Sports writer Pat Murphy has been given a five-figure payout by Birmingham City Football Club after being injured in the “Dickensian” conditions at St Andrew’s.
The Birmingham Post columnist Murphy suffered concussion and neck and shoulder injuries falling down a ladder from a gantry above the press area after the Arsenal game in February 2006. He had been preparing a legal case, but recently settled out of court.
Murphy said he still feels the effects of the injuries he received at the match while working for BBC Radio 5 Live.
“There was an important principle involved. We were all set to go to court but after the exchange of witness statements, Birmingham City made two offers,” he said.
“I accepted the second, and I am pleased there has been a satisfactory conclusion.”
His lawyer, Adam Wilson of Russell, Jones & Walker, said he hoped the saga would be a lesson for other clubs.
“Mr Murphy had previously complained to Karren Brady [Blues’ managing director] about what he described as the ‘Dickensian’ state of facilities for radio and TV reporters at the ground,” said Mr Wilson.
“In my view this was an accident waiting to happen, and the case highlighted the need for all clubs to provide safe access to their premises.”
The Football Writer’s Association said it was pleased to see the matter resolved.
National chairman Steve Bates said: “It was regrettable the situation had to result in legal proceedings being undertaken, but the FWA welcomes a solution that draws a line under this unhappy event. “As an association, the FWA is clear that all its members should be able to operate and carry out their duties in a safe environment to prevent incidents like the injury to Pat occurring.’’
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City FC said the press area had been extended since the accident occurred and the club was confident facilities were safe.