kaven were doing a great job despite these fans trying to bring all the issues to the publics attention

i know someone who was on the fringes of those in the know, at that time...

and he still snarls, and curls up his lip when he says wednesdayite... 

QUITE AMAZING, NON ARE SO BLIND, AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE...

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Is there any way of getting the message to Milan that those that took action in the name of our club and still have the cheek to sit in the Directors Box that they're not welcome? I'm not talking about protest. They're not worth that. I mean some sort of petition or the like.

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i know someone who was on the fringes of those in the know, at that time...

and he still snarls, and curls up his lip when he says wednesdayite... 

QUITE AMAZING, NON ARE SO BLIND, AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE...

 

 

There's still people who hate Owlstalk, Wednesdayite, Daz and Guy etc simply because they totally fell for the hype, spin and press at the time..

Shame really because the future's bright

 

I'd like to think the supporters can all pull together to achieve success instead of being splintered or fragmented at all

 

 


Owlstalk Shop

 

 

 

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Guest mkowl

Glad to see the press have stated their opposition to state sponsored press regulation. That would have lead to have a huge erosion of democracy in this country and given freer reign to the lawyers to make and possibly impose threats like these documented above. Whilst I don't condone the hacking and the like that would be insignificant compared to these regulations ultimately being used by the powers that be to suppress or conceal wrongdoing

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I remember the cretins fiasco and the club trying to sue Owlstalk members but being 13/14 at the time I didn't really understand why it was happening, all I knew was it was the club were wrong to be doing so. I mean, why would you sue the people who are the biggest investors into the club and potentially lose all that money?

From then on my Dad refused to go to games (apart from the black balloon games) and I never really went again until our first season back in League 1, because  the club were going under and needed the money (blessing in disguise). 

 

Thank god we have Milan in now who will do a proper job, build the club up to where it should be and accept the criticism when it doesn't quite work out. And thank foook the old regime no longer have a choke hold over the club and everything it does.

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lookin' back a couple of weeks ago, a thread was mildly debating who to build a statue to in the area of approach around the sarf stand/players entrance...

milan's, and some others were mentioned...

BUT I THINK I CAN FAIRLY SAY, IN MY OPINION, NONE DESERVE HIGHER ACCOLADE THAN THOSE BRAVE INDIVIDUALS, WHO WITHSTOOD THE BULLYING AND THREATENING BEHAVIOUR OF THOSE WHO CLAIMED TO REPRESENT THIS, NO OUR FOOTBALL CLUB...  

it might be fitting to have a statue of that true gentleman, brian laws shaking their hand...

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In terms of thinking about events that can lead to our club being given a poor name,... these ill judged legal actions taken by the clubs board at the time, in the name of the club,  brings to mind the bribe scandal of the sixties, which still leaves a very bad taste in one's mouth.. These types of events leave such large dark clouds hanging over Hillsborough.I'm really hoping that the yet to be concluded Hillsborough Enquiry over the Semi Final disaster does not bring out further reason to point fingers at the club or its directors of the time,for the wrong reasons.I don't put any of these events in order of seriousness or linkage, but I'm merely stressing how ill conceived actions by a few can result in adversely effecting thousands.

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After 12 months had passed from the date the posts were made that were complained about I received a letter from George Davies Solicitors.  This advised me that as no action had been taken by Sheffield Wednesday I was not going to be sued.  There followed a final statement of account which I settled personally, despite having received an offer from Dennis Hobson to pay.  It was my mess, and I had dealt with it.  It had cost me a significant sum of money but it was over now and I was relieved.

 

 

Having thought that the nightmare was over - as per the above close to the previous post - I was devastated, some 4 months later - when the following occured

 

Chapter 7 - June 2007 – Sheffield Wednesday strike an unexpected blow

 

It seemed that my delight at Wednesday not pursuing my case had been somewhat premature.

 

I received the dreaded call from my Dad to let me know another letter had arrived from George Davies Solicitors.  I was in the middle of settling my legal bill with them, but on calling and opening the letter I was shocked to discover that it wasn’t a bill at all, but notification that Wednesday were issuing proceedings against me.

 

I called Gareth Williams immediately.  How could this be?  They missed the deadline? We are now 4 months down the line from the deadline. Aren’t we? Tell me this is a mistake.

There was no mistake.  In this kind of litigation the Complainant has 1 year to issue proceedings at the court.  This means completing the paperwork and registering it with the court.  IM Solicitors had met the deadline with 24 hours to spare.

 

The complainant then has up to 4 months to ‘serve’ the proceedings.  Again, the solicitors waited for the maximum possible time before serving the proceedings, which explained the lengthy delay.  I was starting to get the feeling they didn’t have enough evidence and were hoping I would go out and actually defame them.  I wasn’t that stupid.

 

Gareth suggested it would seem an appropriate time to finally meet with him and Mark Lewis at their offices in Manchester.  Mark Lewis was a defamation specialist and it was he who would now pick up the case as the club had decided to take this to the next level.  I donned a suit and made my way to Manchester on the train from Sheffield one gloriously hot afternoon.

I was serving notice with my employer O2 at the time.  They had requested I do gardening leave.  That would have been far preferable to my plans for that day.

 

Gareth introduced himself at Reception and led me upstairs.  In a meeting room I met Mark Lewis, an imposing character who spoke very confidently about my case.  I also met Charlotte Harris who worked with Mark.  She was a bubbly blonde who put me at ease immediately with her smile and assurances that there really was such a flimsy case against me, and all it amounted to was bullying.  They discussed the case in depth, asked me about my finances and whether I was insured.  They explained about ‘no win-no fee’ representation, a CFA (Conditional Fees Arrangement).  This seemed to good to be true.  I could use this clearly knowledgeable and professional lawyer, and if we didn’t win I didn’t have to pay him?  ‘Where’s the catch?’, I asked.  ‘If we don’t win, you have to pay them potentially.’ The roller-coaster of emotions had once again nose-dived.  They then explained ‘After the Event Insurance’ which appeared to mean I could insure against losing the case.  This was all stacking up quite nicely.

 

Mark also explained that their company only took on CFA cases if they had reviewed them with the other partners and agreed that there was a significant chance of winning the case.  He re-iterated that there was nothing to worry about and they would get back to me as soon as possible.

 

On the train back to Sheffield I felt a renewed sense of optimism.  I knew deep down that the club were wrong to take this action.  I knew I had excellent representation.  I had ‘googled’ Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris and only read good things about them. (presumably because no one would dare defame them :-) )

 

A few days later I received a call to let me know that the case had been assessed internally and that they were happy to represent me on a no win-no fee basis.  What a relief.  I filled out and faxed the forms back to George Davies Solicitors and waited for more news.

 

I did feel a slight twinge of regret.  If I was successful in defending the case, it meant that Sheffield Wednesday would have to pay up to double my legal costs as part of the CFA agreement.  Maybe that would be enough to encourage them to pull the plug at this stage I thought.  Maybe the fact that my lawyer is prepared to work for nothing as he is so confident of winning would tell them all they needed to know about the strength of their case.  Surely this would bring an end to it?

 

It didn’t. 

 

I started to dwell on the case again.  I genuinely had nightmares about it.  It seemed like everyone knew about it too.  I had kept what was happening to myself, with just a select few ‘Wednesday’ friends in the loop at first.  I hadn’t told Sarah, or my parents. They couldn’t understand why I had stopped going to Hillsborough.  Obviously I had to tell my parents before long as they were wondering why I was getting all these letters from solicitors.  And then I told Sarah.  We worried about losing the house mostly.

 

The moment the letter had arrived and I realised the club were threatening to take me to court, I stopped going to the ground.  Actually, that’s not strictly true.  I went to a couple of games, and sat there in the stadium completely numb.  Totally unaware of what was happening in the game, entirely focussed on the Directors Box and the people in there who were doing this to me. 

 

It struck me that by paying money across the turnstile – I was actually paying money that could be put to one side and paid to the solicitor to sue me.  I could actually be funding the court case against me.  That was it. I stopped going from that day forward.  I took in some games at Millmoor watching Rotherham, went to Oakwell to see Barnsley.  Never to Bramall Lane mind, there was no way I would go there.  I had spent my daughters first 20 minutes of life carrying her round the ward explaining my expectations of her, and one of those included pointing out that Bramall Lane was off limits, unless Wednesday were playing there.  I couldn’t go against my own advice!

 

Most Saturday afternoons were spent in the garden at home, either in the greenhouse or cutting the grass.  Saturday afternoons in winter were generally spent in the office with a hot mug of coffee listening to the game on radio and with Owlstalk on the PC, chatting away to the exiles from around the world who all gather to listen online.  It became easier to stay away, but never easy.

 

I still let the kids go to the games with my parents.  Football had always been a family affair for us all and the kids had no argument with the club.  Neither did my parents and I wouldn’t have expected either to stop enjoying their Saturday afternoons on my account.  However many Owlstalk regulars did stop going.  The ones who still went made their protest in other ways; they stopped buying programmes, pies and merchandise.  I was quite amazed at the response.  I urged people not to bar the games on my account; Sheffield Wednesday could only be damaged long term if this approach continued in my view. But some were adamant.

 

I still took in a good few away games.  I still loved watching my team and the away games were a welcome relief.  I’d always found away games more enjoyable than home games.  Theres something almost tribal about travelling miles to a strange city, looking out for others who share your colours along the way, gathering in a ‘watering hole’ near the stadium with others of a similar persuasion before taking your place on the terraces to cheer on the your team.  There are 92 grounds in the Football League and at latest count I’ve been to 72 of them.  Always to watch Wednesday. 

 

From being 15 I used to save my dinner money at school, pocket money, odd-job money and of course the regular top-ups from my Grandad to afford to travel to the away games.  The Inter City Owl in those days was superb, I used to meet up with mates from school on the train and we’d play cards and talk football all the way to the cities or town that were hosting us that week.  Then we’d alight at the station, walk in convoy en-masse to the ground, always chanting and after the game we’d walk back defiantly, win lose or draw, still chanting.

I’ve been in dodgy situations in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and London.  The only time I ever felt really scared was walking through Newcastle City Centre and seeing some lunatic Geordie roll a heavy wooden cable drum off the top of a shopping centre onto the Wednesday fans below as they were beings escorted back to the station.  I was literally 10 yards away from that incident and I couldn’t get back to the train fast enough.  Gary Shelton had scored the winner that afternoon with an overhead kick – those were the days!

 

Football is much more sanitised these days with all-seater stadia.  I would love to see standing brought back, even though it would never be the same as it used to be.  I guess they call it progress…

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Ive never actually revealed the wording I was sued for.

 

In this chapter of the book - I do

 

Chapter 9 - 5 Raymond Buildings

 

The Barrister I was about to meet worked in Chambers in London, 5 Raymond Buildings.  I was to meet Mark Lewis, my lawyer, there and we were joined by Darryl Keys who had substantial evidence in his possession to back up my defence.  My defence to the majority of the statements I was being sued for was ‘justified comment’.

 

I took the train from Retford to London, I never travel from Sheffield the train is too slow.  On arrival at Kings Cross I jumped in a taxi and made my way to the Chambers.  I never tire of visiting London but I also never tire of leaving either.  I’m the typical Northerner who goes on about London being filthy and full of southerners…

5 Raymond Buildings was nothing like I expected at all.  I’ve never visited a barristers chambers before (I sincerely hope I never have to again!), but I had in my imagination offices below a Victorian Building, lots of wood panelling, people talking in hushed tones in large leather Chesterfield chairs and a stale air, a little like you would imagine a Gentleman’s Club.  It wasn’t like that at all.  The building itself was quite small from the front in a mews setting; I ascended to the first floor and was led into a tiny conference room where I met a PA who made me a coffee.  Our meeting rooms at o2 knocked this place into a cocked hat!

 

We were joined by Mark Lewis, and then by William Bennett.  William was the barrister who would be charged with defending my case.  His profile on the internet claimed that he is ‘excellent in front of a jury’.  I hoped so.  He filled me with even more confidence and his assertion that ‘it should never make it to court’ was comforting.  I didn’t believe him of course, my pessimistic nature wouldn’t allow that!

 

Darryl joined us soon after the start of the meeting and he’d brought a thick correspondence file that was referred to in much detail.

 

We went through the clubs witness statement line by line and I explained what my point had been to each accusation.  Some of the issues were discussed in great depth, some basically had a line drawn through them as ‘irrelevant’ and no ‘charge to answer’.

 

The barrister claimed to be surprised that the case had even got this far.

 

Among the things I was being sued for were ‘claiming that the club couldn’t go forward while the Chief Exec and Chairman remained in place’, which appeared to be fair comment, especially as the club had just experienced its 2nd worst ever finish, and was over £30m in debt.  In my view, the whole premise of the case against me appeared to be on flimsy interpretations of what I’d actually said, interpretations that took what I’d said completely out of context.

 

For example – the clubs interpretation of my comment ‘the club couldn’t go forward while the Chief Exec and Chairman remained in place’ was that I was claiming they were incompetent. Well, I guess that could be viewed as ‘justifiable comment’ – after all there was plenty of evidence available to suggest so. 

 

Another comment I had made regarded a reply I had given to a Wednesday fan who had asked ‘What criteria is required to join the Board at Hillsborough?’  The club had recently announced that anybody wanting to join the Board would be required to put a £500,000 loan note.  I was aware of two separate people who had done this and been rejected by the club, deeming them ‘incompatible’.  I was also aware that a prominent local businessman had been asked to get involved on the Board without putting the required money up.  This businessman had recently stood up at a particularly stormy AGM and spoke out in favour of the SWFC Board, the only person on the night to do so.

 

I suggested that ‘the absolute criterion for joining the Board was ‘putting up a loan note of £500,000’.  Unless you are deemed incompatible or you have recently kissed ass at an AGM’.  OK, the language may have left something to desire – but in my view the message was correct.

 

Another complaint was about my assertion that the club had ‘publically supported an illegal activity’.  This was the item that most discussion took place over.

 

Recently Rotherham United had been on the verge of administration.  Their supporters had asked Sheffield Wednesday for permission to operate a bucket collection at Hillsborough one match day.  The club had agreed and one Saturday I had been approached by a supporter in a Rotherham shirt, rattling a bucket under my nose right outside the Kop on Penistone Road.  I had happily donated £5.  I had also that week driven to Millmoor and donated £50 to their appeal.  I have a lot of time for Rotherham United, I’m a Rotherham lad.  I’d always taken in at least 10-12 of their games a season, usually when Wednesday didn’t have a game.

 

Further round the ground and I had seen supporters group Wednesdayite who were also doing a bucket collection, this time to raise funds for the Sheffield Wednesday Academy. Again I put £5 in the bucket.  Football was becoming an expensive hobby!!  I later found out that a director of Sheffield Wednesday had informed the supporters group that funds for the Academy were tight and their donation would be welcomed. This was good news, the club had historically taken a dim view of the supporters group following their decision to support Ken Bates in his bid to receive the necessary documentation to analyse investment potential.

 

The club had refused Mr Bates this information, and Mr Bates had contacted the supporters group in the hope that some pressure could be put on club officials to welcome the potential of investment.  At a time when the club was massively in debt, supporters were split as to whether Mr Bates interest was welcome.  Ken Bates is a character in football, and will always be remembered for what he did at Chelsea.  Whether you remember what he did at Chelsea as ‘turning them into a side who could play in the Champions League and building them a superb stadium in the process’, or as ‘the man who threatened to put an electric fence around the pitch to curb the hooligan element of Chelsea support’ is down to individuals!

 

Following the game and in the ensuing week, several statements began to emanate from the club. It appeared a complaint had been received from a regular Directors Box visitor (lets call her Ms H) regarding the actions of a Wednesdayite collector.  The collector had allegedly been offered a donation by Ms H, where she had given him £10.  She’d asked if he could change it for two £5’s and he’d said no and popped the £10 in the bucket.

 

The other side of the story bore little relation to Ms H’s.  Apparently she’d offered the £10, he’d thanked her for such a generous donation and she had indeed asked if he could change it for two £5’s.  He’d pointed out that the buckets were sealed and offered the money back, to which Ms H had said ‘No, its fine, we’ll count it as a donation for next weeks game too!’

 

On arriving inside the ground Ms H had been so overcome with grief at the loss of the full £10 that she had complained to the club.  The club made a statement on the clubs website where it fully supported the Rotherham United bucket collectors while condemning the ‘deplorable Wednesdayite collectors’.  It was this statement more than any other that prompted my anger at the club.  As someone who came from a family who had for many years raised as much cash as possible for the club it was the biggest kick in the privates one could imagine.  To label supporters who give up their spare time to raise cash for the club as ‘deplorable’ is as low as you could wish to get.  The clubs Chief Exec made the statement.

 

The club in their statement had fully supported the Rotherham United collectors. Someone on Owlstalk suggested that it was ‘interesting that the club should support the Rotherham United collectors when their bucket collection was unofficial, unlicensed, the collectors were not properly identified and the buckets were not sealed.  In effect, their collection was unlawful.  My response ‘Yes, quite ironic really’ was enough for the lawyer and barrister to take this particular statement very seriously.  They asked if we had any evidence that the Rotherham United collectors were indeed using unsealed buckets, weren’t wearing the proper luminous bibs etc.  We did.  Somebody from Owlstalk had recorded the news article about it.  Phew.

 

The laywer and barrister relaxed.  ‘Justified Comment’ was written on the reply and we moved on.

 

I relaxed too.

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An expensive day in court...

 

Chapter 11 – Wednesday get their day in court…

 

After a lengthy period of calm my spirits were raised by a phone call from Mark Lewis who was confident he had found a loop hole which might prevent the club from pursuing any kind of prosecution.

 

It seemed that in the paperwork submitted to the court there was some ambiguity as to who was the suing party, as the football club was effectively two different entities and it was unclear as to which entity was the allegedly damaged party.  By not clearly identifying the damaged party the club and it solicitors had not demonstrated sufficient cause to take the action in the first place.

 

I asked for clarification on the loophole a number of times.  It seemed to me a fairly flimsy case with several holes, but it was argued to me that it was a cause of action which had to be taken as to not do so would almost be accepting culpability.

 

Sarah came along with me to Sheffield Magistrates Court and we met Charlotte Harris and a barrister there. Mark Lewis was on holiday in Israel but would be dialling in at various points during the day to check progress.

 

I’ve never been in court before.  This was nothing like I expected, the hearing took place before a District Judge with barristers and lawyers from both sides arguing the points and me sitting there listening.  I spent the majority of the meeting wishing I was somewhere else.

 

Right from the start I felt that the solicitors and barrister from Wednesday’s side were making a much better case than we were.  My suspicions about the loophole were that it was just that, a loophole that would be closed by the judge.  The arguments from both sides continued anyway and we broke for lunch.

 

I made the point to my legal representatives over lunch that I felt we were backing a loser but they were adamant that we were duty bound to see the day through.

 

Once back with the judge my suspicions were confirmed, as the judge deemed that the fact that Sheffield Wednesday hadn’t been identified as a plc or Limited Company was irrelevant, it was quite clear who Sheffield Wednesday were in the posts referred to.  I was gobsmacked to say the least as the costs were discussed at what this episode alone had cost me.  Over £4,000 for around 3 hours in court. What on earth were the costs likely to be when this went to trial, if it ever got that far?  Litigation is an expensive business, I got the distinct impression I had mad the wrong career choice.

 

It was the first and only time that my confidence in my solicitors was shaken.  I had absolutely no doubt that I wasn’t guilty of what I’d been accused of, but would these lawyers be able to get my message across as well as I could if representing myself?

 

I’ve represented myself once before when asking a court to review my divorce settlement and managed to convince the court to substantially reduce the settlement supposedly negotiated by a top solicitors. All I did was prepare better than they did, make my case reasonably and without demonstrating emotion and in my view I won on the day.  Here I was again putting myself in the hands of a very expensive team of lawyers and I had come out of this hearing having lost a battle (a battle I never felt confident in fighting) with a whole war in front of me. 

 

And the war I was about to fight with Sheffield Wednesday would seem like World War Two compared to the  playground scuffle that was my (very messy) divorce.

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Chapter 13 - A show of hands

 

The Sheffield Wednesday plc Annual General Meeting is quite often a stormy affair.  It affords the shareholders the opportunity, once a year, to question the Board of Directors as to the performance of the company.  The shareholders of a football club generally have little interest in the value of their shares and the performance of the club on its balance sheet.  They are more concerned with the clubs showing in the league table, the performance of the players and manager and whether the Board are doing everything possible to further the clubs status in the League.  I’ve been a shareholder for many years and have never received a dividend.

 

In my role as Secretary of the Shareholders Association I have always been very actively involved at AGM time.  I have personally co-ordinated handouts to shareholders with questions that they might want answering, searching questions re the club accounts and its performance financially.  I’ve asked awkward questions of the Board that haven’t been met with an enthusiastic reply and I’ve insisted on a reply if one hasn’t been forthcoming.  I was under no illusion that this was probably more to do with the fact I was being sued than anything I’d posted on the internet. I was being punished for publically asking the kind of questions that people deserve an answer to.

 

This years AGM was no different to the stormy affairs we had seen in the past. With one notable exception.  The Chairman had resigned just 2 weeks before it, and it was the Chairman who had such an uneasy relationship with the fans and shareholders.  He is an extremely successful businessman and one whom until recently I had enormous respect for. But his businesses had always been unilaterally run and I got the distinct impression he was uncomfortable working with a democratic Board of directors.

 

I had been warned about my conduct at the AGM by Mark Lewis.  I had a copy of my email to IM Solicitors with me where I had offered to settle the legal action some 2 years before, and I also had a copy of the clubs rejection of that.  I wanted to print them out and hand them to every shareholder in the room.  Mark was adamant that wouldn’t be a good idea.  He told me to play the meeting by ear, avoid discussing anything controversial and if I felt like contributing at any point then to be precise and careful.

 

The AGM had been preceded by more legal action. This time Owlstalk had received a letter from a legal firm in London demanding the identities of 34 other posters on the site and listed a huge number of statements made by them, all of them in my mind far more serious than anything I had ever said.  My good friend Neil Hargreaves who owned the Owlstalk site had forwarded the letter to Mark Lewis on my advice and Mark took up his case, once again with the promise of funding from the Hobsons.  The case had been argued in court in London, again with barristers present, that the comments complained of were not defamatory.  In the end the judge agreed that of the 34 originally complained of, only 4 statements made by 4 individuals were worthy of a hearing.  He stated the vast majority of the statements were ‘saloon-bar moanings’ and although the language was colourful in the vast majority of cases they were trivial. 

 

The AGM was chaired by Ken Cooke and for once was fairly well-behaved.  The departure of the Chairman appeared to have taken the sting out of proceedings and there was a conciliatory air.  As the meeting began people were warned that the meeting was being recorded and that people should consider their words carefully!  The legal actions were referred to a number of times and very little was being given away by the Board as to their plans now that the Chairman – who it was suspected had been the instigator of the actions – had gone. 

 

Little was given away and I stood up to the microphone. I was shaking with emotion but composed myself long enough to ask the question ‘Why didn’t you accept my offer to settle this 2 years ago?’ No answer was given but an assurance was made that the Board were looking to resolve the action as soon as possible.  Clearly not satisfied with this response, a shareholder stood up to the microphone and in a far more confident manner than I could ever have mustered at that point demanded that the case was dealt with as an absolute priority. 

 

He then turned to the room and demanded of all the shareholders present, of which there was at least 400 which is a significant percentage of the total, to raise their hands if they supported the clubs stance on taking legal action.  I looked around; and not one hand was raised.  The shareholder turned to the Board and said ‘In case there was any doubt – there is your answer. Get it sorted now’.

 

It was a brilliant moment for me.  I had often wondered just how much support the Board had for their stance. The answer was, absolutely none, at least nobody who would admit to it.

 

After the meeting was concluded Ken Cooke made a mistake.  He stated publically, on radio and in television interviews, that there was no legal action ongoing at all.  And that the only reason the club had taken action to discover the identities of the Owlstalk posters in court a few weeks prior, was so they could talk to the people who had complained. 

 

This was a serious error.  By going to court and demanding the names of the people who had made the original statements the club had committed to taking libel action.  By now stating they were only asking for details to talk to people he was effectively suggesting the club had breached the Data Protection Act.  One of the posters who had been identified had already received a legal letter threatening to sue him and he had agreed to settle out of court, something which had cost him around £2000.00.  He was now quite rightly furious that the club were claiming they’d had no intention of suing.  It seemed that publically and privately there were two different approaches.  He immediately wrote to the club demanding compensation for the money he’d paid to a solicitor while investigating whether they had a case.

 

After the meeting I heard nothing for several months. I had spoken to one of the directors following the meeting and had informed him of my throat cancer diagnosis, as this was November and the cancer had just been diagnosed.  He had recently just recovered from prostate cancer himself.  I appealed to him to try and push any kind of resolution through if that was indeed their plan as it would allow me to concentrate on one thing at a time.  I was disappointed that he found it difficult to speak and made his excuses and left.  Three years prior I had stood up at an AGM and publically defended the same director and commended him on his prior role as Chairman.

 

I guess I was wrong if I was thinking one good turn deserved another. 

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Guest wilyfox

Awesome. The things you guys got up to before I joined Owlstalk... lol

 

i feel inspired by Owlstalk's re-writing of the law. Epic!

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And that is as far as I got with my book

 

You will notice that the chapters are obviously not in sequence - the other chapters are relating to a far more significant battle I was fighting at the time.

 

 

 

I guess I will finish it one day. Right now I'm just delighted we have a Club Chairman who recognises how important the club is to its supporters, and how he is just sitting in the Chair on our behalf.



Sorry for the lengthy cut and pastes... I know its quite rambly stuff

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Guest Big Guns

It would be a better story if you got sent to the slammer

Got bummed in the toilet

Then escaped to get your revenge

One by one the people on the list met a gruesome end

It would have been made into a film I could have played the prison bummer

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