Around the Courts
Posted by John Beech on November 4, 2009
Catching up on my surfing this evening, I’ve been beginning to wonder if I should start a spin-off blog covering football management in court. Almost certainly not, for I find it hard to see that today’s crop of stories is in any way typical, thank goodness.
First up was the widely reported case of Portsmouth Chief Executive Peter Storrie, who has been charged with tax evasion (1). It is alleged that tax and national insurance were not paid in connection with the signing on fee when Amdy Faye was recruited in 2003. Storrie vigorously denies the charge.
If he were to be found guilty and banned under the Premier League Fit and Proper Person Test, Portsmouth would lose the one platform of stability that has seen them survive three changes of ownership. The club’s circumstances would certainly compound the impact of this.
Second up was a case that has absolutely no relevance to Portsmouth if you follow the Premier League party line, but which will be of interest to many of the Fratton Faithful who do not. Former Pompey owner Sacha Gaydamak’s father Arcadi has been sentenced in absentia to six years in prison by a French court (2). He was also fined five million euros for his role in illegal arms deals in the 1990s. He had been charged with involvement in smaller arms deals in Africa as well as with tax offences and fraud. Obviously all this was in no way connected with the funding of son Alexandre’s purchase of Pompey.
From along the coast came news of a pending civil case involving Bournemouth directors. Vice-Chairman Jeff Mostyn is being sued in a complex case by former Club Secretary John Piper (3). It centres on the recovery of a loan made shortly before the club went into Administration. Piper in the meantime is has joined the HMRC winding-up petition over a different loan made to the club.
All a coincidence, but it doesn’t help the image of either club, or indeed that of the game in general.