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Hull chairman avoids driving ban to sign players!

A court has ruled Hull City chairman Paul Duffen would suffer 'exceptional hardship' if he was to be banned for six months for speeding. Hull Crown Court overturned a ban put in place for breaking the speed limit in May so he can use his car in the summer transfer window to sign players.

A judge accepted Duffen could afford to pay two drivers from his £20,000 a month salary but it would not be practical and would present a risk of breach of confidentiality in transfer negotiation.

His barrister Alan Ross, QC, told the court: "The cost of employing two chauffeurs is not an issue. At this time of year, over the next three months, it is so important he can operate in the transfer window. Talking in the presence of a driver will be wholly unsuitable."

Duffen said: "If my life was capable of being conducted in the back of a chauffeur-driven car I would let it happen. But it is not possible."

Judge Michael Mettyear added: "I have come to the conclusion there is exceptional hardship in this case. We accept that his role will be affected by a full disqualification of six months.

"On the basis of the evidence we have heard a chauffeur could not do the job. It is a crucial time for manager especially in the transfer window."

The court lifted Duffen's ban and imposed a £900 fine, £15 surcharge and ordered him to pay £40 costs.

The judge stressed the hardship argument could not be used again.

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