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Bobbyhouston

Court It Is Then

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44 minutes ago, Emsca said:

I totall agree with this. It is a football forum and people are entitled to express different viewpoints . Whilst I do not agree with all that WJ says or his analysis of certain scenarios, I think his contributions have been helpful and thought proviking. It is useful to have a counter balance.

I do think his posts often come over as being unequicocal  matters of fact rather than his opinion/ view, but that might just be the nature of the Forum.

On a different theme, the fact that WJ seems to see things as black and white and always looks for whether a rule or law has been broken or not, rather than the nature / inference  of the message may well be explained by his experiences in working life. It is clear to me that the SPFL Board have acted poorly throughout the whole Covid situation . Their leadership and conduct has not been of the standard I would have  hoped for from an organisation charged with managing a national football league.  That being said, I suspect as WJ will tell us - they have possibly not done anything illegal or broken and rules. This is where my view differs from that of WJ.

What I've always said from the outset is that people need to distinguish, and to do so dispassionately, the difference between SPFL conduct that is:

  • shambolic or amateur
  • contrary to the interests of Partick Thistle
  • prejudicial or discriminatory against Partick Thistle
  • illegal/a breach of a legal obligation owed (whether collectively to the clubs or specifically to Thistle)

All of these things annoy me and some of them even make me angry. I was consistent in my criticism of the SPFL for failing to explain why they didn't at least try to include reconstruction in the original proposal, for example. But only three of the above types of conduct are anything we have any (moral) right to complain about except over a pint in the Woody (the first, the third and the fourth).

Some things are a combination of types of conduct 1 and 2, and some even a combination of 1, 2 and/or 3. They annoy me just as much as they annoy lots of people on this forum.

But when people are talking about legal action, it also annoys me that people jump towards the most "pro-Thistle" conclusion and towards the most "anti-SPFL" conclusion, when they are ultimately engaging in red-and-yellow-tinted speculation. I can appreciate, despite my anger at how Thistle have been treated, that the SPFL is actually an organisation comprised of at least somewhat competent individuals with experience of corporate governance. Even if they got some things wrong, there are a lot of examples of people looking for smoking guns where it's at best a big stretch to show one exists.

A legal education teaches you to encourage people to prepare for the worst outcome, and to be pessimistic. That better prepares you for what then comes your way. I don't want Thistle fans to think, mistakenly, that everything is a smoking gun, when there are reasonable explanations (whether legally or more widely) for the conduct of the SPFL at various stages.

What experience I do have of working with lawyers (limited in private practice; rather more so in the public sector) also teaches me not to assume that clients follow the oral or written advice of their legal advisers.

It also teaches me that legal advice, wherever it is concerned with litigation especially, is scarcely if ever unequivocal. It is framed in terms of risk, and does not usually advocate taking particular courses of action. It is ultimately the client that takes decisions; the advisers only advise.

When I say things in direct terms on here, it is because I'm pointing out the absence of evidence for the claims people are making. I am (in admittedly direct terms) saying that, in my considered opinion, a court is unlikely to change its view on anything based on your hunch. No more than that.

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4 minutes ago, Woodstock Jag said:

What I've always said from the outset is that people need to distinguish, and to do so dispassionately, the difference between SPFL conduct that is:

  • shambolic or amateur
  • contrary to the interests of Partick Thistle
  • prejudicial or discriminatory against Partick Thistle
  • illegal/a breach of a legal obligation owed (whether collectively to the clubs or specifically to Thistle)

All of these things annoy me and some of them even make me angry. I was consistent in my criticism of the SPFL for failing to explain why they didn't at least try to include reconstruction in the original proposal, for example. But only three of the above types of conduct are anything we have any (moral) right to complain about except over a pint in the Woody (the first, the third and the fourth).

Some things are a combination of types of conduct 1 and 2, and some even a combination of 1, 2 and/or 3. They annoy me just as much as they annoy lots of people on this forum.

But when people are talking about legal action, it also annoys me that people jump towards the most "pro-Thistle" conclusion and towards the most "anti-SPFL" conclusion, when they are ultimately engaging in red-and-yellow-tinted speculation. I can appreciate, despite my anger at how Thistle have been treated, that the SPFL is actually an organisation comprised of at least somewhat competent individuals with experience of corporate governance. Even if they got some things wrong, there are a lot of examples of people looking for smoking guns where it's at best a big stretch to show one exists.

A legal education teaches you to encourage people to prepare for the worst outcome, and to be pessimistic. That better prepares you for what then comes your way. I don't want Thistle fans to think, mistakenly, that everything is a smoking gun, when there are reasonable explanations (whether legally or more widely) for the conduct of the SPFL at various stages.

What experience I do have of working with lawyers (limited in private practice; rather more so in the public sector) also teaches me not to assume that clients follow the oral or written advice of their legal advisers.

It also teaches me that legal advice, wherever it is concerned with litigation especially, is scarcely if ever unequivocal. It is framed in terms of risk, and does not usually advocate taking particular courses of action. It is ultimately the client that takes decisions; the advisers only advise.

When I say things in direct terms on here, it is because I'm pointing out the absence of evidence for the claims people are making. I am (in admittedly direct terms) saying that, in my considered opinion, a court is unlikely to change its view on anything based on your hunch. No more than that.

Fair Play.

Now back to work- have you not got a country to run?

 

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3 minutes ago, Woodstock Jag said:

What I've always said from the outset is that people need to distinguish, and to do so dispassionately, the difference between SPFL conduct that is:

  • shambolic or amateur
  • contrary to the interests of Partick Thistle
  • prejudicial or discriminatory against Partick Thistle
  • illegal/a breach of a legal obligation owed (whether collectively to the clubs or specifically to Thistle)

All of these things annoy me and some of them even make me angry. I was consistent in my criticism of the SPFL for failing to explain why they didn't at least try to include reconstruction in the original proposal, for example. But only three of the above types of conduct are anything we have any (moral) right to complain about except over a pint in the Woody (the first, the third and the fourth).

Some things are a combination of types of conduct 1 and 2, and some even a combination of 1, 2 and/or 3. They annoy me just as much as they annoy lots of people on this forum.

But when people are talking about legal action, it also annoys me that people jump towards the most "pro-Thistle" conclusion and towards the most "anti-SPFL" conclusion, when they are ultimately engaging in red-and-yellow-tinted speculation. I can appreciate, despite my anger at how Thistle have been treated, that the SPFL is actually an organisation comprised of at least somewhat competent individuals with experience of corporate governance. Even if they got some things wrong, there are a lot of examples of people looking for smoking guns where it's at best a big stretch to show one exists.

A legal education teaches you to encourage people to prepare for the worst outcome, and to be pessimistic. That better prepares you for what then comes your way. I don't want Thistle fans to think, mistakenly, that everything is a smoking gun, when there are reasonable explanations (whether legally or more widely) for the conduct of the SPFL at various stages.

What experience I do have of working with lawyers (limited in private practice; rather more so in the public sector) also teaches me not to assume that clients follow the oral or written advice of their legal advisers.

It also teaches me that legal advice, wherever it is concerned with litigation especially, is scarcely if ever unequivocal. It is framed in terms of risk, and does not usually advocate taking particular courses of action. It is ultimately the client that takes decisions; the advisers only advise.

When I say things in direct terms on here, it is because I'm pointing out the absence of evidence for the claims people are making. I am (in admittedly direct terms) saying that, in my considered opinion, a court is unlikely to change its view on anything based on your hunch. No more than that.

None of that is unreasonable but there is a lot we yet don’t know and we should not automatically assume that your misgivings will apply to the club or hearts .....the assumption must be that we have taken decent legal advice and would not bother with any action unless we felt the legal advice was at least encouraging. I would also assume that hearts probably have some heavyweight legal input . My understanding is our advice on the Dundee vote was very supportive to our case but we shall see. 

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16 minutes ago, Emsca said:

Fair Play.

Now back to work- have you not got a country to run?

Things are quiet on the constitutional front...

11 minutes ago, javeajag said:

None of that is unreasonable but there is a lot we yet don’t know and we should not automatically assume that your misgivings will apply to the club or hearts .....the assumption must be that we have taken decent legal advice and would not bother with any action unless we felt the legal advice was at least encouraging. I would also assume that hearts probably have some heavyweight legal input . My understanding is our advice on the Dundee vote was very supportive to our case but we shall see. 

Equally we shouldn't assume we have a case simply because we've sought legal advice and simply because some of those lawyers might be good at their job. I would much prefer to assume the worst here and be pleasantly surprised than vice versa.

Like I said at the outset, I thought, in strict legal terms, the Counsel's opinion on the Dundee vote was a really compelling argument and (at that time) a viable basis for asking the SPFL to move on to other proposals.

Where I disagree with you and others is its continuing relevance now that the politics and practicalities of this situation have, as it were, "moved-on". The change in the Dundee vote, and the paying out of the prize-money, and the preparing for next season on the basis of that 81% of Clubs supporting it, greatly diminishes the value of having the resolution annulled.

Is there a chance the fall-out of an annulment could change the dynamics again and in our favour? Sure. I think it's really unlikely though, and the manner in which we got to this stage could have the opposite of the desired effect.

I am also concerned that the legal case is fundamentally a different one now than that set-out by the QC opinion on the Dundee resolution. This is because it only seeks partially to annul the resolution rather than entirely to annul it. I have not seen a compelling legal justification for this, and I struggle to think of one that would be entertained by the Court of Session. Again, I hope I am wrong on this point.

On emphasis, we shall simply have to agree to disagree.

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Wednesday brings us to the Preliminary Hearing in our case.  I am aware that Thistle /Hearts have asked that the Hearing be made public.  Are these Preliminary Hearings normally held in private, without the public or press in attendance?  They are really date fixing and housekeeping, although Lord Clark can, if I'm correct, throw out the case at that stage?  As the respondents have indicated that they do not wish any open Hearing, am I right in thinking that it's likely not to be made public, as one of the parties in the case opposes that?

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16 minutes ago, East Kent Jag II said:

Wednesday brings us to the Preliminary Hearing in our case.  I am aware that Thistle /Hearts have asked that the Hearing be made public.  Are these Preliminary Hearings normally held in private, without the public or press in attendance?  They are really date fixing and housekeeping, although Lord Clark can, if I'm correct, throw out the case at that stage?  As the respondents have indicated that they do not wish any open Hearing, am I right in thinking that it's likely not to be made public, as one of the parties in the case opposes that?

I don't know enough about the procedure rules in the Court of Session to comment on the detail of that.

One thing that might be relevant here is the extent to which the courts are currently operating virtually, owing to Covid-19 restrictions? Proceedings that would normally take place in a physical court room may instead be taking place over video-link at the moment. To the extent that (say) a judge might themselves still be in a courtroom there may also still be restrictions on access to public galleries.

I know (in connection with my actual work!) that public broadcast/access has mainly been an issue in the English and Welsh courts on technology capacity grounds, rather more so than procedure grounds.

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Thanks WJ.  It may well be that Wednesday goes ahead, and we will not be aware of the outcome, dependent on timetables, availability and other earlier  outstanding cases for some time.  Perhaps a period of reflection might help us all.  (Me included!)

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57 minutes ago, Woodstock Jag said:

Things are quiet on the constitutional front...

 

I would get drafting on the UK becoming a republic.

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7 hours ago, eljaggo said:His actions may not be illegal, but they shine a strong light on the deficiencies of Scottish football that I hope will have fundamental consequences.  Doncaster's days are probably numbered.

 

 

Not really knowing what the process from here on in is, if this does actually result in our case winning, it seems odd that the clubs who will have to fork out compensation don’t actually know if the SPFL counter argument is a strong one.

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3 hours ago, Jaggernaut said:

I thought it was Norgethistle's contributions that were proviking.

My heeds buzzled with the language on it

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33 minutes ago, Lenziejag said:

Not really knowing what the process from here on in is, if this does actually result in our case winning, it seems odd that the clubs who will have to fork out compensation don’t actually know if the SPFL counter argument is a strong one.

It's not that odd. This goes to the heart of what being a members' organisation means.

If every shareholder in a company took independent legal advice on every actual or likely bit of litigation involving the members' organisation, you'd make a lot of lawyers a lot of money and not many members' organisations would exist for very long.

The whole point of having a governing body like the SPFL is to pool and share responsibility and reward for properly assessing risks and opportunities (whether legal, commercial or otherwise). You do this by giving powers to a Board, subject only to the powers of oversight insisted upon by the founding members/shareholders.

You can argue that perhaps the type of member/shareholder involvement decided upon was not as good as it could have been. But it was the governing structure chosen by the clubs themselves, and there will always be commercial implications for how the balance is struck.

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1 hour ago, Woodstock Jag said:

It's not that odd. This goes to the heart of what being a members' organisation means.

If every shareholder in a company took independent legal advice on every actual or likely bit of litigation involving the members' organisation, you'd make a lot of lawyers a lot of money and not many members' organisations would exist for very long.

The whole point of having a governing body like the SPFL is to pool and share responsibility and reward for properly assessing risks and opportunities (whether legal, commercial or otherwise). You do this by giving powers to a Board, subject only to the powers of oversight insisted upon by the founding members/shareholders.

You can argue that perhaps the type of member/shareholder involvement decided upon was not as good as it could have been. But it was the governing structure chosen by the clubs themselves, and there will always be commercial implications for how the balance is struck.

Do Boards not have a responsibility for letting the shareholders know what the impact of its actions are on the value of their shareholding ? 
But that aside, it would be a courtesy to let them know, particularly in something that they have had quite a big part in.

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29 minutes ago, Lenziejag said:

Do Boards not have a responsibility for letting the shareholders know what the impact of its actions are on the value of their shareholding ?

Not for every single decision they take, no.

29 minutes ago, Lenziejag said:

But that aside, it would be a courtesy to let them know, particularly in something that they have had quite a big part in.

That depends on whether it is in fact something they can meaningfully assess. The quantum of any damages award, for example, is itself a matter likely to be disputed if it becomes legally relevant.

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7 hours ago, javeajag said:

This is your occasional reminder that I do indeed give you peace by not interacting with you, please block me so you don’t see my posts and don’t quote me as I as I’m sure you have noticed I don’t respond. Have a lovely day.

 

8A8B522E-2EA1-4519-B121-7E0CBB46C530.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Woodstock Jag said:

Not for every single decision they take, no.

That depends on whether it is in fact something they can meaningfully assess. The quantum of any damages award, for example, is itself a matter likely to be disputed if it becomes legally relevant.

I did say as a courtesy. It would also be a bit arrogant of the SPFL Board to think that they are in a better position to assess what is meaningful for a club than the club itself.

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32 minutes ago, Lenziejag said:

I did say as a courtesy. It would also be a bit arrogant of the SPFL Board to think that they are in a better position to assess what is meaningful for a club than the club itself.

That wasn’t what I meant by meaningfully. I meant that the SPFL is unable to assess with any level of reliability or precision what impact the Hearts/Thistle legal action will have on its value and therefore the value of its shares.

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6 hours ago, East Kent Jag II said:

Thanks WJ.  It may well be that Wednesday goes ahead, and we will not be aware of the outcome, dependent on timetables, availability and other earlier  outstanding cases for some time.  Perhaps a period of reflection might help us all.  (Me included!)

If you become a party to the court action, you can get copies of everything. The SPFL can tell you how.

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15 hours ago, ARu-Strathbungo said:

If you bothered to read, you would see I said 'majority'. 

By what measure do you claim "majority" ? Have you polled the membership ? (if so, I think that my voting slip has gone missing). Although I don't have any facts to disprove your claim, judging by the total number of members, and the numbers who have replied on this topic, I would suggest that the "majority" are blissfully unaware of anything Woodstock Jag has said. Without any facts to back up your claim, this is exactly the type of propaganda put out by the SPLF.

For the record, I do appreciate what WJ contributes, although I'm not convinced by some of his conclusions and I think that there are still enough things which we don't know to make it hard to be quite so black and white. For me there are enough grey areas to give me hope of a result of some sort in our favour. 

Edited by Dick Dastardly
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38 minutes ago, Dick Dastardly said:

I would suggest that the "majority" are blissfully unaware of anything Woodside Jag has said.

I count myself among them.

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