The Sunday Mercury reports Thompson's legal action

Paul Thompson threatens legal action against Tony Hale after accusations made on local radio

Combatants up the ante

The Sunday Mercury reports that Paul Thompson is threatening to sue Tony Hale after Hale allegedly claimed on local radio (Capital Gold?) that Thompson blocked a 2 million pound fund-raising scheme whilst he was on the Board. Thompson is currently in Florida, but Barry Hurst says that Thompson wants a public retraction by Hale otherwise

"counsel will be instructed with a view to commencing proceedings against Mr Hale"

Hurst continued:

"The last thing he (Thompson) wanted to do was stop more money coming in and Paul is very concerned that the supporters are being misled... what is being said appears to be calculated to undermine his reputation."

Hurst also questioned whether Hale has big money men waiting in the wings should he survive the EGM:

"The question must be asked as to why, only now with his position under threat, have these investors suddenly become available. We tried to encourage him last year to be proactive and he discouraged it, accusing us of trying to put the club up for sale. That was ridiculous because every football club needs money. And in my view Albion need 10 million."

Hurst believes the team will flounder next season unless changes are made:

"The team will undoubtedly struggle. All we are saying is that someone else deserves a chance to try and do better. I think Thompson can do much better for the club and I think many others will agree."

Answering criticisms that Thompson apparently doesn't have a wonder plan drawn up for the club, Hurst said:

"2 years ago Paul provided a plan to raise 10 million for the Rainbow Stand, training ground, players and a share issue. Now we need as much as we can raise and the plan will be tailored around that."

Meanwhile, Denis Smith has been making comments which could be construed as giving support to the Thompson faction, although he can't really support one side or the other publicly in his position. DS said:

"I'm keeping things warm on a few fronts. That's all I can do at the moment - try to keep people interested. It's very difficult making promises when you don't know what's happening. At least people can see now what was going on behind the scenes and realise that I was trying to do things all along but couldn't. The thing is that both sides have the club at heart, and whoever wins on July 8th, it will mean we can go forward."

 - Report by Chris Wright

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