Friday, 15 November 2013

Mistakes of the past

There are a couple of old adages about history that I find myself using from time to time. One is that history repeats itself and the other is that we should learn from mistakes of the past. Both have been in my mind in the last few days with news about two increasingly hapless looking characters in Iain Dowie and Tony Jiminez.

First, let's consider the Rocket Scientist with the wooden head. The hitherto astute looking Steve Parish at Crystal Palace has apparently interviewed him in consideration for the 'black spot' job at Selhurst Park. I rather thought he was enemy number one down there given the way he left them for a job ten miles closer to his family home in Bolton. Even if I allow for Parish's relative desperation given the fact that his vacancy has already been turned down by out-of-work soothsayers like Tony Pulis and used by the likes of Chris Coleman to get his feet well and truly under the table in his existing position, even the idea of interviewing Dowie looks like an admission of defeat. It may well prove to be that Dowie is being used as bait to attract a better fish or perhaps to set the bottom bar, but his track record is hardly inspiring, although Richard Murray does say he interviews well. Fingers-crossed on that one.

Secondly then, the expectant news that our majority shareholder is booked in again at court to hear the latest case of unfair dismissal and to defend a claim this time of £300,000. I should point out here that the claim will be against the football club and not Mr Jiminez personally. My money was on another disgruntled investor in his Les Bordes golf course coming forward to reclaim their vague investment but Steve Kavanagh has obviously been planning his revenge since before the Wise verdict. The odds are that Kav will have to wait until minutes before his March hearing before he gets the satisfaction he seeks albeit from an out-of-court settlement but the irony here, if that happens, is that damage to the reputation of Charlton Athletic Football Club is not really being avoided now that legal action is becoming the norm following departures of key members of the 'team.' Maybe the club will contest this one and fight their corner. Whilst out-of-court settlements don't come with an admission of guilt, the accused clearly wants to avoid the risk of losing the case and the attendant bad press and Joe Public can take the view that there is no smoke without fire.

I am also reminded by the advice usually given to juries before trials begin and that is to forget everything they may have heard or thought about high profile defendants and not to go trawling on the internet for information about the accused in their spare time. You understand the sentiment but the fact is people will have views about people and businesses that they may already have heard about and we don't yet have the ability to forcibly wipe the memories of jurors, although my personal experience is that would be unnecessary in practice for at least half of them. My guess is that the first thing they do when they get home is a spot of surfing having been jogged by my learned friend. Kav won't be in front of a jury and probably won't get the hearing he might fancy but Judges are only human and they are obviously more likely to take a closer interest in what happens across the wider court so the appearance of Charlton Athletic Football Club on the Court Circular once again may well resonate. That's not to suggest, of course, that Charlton Athletic Football Club are in the wrong here, that would be to pre-judge the outcome. 

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