City Begin Joe Appeal
Monday, 21st Feb 2005 14:49
Boss Joe Royle was in the Appeal Court today as Manchester City began their attempt to overturn the Town manager's compensation victory last July. Royle was awarded £422,819 plus £65,000 costs by Judge Michael Kershaw at the High Court in Liverpool.
The Town manager claimed that his golden handshake from City in May 2001 should have been at an agreed Premiership level of £750,000 rather than the lower Division One sum he was actually paid.
Lawyers representing Royle argued that City were still effectively a Premiership club until their Premier League share was returned at an AGM in the following June. City's legal people contended that a club is relegated when it is mathematically impossible for them to escape the drop.
Three Appeal Court judges will decide whether to uphold Judge Kershaw's ruling.
David Pannick QC, City's counsel, outlined their case in court today: "Was the first team in the Premier League or was it in the First Division when he was sacked two days after the end of the Premier League season when the club finished in one of the bottom three places of the Premier League?
"The club submits that a reasonable person having background knowledge would say that on May 21st, 2001 the club had already been relegated from the Premier League to the First Division.
"Manchester City FC had lost the right to be in the Premier League. The club had played all its games. The season had ended."
Royle missed Town's pre-Watford press conference to attend the hearing.
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