The Spinmeister in a spin too far?
Posted by John Beech on May 15, 2011
Peter Ridsdale faces charges of two offences under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and another under the Fraud Act 2006, brought against him by Cardiff Council’s Trading Standards department (1). These are:
- “Being knowingly or recklessly engaged in a commercial practice which contravenes the requirements of professional diligence under Regulation 33a of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Materially distorted or was likely to materially distort the economic behaviour of the average consumer with regard to a product, namely season tickets, contrary to Regulation 8 and 13 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
- Being a trade engaged in a commercial practice which by omission was misleading under Regulation 6 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in that its factual context omitted material information, namely that they were subject to an embargo imposed by the Football Association on the registration of new players at the said Football Club and as a result caused or was likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise, contrary to Regulation 10 and 13 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
- Committed fraud in that you dishonestly made a false representation, namely the sale of season tickets intending to make a gain, namely using revenue to purchase new players, contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.“
Ridsdale told the Plymouth Herald, “I will totally and vigorously refute all the charges and will go back in July to vehemently rebuff them.“
The case is of course sub judice, and it would be improper of me to make any comment on it. While ‘Comments’ remain open, please be aware that I will be mindful of this when deciding whether to publish them or not.
Ridsdale is not of course alone in the world of football management in facing legal proceedings. Harry Redknapp, Milan Mandric and Peter Storrie are all currently facing court proceedings relating to matters which occured when they were at Portsmouth. So far as I am aware, all but Storrie are carrying on in football as their innocence is to be presumed.
The four cases are individual, and the seriousness of the charge(s) varies with its relevance to their current work. What does strike me however as being in marked contrast to practice in many other sectors is that there does not appear to have been serious consideration given to the possibility, and some might argue the appropriateness, of ‘going on gardening leave’ until their names are cleared. Not that I’m surprised – football in general is not a sector which has placed a great deal of stress on ethics.