Paul Thompson's third letter to Shareholders

Paul Thompson explains the legal action he is taking against Tony Hale following the phone-in

Paul Thompson
c/o 1st Floor
Fountain Precinct
Balm Green
S1 1RZ

24 June 1999

Dear Shareholder

West Bromwich Albion plc - Extraordinary General Meeting on 8 July 1999

I have already written to you on two previous occasions and I have, also, spoken to many of you personally at the meetings arranged earlier this month to explain to you my reasons for requisitioning an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to decide whether shareholders wish Mr Hale to continue as Chairman or not.

My motives in having taken this action are clear. I have tried to give Tony Hale credit for his undoubted commitment to the Club over the past five years but the Club's results during that period speak for themselves and it is for this reason that I and many others like me believe that it is time for a change of leadership at the Club. I have tried to advance a positive case for change and I have deliberately avoided making any attacks of a personal nature against Tony Hale or anyone else associated with the Club.

I am, therefore, saddened to have learnt that Mr Hale has been resorting to attacks of a personal nature against me in response to questions about the present situation. Some of you will have heard Mr Hale's performance on a radio phone-in on Capital Gold Radio's Tom Ross show on Friday, 11 June 1999. [Full transcript of the show] I suspect that many more of you will have been told or may have read about Mr Hale's comments concering me thereafter.

I wish to make it clear that contrary to the statements made by Mr Hale on the radio, I have never at any time done anything to block, frustrate or delay a rights issue at West Bromwich Albion, or to oppose any attempts to raise additional monies for the Club. When I resigned as a director on 2 February 1999 I made it clear to the board that I positively supported the idea of a rights issue and that I was keen for this to be progressed. it is, therefore, incredible to me that Mr Hale should now seek to characterise my actions in the way in which he has done.

Furthermore, contrary to the impression created by Mr Hale on the radio, I offered to support the Club in 1998 by investing further monies myself and by underwriting the first £2 million of a rights issue for West Bromwich Albion. Mr Hale's blanket denial to a caller that I had offered such financial support to the Club may well have created the impression in the minds of many of you that I must have been lying when I refereed to my offer at my meetings with shareholders. I am happy to confirm that I was not lying and that as Mr Hale well knows my offer was never withdrawn.

My lawyers have written to Mr Hale seeking a formal written retraction of these two statements. They have made it clear to Mr Hale that if he is not prepared to set the record straight then I will have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against him. To date my lawyers have received no response of any kind from Mr Hale and so I have instructed them to commence proceedings against him without further delay.

The purpose of this letter is to make it clear to you that I am fully committed to West Bromwich Albion. I am committed to the Club having a successful and prosperous future and I am prepared to invest my own money to ensure that such a future can be realised. We need a sensible and well informed debate about the Club's future divorced from senseless personal attacks. Finally, I wish to make sure that the record is set straight and that any misleading impression Mr Hale may have created concerning my motives and actions has been dispelled.

Yours sincerely


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