Football dad in substitute row must pay back £3,000
A FATHER who successfully sued his son’s football club for substituting him during a game has been ordered to pay back £3,000 after court documents were mistakenly ‘sent to a field’. Winnersh Rangers FC was taken to court after the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claimed the decision to take off his ten-year-old son was emotional abuse.
Yesterday a judge overturned the £3,000 fine imposed on the club after a court ruled in the father’s favour at an earlier hearing.
Club officials told an appeal hearing they had no idea they had been taken to court as notification letters were sent to football pitches they rent. It was only ‘by chance’ they found out a court had ruled against the club when a postman turned up on a Saturday morning while a team was playing a match.
District Judge Stephen Byass told the parent it was clear the address he gave on the notice of proceedings was not correct. The judge overturned the fine and ordered the money should be returned to the club until a new hearing can be held. Reading County Court previously heard the child was substituted during a pre-season football tournament in 2018 while playing for Winnersh Rangers’ Aztecs youth side. His father later removed him from the team in September and accused the club of unfairly targeting him. Club secretary Phil Chick said the father had initially reported the Berkshire club to the local child protection department.
When the case was brought before the court last month, the club was fined £3,000. However, Mr Chick said the first officials knew about the case was when they received a letter telling them they had lost and were being fined.
When asked about the address on the claim forms, Mr Chick said: ‘That’s a field where we hire pitches. The club address is my address and we had not received any notice prior to the final debt order.’
Overturning the £3,235 fine, Judge Byass said: ‘The address used on the service of proceedings was where the club plays rather than a postal address.’
From the Mail, April 9