F.I.F.A. – Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2011-2012) – controversie allenatori – ———- F.I.F.A. – Players’ Status Committee (2011-2012) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 30 January 2012, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on the claim presented by the coach Coach H, from country G as “Claimant” against the club Club P, from country A as “Respondent” regarding a contractual dispute between the parties.

F.I.F.A. - Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2011-2012) – controversie allenatori – ---------- F.I.F.A. - Players' Status Committee (2011-2012) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 30 January 2012, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on the claim presented by the coach Coach H, from country G as “Claimant” against the club Club P, from country A as “Respondent” regarding a contractual dispute between the parties. I. Facts of the case 1. On 29 August 2008, Coach H, from country G (hereinafter: the Claimant) and the Club P, from country A (hereinafter: the Respondent) signed an employment contract (hereinafter: the contract) valid from 1 September 2008 until 31 August 2010, by means of which the Claimant was inter alia entitled to receive from the Respondent, as salary, the total amount of EUR 840,000 as follows: 12 instalments of EUR 30,000 each from 1 September 2008 until 31 August 2009 and 12 instalments of EUR 40,000 each from 1 September 2009 until 31 August 2010. Furthermore, the Claimant was entitled to receive from the Respondent “100 percent of the prize determined by club for country A premierlig and cup competitions, as well as European club competitions”. Finally, the contract specified that the Respondent “may only cancel the contract in the following circumstances: is found to appear and do his work in a state of alcoholic, narcotic, or other intoxication; has committed violations; failed seriously to comply with the conditions of Contract and other normative documents of FIFA.” 2. By means of a document dated 7 March 2009 (hereinafter: the termination letter), the Respondent terminated the contract with immediate effect arguing that the Claimant had not complied with his contractual obligations. In this respect, the Respondent specified in the termination letter that the Claimant “from 29 august 2008 till now (..) did not execute any work as coordinator of youth teams and head of football school” and accused him of having failed to implement “the European football standards in our club particularly with regard to youth teams and preparation of our young players in compliance with the European football methods.” Furthermore, the Respondent mentioned in the same document that its “main team has not ever been in such a shameful situation in the history of country A National Football Championship and has not ever fallen down to such a lower position in the ranking table.” Besides, the Respondent blamed the coach for not having “drawn the plan on pre-season preparations and training camps of the club according to your contract” and for not having attended “meetings held by Mr V, National A Team Head Coach, with the Premiere League clubs’ Head Coaches” showing his “disrespect towards to National A Team” and breaking his “obligation indicated in Article 3 of the concluded agreement.”. Finally, it was specified in the document in question that “due to non-fulfilment of the obligations undertaken by you, the contract signed with you and will be cancelled from 07 march 2009 and you will receive compensation in the amount of 2 months salary.” 3. On 14 April 2009, the Claimant lodged a claim with FIFA, which he then amended by means of various subsequent correspondence. In this respect, the Claimant contested the validity of the termination letter arguing that he had “fulfilled all the tasks to which he was obligated, without objection and in full” and requested FIFA to establish that his contractual relationship with the Respondent “continues as agreed until 31st August 2010.” 4. Furthermore, the Claimant requested from the Respondent the payment of outstanding remuneration in the amount of EUR 180,000, arguing that the latter had failed to pay his salary of February, March, April, May, June and July 2009. 5. Besides, the Claimant requested from the Respondent the reimbursement of EUR 23,000, arguing that the amount in question had been “taken away” from him by the Respondent “upon his departure” and was never returned. 6. Finally, the Claimant maintained that he was additionally entitled to receive from the Respondent USD 2,000, corresponding to “a premium” for a match “played in country A”. 7. In its response received on 15 June 2009, the Respondent stated that the Claimant had left “from country A in March 2009 (in the middle of the season)” without its permission. Furthermore, the Respondent added that it was ready to pay to the Claimant “his outstanding salaries (..) arising during his absence March, April and May 2009” and explained that “in his absence we were not able to make his payments to him”. 8. Finally, the Respondent mentioned that it was waiting to welcome back the Claimant “as a team coach of country A” before the start of the “new season preparation camp on the date on 27 June 2009”. 9. In response thereto, on 13 November 2009, the Claimant mainly reiterated the content of his previous submissions and rejected the allegations of the Respondent. 10. In this respect, the Claimant stressed that the contract had been terminated by the Respondent on 7 March 2009 without just cause and added that he had been “forced to leave the country as the apartment provided under the contract was also taken away from him”. 11. Furthermore, the Claimant pointed out that the Respondent, had acknowledged owing him the salary of March, April and May 2009 and added that his salary for February 2009 was also clearly due since he had worked for the latter during the relevant month. 12. Besides, the Claimant alleged that it was “fully evident and undisputable” that the amount of EUR 23,000 that had been taken away from him at the airport as he “was leaving the country” had “to be returned”. 13. In continuation and by means of a further correspondence to FIFA, the Claimant specified that he requested from the Respondent the payment of the following amounts: EUR 180,000, corresponding to his salary of February, March, April, Mai, June and July 2009; USD 2,000 as bonuses; EUR 23,000, corresponding to the “money” that had been “taken away” from him “upon his departure and kept by the defendant” as well as EUR 510,000, corresponding to his salary from August 2009 until August 2010. 14. Furthermore, the Claimant explained that, from 1 September 2009 until 16 November 2009, he had been employed by the “Premier League Club of country M” earning the total amount of USD 10,000 and that, from 17 November 2009 until 31 May 2010 , he had worked for Club T, from country L receiving the total amount of USD 65,000. In addition, the Claimant provided FIFA with a copy of the relevant employment contracts. 15. On account of the aforementioned, the Claimant deemed that the amounts in questions, i.e. USD 10,000 and USD 65,000, corresponding, according to his calculation to EUR 6,682.25 and to EUR 52,940.21 respectively, had to be deducted from the sum payable by the Respondent between August 2009 and August 2010, i.e. from the mentioned amount of EUR 510,000. Consequently, the Claimant calculated that the Respondent had to pay him EUR 450,377.54 for the period between August 2009 and August 2010, i.e. EUR 510,000 minus EUR 6,682.25 minus EUR 52,940.21. 16. Finally, the Claimant informed FIFA that he had been unemployed between 8 March and 31 August 2009 as well as between 1 June and 31 August 2010. 17. In its last statements to FIFA, the Respondent denied having taken away from the Claimant the amount of EUR 23,000 and claimed that because the latter had left without its authorisation “in the middle of the season” the contract had been terminated with just cause. Therefore, the Respondent was of the opinion that the claim of the Claimant should be rejected and the latter should bear the costs of the proceedings. II. Considerations of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee 1. First of all, the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee (hereinafter also referred to as: the Single Judge) analysed whether he was competent to deal with the matter at hand. In this respect, he referred to art. 21 par. 2 and 3 of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (edition 2008). Consequently, and since the present matter was submitted to FIFA on 14 April 2009, the Single Judge concluded that the 2008 edition of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (hereinafter: the Procedural Rules) is applicable to the matter at hand (cf. art. 21 par. 2 and 3 of the Procedural Rules). 2. Subsequently, the Single Judge referred to art. 3 par. 1 and 2 of the Procedural Rules and confirmed that in accordance with art. 23 par. 1 and 3 in combination with art. 22 lit. c) of the 2010 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, he is competent to deal with the matter at sake which concerns an employment-related dispute of an international dimension between a country G coach and a club affiliated to the Association of Football Federations of country A. 3. Furthermore, the Single Judge analysed which edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players should be applicable as to the substance of the matter. In this respect, he referred, on the one hand, to art. 26 par. 1 and 2 of the 2009 and 2010 editions of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, and on the other hand, to the fact that the present claim was lodged with FIFA on 14 April 2009. In view of the foregoing, the Single Judge concluded that the 2008 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (hereinafter: the Regulations) is applicable to the case at hand as to the substance (cf. art. 26 par. 1 and 2 of the Regulations). 4. His competence and the applicable regulations having been established, and entering into the substance of the present matter, the Single Judge started by acknowledging the facts of the case and the arguments of the parties as well as the documents contained in the file. After having carefully considered the submissions of the parties as well as the documentation at his disposal, the Single Judge deemed that the first question to be addressed in the present matter was whether the contractual relationship between the parties was terminated by the Respondent without just cause. 5. In this respect and first of all, the Single Judge acknowledged that, on 29 August 2008, the Claimant and the Respondent had concluded an employment contract (hereinafter: the contract), valid from 1 September 2008 until 31 August 2010, by means of which the Claimant was entitled to receive from the Respondent EUR 840,000 as follows: 12 instalments of EUR 30,000 each from 1 September 2008 until 31 August 2009 and 12 instalments of EUR 40,000 each from 1 September 2009 until 31 August 2010. Furthermore, the Single Judge observed that the Claimant was additionally entitled to receive from the Respondent “100 percent of the prize determined by club for country A premierlig and cup competitions, as well as European club competitions” and that the contract contained a clause according to which the Respondent “may only cancel the contract in the following circumstances: is found to appear and do his work in a state of alcoholic, narcotic, or other intoxication; has committed violations; failed seriously to comply with the conditions of Contract and other normative documents of FIFA.” 6. In addition, the Single Judge acknowledged that, by means of a document dated 7 March 2009 (hereinafter: the termination letter), the Respondent had terminated its contractual relationship with the Claimant specifying that “due to non- fulfilment of the obligations undertaken by you, the contract signed with you and will be cancelled from 07 march 2009 and you will receive compensation in the amount of 2 months salary.” 7. In continuation, the Single Judge remarked that, in his claim to FIFA, the Claimant had contested the validity of the termination letter and, consequently, had claimed to be entitled to receive from the Respondent his salary according to the contract until the end of August 2010. 8. Furthermore, the Single Judge took note that, for its part, the Respondent had insisted that the contract had been terminated with just cause because the Claimant had left the country without its permission and that, consequently, the latter should not receive any compensation. Besides, the Single Judge observed that the Respondent had never contested having written the termination letter nor contested the content of the document in question. Finally, the Single Judge underlined that no evidence whatsoever was provided by the Respondent neither in support of the allegations presented to FIFA nor in support of the accusations included in the termination letter. 9. With the above-mentioned considerations in mind, the Single Judge referred to art. 12 par. 3 of the Procedural Rules, which stipulates that the burden of proof has to be carried by the party claiming a right on the basis of an alleged fact. In view of the content of the aforementioned provision, and bearing in mind that the Respondent had not provided any documentary evidence in support of the allegation that the dismissal of the Claimant had been justified, the Single Judge concluded that the Respondent’s unilateral termination of the contractual relationship between the parties on 7 March 2009 was without just cause. Therefore, the Single Judge held that the Respondent had breached its contractual obligations towards the Claimant and should, as a consequence, compensate the latter accordingly. 10. Furthermore, and for the sake of good order, the Single Judge also recalled that, in accordance with the wording of the termination letter, the Respondent had been ready to pay compensation to the Claimant for having prematurely terminated their contractual relationship. In this respect, the Single Judge wished to underline that such behaviour, i.e. the Respondent’s willingness to pay compensation for having prematurely terminated the contract, did not seem to be consistent with the latter’s allegations that the relevant termination had taken place with just cause. 11. Having established the above-mentioned, the Single Judge went on to assess the potential financial consequences of the breach of the contractual relationship by the Respondent. In doing so, the Single Judge first of all took note that the Claimant was inter alia requesting the payment of his monthly salary until the end of his contractual relationship with the Respondent, i.e. until the end of August 2010. Furthermore, the Single Judge recalled that the Respondent had never contested that the Claimant’s salary pertaining to the period between March 2009 and August 2010 had not been paid to latter. 12. Bearing in mind the foregoing, the Single Judge proceeded to the calculation of the monies payable under the terms of contract. In this respect, the Single Judge established that the residual value of the contract amounted to EUR 660,000 and was made up of EUR 180,000 for the salaries of March, April, May, June, July and August 2009 (i.e. 6 x 30,000), plus EUR 480,000 for the salaries of September, October, November, December 2009 as well as January, February, March, April, May, June, July and August 2010 according to contract (i.e. 12 x 40,000). 13. Furthermore, the Single Judge observed that, between 1 September and 16 November 2009, the Claimant had worked for the club from country M earing the total amount of USD 10,000, and that, during the period between 17 November 2009 and 31 May 2010, the latter was employed by the Club T, from country L receiving the total amount of USD 65,000 as remuneration. In addition, the Single Judge calculated that the mentioned amounts of USD 10,000 and of USD 65,000 corresponded to approximately EUR 7,600 and to EUR 50,000 on 30 January 2012. 14. On account of the above and considering his constant practice, the Single Judge decided that it was fair and reasonable to take into account in the calculation of the amount due by the Respondent as compensation for breach of contract the remuneration that the Claimant had received from his new employers, i.e. from the Club O as well as from Club T. 15. In view of the above and in particular considering the original duration of the contract as well as the Claimant’s financial claim and taking into account the general obligation of the Claimant to mitigate the damages, the Single Judge concluded that in casu the amount EUR 600,000 had to be considered reasonable and justified as compensation for breach of contract without just cause. 16. Consequently, the Single Judge decided that the Respondent had to pay to the Claimant EUR 600,000 as compensation for breach of contract. 17. After having established the aforementioned, the Single Judge went on to deal with the second part of the claimant’s claim, i.e. his request for payment of outstanding salary in the amount of EUR 30,000, corresponding to his salary of February 2009. 18. In this respect, the Single Judge recalled that, according to the contract, the Claimant was entitled to receive from the Respondent, between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009, a monthly salary amounting to EUR 30,000. Furthermore, the Single Judge recalled that the Respondent had never contested that the Claimant’s salary of February 2009 had not been paid to the latter. 19. In view of the above, and taking into account the legal principle of Pacta sunt servanda, which in essence means that agreements must be respected by the parties in good faith, as well as bearing in mind that the Respondent had not contested the allegation made by the Claimant that his salary of February 2009 had not yet been paid, the Single Judge concluded that the Claimant is entitled to receive from Respondent the outstanding salary of February 2009, amounting to EUR 30,000. 20. In continuation, the Single Judge turned its attention to the Claimant’s request of payment of USD 2,000, allegedly corresponding to the bonuses for a match “played in Simurg”, as well as to the latter’s request of reimbursement of EUR 23,000, corresponding to the sum that the Respondent had apparently been taken away from him. In this connection, the Single Judge underlined that such requests had not been accompanied by any documentary evidence and should therefore be rejected (cf. art. 12 par. 3 of the Procedural Rules). 21. In view of all the above, the Single Judge concluded that the Claimant’s claim against the Respondent is partially accepted and that, the Respondent has to pay to the Claimant the total amount of EUR 630,000, corresponding to EUR 30,000 as outstanding salary plus EUR 600,000 as compensation for breach of contract. 22. Lastly, the Single Judge referred to art. 25 par. 2 of the Regulations in combination with art. 18 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules, according to which in the proceedings before the Players’ Status Committee and the Single Judge, costs in the maximum amount of currency of country H 25,000 are levied. The costs are to be borne in consideration of the parties’ degree of success in the proceedings and are normally to be paid by the unsuccessful party. 23. In this respect, the Single Judge reiterated that the claim of the Claimant is partially accepted and that the Respondent is the party at fault. Therefore, the Single Judge decided that the Respondent has to bear the entire costs of the current proceedings in front of FIFA. 24. Furthermore and according to Annexe A of the Procedural Rules, the costs of the proceedings are to be levied on the basis of the amount in dispute. Consequently and taking into account that the total amount at dispute in the present matter is over currency of country H 200,001, the Single Judge concluded that the maximum amount of costs of the proceedings corresponds to currency of country H 25,000. 25. In conclusion, considering that the case at hand was adjudicated by the Single Judge and not by the Players’ Status Committee in corpore and that the present case did not show particular factual difficulties or specific legal complexities, the Single Judge determined the costs of the current proceedings to the amount of currency of country H 15,000. 26. Consequently, the amount of currency of country H 15,000 has to be paid by the Respondent in order to cover the costs of the present proceedings. III. Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee 1. The claim of the Claimant, Coach H, is partially accepted. 2. The Respondent, Club P, has to pay to the Claimant, Coach H, the amount of EUR 630,000 within 30 days as from the date of notification of this decision. 3. Any further claims lodged by the Claimant, Coach H, are rejected. 4. If the aforementioned sum is not paid within the aforementioned deadline, an interest rate of 5% per year will apply as of the expiry of the fixed time limit and the present matter shall be submitted, upon request, to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee for consideration and a formal decision. 5. The final costs of the proceedings in the amount of currency of country H 15,000 are to be paid by the Respondent, Club P, within 30 days as from the date of notification of the present decision as follows: 5.1. The amount of currency of country H 10,000 has to be paid to FIFA to the following bank account with reference to case nr. XX-XXXXX: 5.2. The amount of currency of H 5,000 has to be paid directly to the Claimant, Coach H. 6. The Claimant, Coach H, is directed to inform the Respondent, Club P, immediately and directly of the account number to which the remittances under points 2 and 5.2 above are to be made and to notify the Players’ Status Committee of every payment received. Note relating to the motivated decision (legal remedy): According to art. 63 par. 1 of the FIFA Statutes, this decision may be appealed against before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The statement of appeal must be sent to the CAS directly within 21 days of receipt of notification of this decision and shall contain all the elements in accordance with point 2 of the directives issued by the CAS, a copy of which we enclose hereto. Within another 10 days following the expiry of the time limit for filing the statement of appeal, the appellant shall file a brief stating the facts and legal arguments giving rise to the appeal with the CAS (cf. point 4 of the directives). The full address and contact numbers of the CAS are the following: Court of Arbitration for Sport Avenue de Beaumont 2 1012 Lausanne Switzerland Tel: +41 21 613 50 00 Fax: +41 21 613 50 01 e-mail: info@tas-cas.org www.tas-cas.org For the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee Jérôme Valcke Secretary General Encl. CAS Directives
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