(please no comments like “Jordan and Dowie in happier times. How happy could one be having to listen to the guy on the left?)
Iain Dowie’s unveiling Tuesday as the head coach of Charlton Athletic descended into farce when he was served with a high court writ by his former employers Crystal Palace for allegedly misrepresenting the reasons for his departure from Selhurst Park.
Dowie had completed 20 minutes of his inaugural press conference at the Valley when he was interrupted by a bailiff representing Fladgate Fielder, the London-based law firm acting on behalf of Palace and their outspoken chairman Simon Jordan. The bailiff tried to serve him with legal documents and was initially prevented from doing so but succeeded later in the afternoon.
Jordan had jokingly said he would “not be very happy” if Dowie subsequently decided to join Palace’s local rivals, but his worst fears were realised yesterday when the 41-year-old signed a three-year contract to take over from Alan Curbishley and also suggested that he was ready to relocate to south London.
Palace’s claim for damages centres on a series of private conversations between Jordan and Dowie just prior to his departure on May 22. Jordan alleged that Dowie lied about his reasons for wanting to end his contract and that Palace consequently waived a £1m compensation settlement which would have applied had he resigned to take over at another club.
“The level of deceit that is being used needs to be in the public domain,” Jordan said. “The sole reason Iain Dowie was released from his contract was because he wanted to go to the north and I was empathetic to the fact that he didn’t see his boys. He also specifically told me that he wasn’t going to Charlton because of his relationship with Palace and the credibility he would lose by doing so.”