CLUB STATEMENT RE: LANDMARK LEGAL CASE THAT THREATENS SPORT PARTICIPATION ACROSS THE UK.
On Tuesday 12 November 2019 a court in Manchester found in favour of a semi-professional player who suffered a broken ankle playing for Radcliffe Borough in a game against Ossett Town. The league recommended insurance policy did not protect Ossett from damages or legal fees for the claimant should this case be lost, which it was, now leaving them with a £135,000 court order.
Not only does this put the entire club and the future of football in the town in jeopardy but also opens up the floodgates for all injured sports participants to successfully sue and win substantial money from the person who injured them and their club. This can then filter down to recreational sport like 5-a-side football where an individual can sue an opponent should they receive an injury during a game. This will change not only football but sports participation throughout the country at every level. Can you afford to pay a player injured at your club £135,000, because Ossett cannot.
Ossett United were formed in July 2018 following the merger of Ossett Town and Ossett Albion to help bring together and hopefully strengthen football in the Town. The club now play at Ingfield, the former home of Ossett Town Football Club, where the decision to sell the only asset, the ground, is now looking like the only option.
Chairman of Ossett Phil Smith said. “I have had other chairman throughout the league making contact and raising their own concerns. They are worried that an immeasurable amount of claims can now be raised from previous incidents at their club resulting in them actually losing their football club, it’s quite a scary situation we are all now in. I urge all sports clubs to check their insurance policies immediately, however, that will only protect future events, not the ones in the past like the one that now threatens our club.”
As a club Ossett United are consulting as a board with their trusted advisors and their landlords, Ossett Town, as to the options that lay ahead of them with the looming option of selling the ground currently being the talk of the town.