LMA STATEMENT:

ALAN CURBISHLEY: WEST HAM UNITED

03 Nov 2009

ALAN CURBISHLEY v WEST HAM UNITED FC

STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE LEAGUE MANAGERS ASSOCIATION


The Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal of the FA Premier League has unanimously upheld Alan Curbishley’s claim of wrongful dismissal against West Ham United Football Club. He resigned at the beginning of the 2008/09 Season after the Club sold Anton Ferdinand and subsequently George McCartney to Sunderland against his wishes.

The Tribunal upheld Alan Curbishley’s right to have ultimate sole authority in relation to the sale and purchase of players, found that the conduct of the Club amounted to a fundamental breach of contract and that Alan Curbishley was therefore entitled to resign. The Tribunal also dismissed the Club’s Counterclaim relating to the cost of employing Gianfranco Zola and his assistant, Steve Clarke. Compensation will now be assessed.

Commenting after the outcome was published, Alan Curbishley said “I am obviously delighted with this result. I very much enjoyed my time at West Ham and never wanted to leave, but on joining the Club I insisted that my contract contained a clause confirming that I would have final say on the selection of players to be transferred to and from the Club. The Club completely ignored my contract when selling Anton Ferdinand, and when George McCartney was then sold, the Club having given me assurances that no players would be leaving the Club after the sale of Anton Ferdinand, I had no alternative but to resign. My authority and integrity were undermined and my position was made untenable. I now wish to put this entire matter behind me. I would like to thank the LMA, my lawyers, Mike Morrison of Hill Dickinson, and Paul Gilroy QC, for all of their support and for the hard work they put in on my behalf in order to help me achieve this outcome”.

Chief Executive of the League Managers Association, Richard Bevan, commented “Naturally we are delighted with the outcome for Alan but, at the same time, sorry that he wasn’t able to continue at West Ham United, a club that has played such a prominent part in his professional career both as a player and manager.  The findings of the Tribunal demonstrate the critical importance of respecting contracts which need to set out the roles and responsibilities of the parties in clear and unequivocal terms”.

For further information please contact:

Richard Bevan, chief executive, 07860 474767