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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Barrow rugby club and firm in court battle over pitch work

A ROW over work on a Barrow rugby pitch has ended up in court – with the business wanting payment for the job and the club refusing to settle the bill.

The disagreement started after the Neil Martin Group carried out work on Barrow Island ARLFC’s main pitch at the Rating Lane playing fields.

The contract was signed after the club received £50,000 from Sport England’s Protecting Playing Fields fund in October 2011 to help level and drain the field.

However, the pitch has not been used for more than 12 months.

The club has been using another pitch at the Rating Lane fields during that time.

Neil Martin first took the matter to court after he was not paid. But the court heard the rugby club has lodged a counter claim for “£80,000 or more”.

The case was heard in the County Court in Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday but, after a short hearing, was adjourned for 28 days while Mr Martin seeks legal advice.

Following the hearing, the club committee’s solicitor, Mr Jeremy Tennyson, told the Evening Mail he had been asked by his clients not to discuss anything more than that said in court.

When called by the Evening Mail, Mr Martin declined to reveal the amount of money he is suing for, but described the club’s counter claim as “nonsense”.

Dealing with Mr Martin’s side of the argument, district judge Christopher Dodd said the club was an unincorporated association, which means named individuals must be sued, rather than the club.

He told Mr Martin: “The rugby club does not exist as a person. That doesn’t stop you suing somebody, but you need to identify who you are going to sue as a representative of the club.

“You will get a list of committee members. Take some advice as to whom to sue and we will go on from there.”

Earlier in the hearing, Mr Tennyson said Mr Martin had understood he would be suing secretary John Clegg and fellow official John Jefferson.

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