Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughFor The Want of Forty-Two Pounds - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough For The Want of Forty-Two Pounds - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

For The Want of Forty-Two Pounds

Would you ever take your football club to court? What would it take? Injury caused at a football ground caused by the club’s negligence? Having your season ticket taken away from you for no reason by the club, leaving you out of pocket? Would you not take them to court at all because they are your club?

Well, a few weeks ago, a club were taken to court by one of their fans because of a football shirt and the matter of 42 of your English pounds. The case revolves around Reading FC, Gylfi Sigurdsson and a 13-year old boy’s birthday money.

Basically, the teenager, who lives in Middlesbrough, bought a Reading shirt with ‘Sigurdsson’ on the back of it with his birthday money before the player was promptly sold to Hoffenheim a few months later.

James McGhee, the teenager’s father, asked for a refund from the club and was refused. He then wrote to the club and was again refused. He then lodged a claim in court in Middlesbrough. Reading FC settled out of court, paying £72 to cover legal costs and the refunded value of the shirt, arguing that it was not worth the effort of travelling to Middlesbrough to fight the case.

Mr McGhee stated:  “For anybody else in the same position who feels equally aggrieved, this just shows it is well worth pursuing it. It shows what can be done if you are prepared to fight your corner.”

But is it? Is it really? Clearly, the only reason Mr McGhee won his case is because it would be stupid and a waste of money for Reading FC to face him in court, as would the PR problem of refusing to give a teenager his birthday money back.

This has not set any kind of precedent whatsoever, unless fans of the club based in Reading decide to travel up to the North of England, take residence there and then sue the club for the shirt they buy with ‘Long’ or ‘Federici’ or whoever it is Reading end selling this forthcoming Summer.

Furthermore, by the age of 13, you should be aware that football is not a sport with a semblance of loyalty from any of the people involved in it. The McGhee’s argued that the club indicated Sigurdsson would not be leaving the club but surely every fan knows that football clubs are not honest 100% of the time or indeed 1% of the time.

Even furthermore, when you make an investment in a football shirt with a player’s name on the back, you take the chance that said player may not be around for a long period of time and you might be wasting your money.

There is a life lesson about loyalty and the value of a pound here but I suppose if you have the time, money and inclination to take every event that goes against you in life to the law courts, you aren’t going to learn footballing life lessons. It would appear this is more of a case of a slightly spoiled child getting their way rather than a genuine sea change in fan-football club customer relations.

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