Cardiff gain time in dispute over £24m debt

The FA Cup semi-finalists Cardiff City were rescued from the brink of financial disaster yesterday when a High Court judge rejected a bank's bid to secure the immediate repayment of up to £24m.

The judge said the club had "a real prospect of a successful defence" and should not be subjected to a summary judgment.

Langston, a Swiss investment bank, is suing the Welsh club over loan notes which it holds. Langston had sought "summary judgment" – meaning that the club would be forced to pay up immediately. But Mr Justice Briggs, sitting in London, dismissed the claim.

As a result, the case will go forward to a full trial of the complex issues involved. The judge said the case was "clearly unsuitable for summary determination". He refused Langston permission to go to the Court of Appeal.

The judge was invited by both sides in the dispute to delay the full hearing of the case for two months, in the hope that matters can now be resolved without the need for further court action.

The Championship club, still savouring the FA Cup quarter-final victory against Middlesbrough two weeks ago, had faced possible administration if Langston succeeded in its claim.

Langston's counsel, Michael Driscoll QC, told the court it was common ground that Langston was a substantial creditor of the club and that the debt owed to it was in excess of £15m. It was also common ground that Langston loaned £24m to the club in 2004, and it had yet to be repaid anything. It was the club's case that nothing was payable at the moment. The judge extended the time limit for Langston to renew its application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal until 10 June.

Announcing that a two-month stay on the action had been agreed, the club's counsel, David Wolfson, said: "It has always been the club's aim to reach a settlement without incurring further legal costs and, over the next two months, we hope very much to do that so we can concentrate on matters on the field where, I'm glad to say, we have enjoyed some success."

The judge wished the two sides "every success" in their attempts to resolve the dispute.

Cardiff's chairman Peter Ridsdale said: "I'm relieved. I think that we have always accepted that we owed Langston £16m and the proceeds of the naming rights of the new stadium, up to a maximum of £9m. We feel that the action over the last seven months has been strangling the club and has been unnecessary.

"We would expect anyone who has a difference of opinion to sit down and come to an amicable conclusion but all that happened was we were dragged through the courts, which was very expensive and time-consuming and stops the process of raising cash which could have gone towards resolving this dispute.

"I sincerely hope they will sit around the table and realise that an amicable situation is the only way forward for both parties."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links