Charlton chairman amazed at Jordan legal action

May 30, 2006

Charlton chairman Richard Murray admits he thought it was a joke when Tueday afternoon's press conference to unveil new manager Iain Dowie was interrupted by the news of legal action launched by Crystal Palace against their former boss.

Both Dowie and Charlton insist that, prior to leaving Selhurst Park, no discussions had taken place with the Addicks, who were seeking a successor to long-serving manager Alan Curbishley.

However, according to Eagles chairman Simon Jordan, Dowie made it clear the major reason he wanted to be released from his obligations at Palace was the continuing travelling back up to the north-west to visit his family.

Dowie had a compensation clause in his contract which meant if he left for another club, they would have to pay Palace £1million.

Jordan had, though, agreed to waive the clause - and it is this that prompted the Eagles chairman to take action for 'fraudulent statements about his reasons for leaving the club'.

A court representative attempted to serve the writ on Dowie during today's press conference at The Valley, but was prevented from doing so before eventually completing his legal obligation later in the afternoon.

Murray declared: 'I thought it was a joke. I thought it was the pantomime season.

'Simon has always been rather envious or jealous of Charlton because we have had the success he has been striving for, with a wonderful stadium which we own.

'But I do not know what has got his goat. Maybe he should ring me.'

Jordan, however, intends to pursue the matter through the legal system, and is set to seek financial redress.

Murray commented: 'We all know that Simon is a good businessman. I am sure if the reasons Iain was leaving for his family to go up north, he would have put that in the contract.

'If he did not, then maybe Simon has not had the best advice.'

Murray told Sky Sports News: 'What amazes me about Simon is that he writes about me in the papers, maybe he should just pick up the phone and talk to me about it.'

Dowie, meanwhile, would not be drawn into a war of words with his former chairman - but insisted he had acted properly.

'I am not going to let it sour a good day for me,' said the 41-year-old, who will head up a new three-man coaching team with Les Reed, the former director of technical development at the Football Association, and ex-Addicks winger Mark Robson.

'If that is what he feels, then that is what he feels - but it totally misrepresents the conversation I had with Simon and, to be fair, my wife witnessed two hours of it.

'I know I have got an agreement at home which says it was by mutual consent and I can live with myself, I can look him in the eye so that is all I can do.

'As long as I can cover myself in the right way and that is all I ever worried about.'