A football club has won a contract dispute with a contractor brought in to improve the standard of its pitches.

The court heard that Yeovil Town Football Club played in League 1 but hoped to be promoted to the Championship, the league above. It hired a contractor to bring its pitches up to Championship standard.

The work was carried out but it was done in wet conditions and the treatment was not successful.

The club withheld payment, saying there had been a breach of contract because the work had not been carried out with reasonable care and skill. In the contract dispute it also counterclaimed for the cost of remedial work by a second company, which used an alternative method of improving the pitches.

The judge held that the contractor had been in breach of contract as the club alleged and that, as a result, the standard of the pitches was worse than if no work had been done.

He therefore held that the club was not obliged to pay the contract price. He also allowed the club’s contract dispute claim that the contractor should pay the full cost of the work carried out by the second company.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision that the club did not have to pay the contractor. However, it said that the club was only entitled to recover the cost of restoring the pitches to the condition they would have been in had the contractor done nothing.

The contractor should not have to pay for improvement work subsequently carried out by the second company.

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