Justice Pagone handed down his judgement today, agreeing with the FFV that they may substitute additional charges as is allowed under their constitution, but that in this instance they did not properly offer South an opportunity to defend the newly created charge, which included both not giving enough notice and not articulating the charge. Justice Pagone also awarded legal costs to South - though it seems like we did not get all our costs paid, but rather the majority.
The crowd was the biggest of the trial thus far. At least four South fans in attendance pondering whether to start chanting when the verdict was handed down, asking if anyone had any flares, and whether we should have brought our South scarves to pretend to be ultras for the cameras outside. In the end, nothing happened, and people got quickly to replying to the several dozen phone messages they'd received asking about the case.
The press also turned up today, filling up at least four spots in their section of the courtroom. One bloke was from the ABC, and you should probably keep an eye out for a brief segment featuring Nick Galatas speaking to them outside the court. According to the journo, when asked what the significance was of this case, he said it was something a little different and unusual. Obviously not familiar with Victorian soccer. If I'm not mistaken, Michael Lynch was also there. Probably hasn't reported on a game of ours since 2005 (apart from the Victory friendly), but there he was. Meanwhile Paul Daffey gets a weekly column talking about the VAFA. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose.
The net result is that sometime soon, possibly as early as tonight, the appeals tribunal will be reconvened to hear the case once more. Justice Pagone made the point that he did not have the authority or the will to demand that the FFV use an appeals board made up entirely of people who had not been part of the original appeals tribunal. So the situation basically is that we can still get done over at the appeals tribunal - it'll just be that little bit easier for us to defend ourselves this time. Should we have results of the appeal go our way and we make the finals, we'll end up playing Heidelberg in the elimination final this week. Lovely little coincidence. We'll see what happens.