Judge doubts McCrory's evidence in Town court case
Updated 7:16pm Thursday 29th January 2015 in By Beren Cross, @BerenCross
EVIDENCE given by Swindon Town chairman Jed McCrory's was questioned by a High Court judge today.
On the second day of the hearing to determine who owns the club, Judge Nicholas Strauss QC said he did not believe McCrory's explanation of a three-year extension to Lee Power’s share subscription agreement at Town.
There are e-mail and text message exchanges between Power and McCrory which allude to a three-year extension of some sort involving the former.
McCrory suggested this was only an extension of Power’s tenure as director of football, and nothing to do with becoming club owner.
The former County Ground chief said his acknowledgement of an extension involving Power in April 2013, were not about lengthening the time frame for Power to become majority shareholder.
But Judge Strauss said: “I frankly don’t believe Mr McCrory’s evidence. I don’t think he failed to read it (an e-mail explaining the extension) and I don’t think he was referring to the position of director of football.”
In his evidence, Power said he and McCrory had agreed to extend the window for three years, in order to allow for all the necessary paperwork from the Football League to clear before exercising the agreement and taking control of Seebeck 87, the firm used to buy Town in early 2013.
The spotlight was also shone on the fateful meeting between the pair and Sangita Shah in December 3 last year which ultimately wrestled control from McCrory.
McCrory, throughout the case, has maintained the share subscription agreement Power signed, expired 14 days after he injected £1.2m into the club to lift its transfer embargo.
Using this logic, Hugh Jory QC, Swinton Reds 20’s (Power') counsel, asked McCrory why he walked away when Power told him to in that meeting, if he did indeed retain a majority shareholding.
“The one person who, in your case, can decide who the directors of the club are going to be, is you,” said Mr Jory.
“So you, at December 3, would have been quite able to turn around and say ‘you’re wrong, I own the shares, you’re out’.”
McCrory said: “There was (sic) other reasons for that. There were allegations, and they were only allegations, I brought up.
“I had asked for investigations into the allegations because my job was to protect the club at the time.
“That went on and it became a problem because we didn’t get the answers we wanted.”
He went on: “I decided to have a breather. I came away from it and press releases were made, which were inaccurate, otherwise we wouldn’t be here today.
“I took time to step back. I didn’t want to bring the club into disrepute and it became a sad place for me at the time because of all the issues.”
In his own time at the witness box yesterday, Power addressed match-fixing accusations which McCrory allegedly threw his way during the December 3 meeting.
The current chairman said: “The match-fixing was something that Jed brought up when we decided to part.
“Straight away, me and Sangita rang the Football League and the FA about these accusations.
“He (McCrory) even said the manager was in on it. The match we fixed changed four times and we won all the games we're supposed to have fixed.”