Who's suing whom: Football club owners fall out over control

PETER JOHNSON, owner of both Everton and Tranmere Rovers Football Clubs, is being sued by his former business colleague Frank Corfe over the control of 86 per cent of Tranmere and pounds 6m in loans to that club.

Separately, Mr Johnson has already been ordered by the Football League to offload his holdings in either the Premiership club or the Division One side, since it is against League rules for one person to own more than one club.

Mr Johnson's dual ownership of both clubs only came to light in September, and he decided to sell his stake in Tranmere, which is losing pounds 1.5m a year. But Mr Johnson now faces a legal fight with Mr Corfe over financial control of Tranmere.

Mr Corfe bought 86 per cent of Tranmere's shares from Mr Johnson in June 1994. Since then Mr Corfe has made a total of 16 loans to Tranmere totalling pounds 6m.

In a writ issued by Mr Corfe's solicitors, Neil Myerson of Altrincham, Cheshire, last week, Mr Corfe claims that on 15 October Mr Johnson "wrongfully and in breach of the ... share agreement" reassigned the benefit of the loans and the share stake in Tranmere to a nominee company controlled by Mr Johnson.

Mr Corfe now wants the reassignments declared invalid and a court order to restrain Mr Johnson from selling the Tranmere shares without his permission.

SOHO HOUSE, an extremely fashionable club in Greek Street and the haunt of "It" girl Tara Palmer-Tompkinson, recently heard through its contacts that an individual called Tamlyn S Thompson claimed to have a membership list of the club.

Soho House issued a writ against Mr Thompson, of Artichoke Place, London, and was subsequently allowed by Mr Thompson to examine his list. This turned out not to be the same as the Soho House membership list, which is "highly confidential". The club then dropped its action.

A spokesman for the club explained that it has to be "extremely jealous of its membership list. We want to reassure people that it is confidential".

ALAN LINES, the former managing director of Marshall Specialist Vehicles, is suing the Cambridge-based defence vehicles maker for nearly pounds 370,000 for wrongful dismissal.

Mr Lines claims he was summoned to the chairman's office on 9 October, and that Michael Marshall then sacked him without any warning whatsoever. Mr Lines says this was despite the fact that his contract contained a two-year notice period.

Mr Lines says he was escorted from the building by a security guard and a director, and that a security man then searched his car, in full view of other staff.

Nigel Tait of Peter Carter-Ruck and Partners, Mr Lines' solicitors, says that his claim is for pounds 369,949.26 plus damages for "slander by gesture - a highly unusual claim".

Marshall, a privately owned family firm, has said it intends to defend the action.

THE NEXT rugby World Cup in Cardiff is still a year away, but already a corporate hospitality firm is locked in dispute with Cardiff Rugby Football Club over space in which to entertain guests.

Pall Mall Corporate Hospitality says it agreed a fee with the Cardiff club to use a section of car park next to the National Stadium, the main venue for the 1999 World Cup. The car park would covered with a marquee and used to wine and dine corporate rugby followers.

The club's ground is right next door to the National Stadium, formerly Cardiff Arms Park.

Pall Mall also had an option to take the rest of the car park. Then, so Pall Mall claims, another hospitality firm stepped in and bid for the entire car park - and was accepted. Mike Burton, a former England rugby international and leading rugby agent, was left with the entire site.

"This threw our original bid out the window," says Bill Dubey, a director of Pall Mall. He says Cardiff then offered some of their own hospitality suites, but these were not suitable. Pall Mall is now demanding a six- figure sum in damages from Cardiff.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own