Haines celebrates court victory over Jordan

David Haines, Vodafone's global brand director, has won a crushing victory over the Formula 1 boss Eddie Jordan in the High Court, which has thrown out claims that Haines reneged on a £100 million sponsorship deal.

Jordan's bid to sue Vodafone ended after the judge, Mr Justice Langley, described his evidence as "fanciful" and "without foundation".

The team faces costs of £5 million as a result of the failed action, which has serious implications not only for the Jordan team but the whole of F1, which fears it will act as a deterrent to potential sponsors.

The case revolved around whether or not Haines told a Jordan executive "You've got a deal" during a phone conversation in March 2001. Vodafone subsequently did a deal with Ferrari.

Haines dismissed Jordan's claim as "nonsense" and told the court that he was only "window shopping" when he met Jordan. Vodafone also insisted that Haines did not have the authority to do a deal on his own.

Jordan's case was weakened by his admission that he discussed sponsorship deals with Orange and Deutsche Post after he claimed to have reached an agreement with Vodafone.

The Jordan team now faces the hunt for a major backer for next year's championship at a time when sponsorship budgets are being slashed and the sport's ability to attract sponsors is being jeopardised by falling TV viewing figures.

In a statement, Jordan said: "When we began this action we thought we had a deal and believed we had a good case. However the judge sees it differently and preferred their evidence to ours."

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