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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10259
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I purchased a supporter membership of a local rugby club on

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i purchased a supporter membership of a local rugby club on line, it was a special to rase money for the club to go to a rugby tournament abroad at end of May, it had no terms or conditions attached. I paid my money and booked my flights to go to see the tournament, when I got there they had informed the organisers I was not a member and was refused membership privilidges and very embarrassed indeed.
they then wrote to me on 1 st august saying that I was not accepted as a member and returned my money. what can I do.Robert
Assistant: Thank you. Can you provide any more details to help us find you the right Expert?
Customer: they have also been slanderous saying lies about me, I was the clubs biggest sponser for the past 6 years investing over £20K in them . I left the club but was asked to return by the Scottish Rugby Union governing body

Did you get anything back at all after you paid your money?

What was the previous problem you had with the club?

What is the reason they are saying that you were not accepted as a member?

Do you have the receipts for the flights?

How much money did that involve?

Did you see the tournament or not at all?

The background detail would be helpful please.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, yes I got my money back refunded to me when they informed me they did not want me as a member.
They are saying that I brought them into disrepute with the IGR which is the governing rugby body which is a complete lie and that I have been bad mouthing the club.
I was a playing member of the club, when they came to pick the team to go to Nashville to play the tournament they brought in " ringers" which are semi professional players and who are not members of the club to play in the tournament, ( cheating ) they brought in 7 of them and I who had been a playing member for 6 years was taken off the team list and informed I could go play for another team or the barbarians . This was not acceptable as I have played for this team for 6 years. I then resigned from the team.
I was approached by the chairman of IGR to go onto the governing body as Treasurer so I had to re-join the team to be a member so I was affiliated to the club. This I did via the website I have attached files, you simply made the donation and you became a member .
when I arrived at the tournament they went out there way to `make sure I was not a member although they had not given me my money back and did not for almost 2 months, thus then ment I was not eligible to stand as treasurer , they did this the eve of the agm to pick me. I only went to Nashville as I was asked to go onto the governing body.
They have specifically said that I have bad mouthed the team which I have not and that I brought the team into disrepute with IGR.
The committee of the club has on numerous occasions said that I am a liar and not to be trusted, all because I left the team.
Thank you

You cannot do anything about a Private members club which decides to exclude you. They are entitled to exclude anyone they wish provided they are not doing it on the usual prejudicial grounds of race sex gender or suchlike.

If they took money from you to join the club and you then spent money going to a tournament which you could not subsequently attend, you would only be able to claim any of that consequential loss if they were aware, when you joined the club that you were doing so to be able to attend this tournament and that if your membership was rejected, you would have already bought the tickets and hence would suffer loss.

The reason why they didn’t want you in the club, as I explained earlier, is not relevant.

If they are not about to refund whatever you have lost, then you will have no option but to take them to the Small Claims Court and let a judge decide the issue.

The problem is whether the judge would find that your potential loss with regard to the tournament was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of them taking your money without letting you join the club.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you , to be honest it's not the joining of the club , I did that simply to go as treasure of igr .
The main worry is the reasons they gave for refusing me , saying I brought the club into disrepute with igr and that I bad mouthed the club , this is complete lies . They also have called am a lier and " not to be trusted " simply because I left the club.
I was the president of the club and for them to say these lies is what damages . They are so embarrassed I left the club through there own doing that they said these Lies to try cover up there own mistakes making me take the blame . Can I sue them for slander ? I really don't want no be s member now anyway after what they did .

If they have told you that in their opinion, you brought the club into disrepute, then that is not actionable as defamation. They have to have publish that or spoken it to a third party. They can say what they like to your face provided they are not doing it continually to the extent where you are being harassed.

If these comments were made out loud, and other people hear them, then you do potentially have a claim for defamation although defamation claims are not easy to bring and if it fails for any reason, you could easily face legal costs running into tens of thousands of pounds so it can be risky.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they had a committee meeting and spoke about it out loud , they wrote to me telling me that I had brought them into disrepute with igr , they wrote to me telling me that I had bad mouthed. The club , they also published minutes of a meeting saying specifically that I was not to be trusted , so they have written everything down and published it too for evryone to see , also out and about all the committee members are telling evryone else these points who are asking them why I am no longer with the club . I do see this as a huge slur on my character especially as I am a businessman in the area

Thank you.

It really comes down to whether you want to risk the money taking them to court because of a justify what they have said, to the satisfaction of the court, your claim will fail.

My suggestion would be to get the solicitor to write telling them that you want an apology, a withdrawal, and an undertaking not to do it again.

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