F.I.F.A. – Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2014-2015) – controversie allenatori –———- F.I.F.A. – Players’ Status Committee (2014-2015) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 30 June 2015, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on the claim presented by the coach Coach A, country B as “Claimant” against the club Club C, country D as “Respondent” regarding a contractual dispute arisen between the parties. I.

F.I.F.A. - Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2014-2015) – controversie allenatori –---------- F.I.F.A. - Players' Status Committee (2014-2015) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 30 June 2015, by Geoff Thompson (England) Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee, on the claim presented by the coach Coach A, country B as “Claimant” against the club Club C, country D as “Respondent” regarding a contractual dispute arisen between the parties. I. Facts of the case 1. On 26 January 2012, the coach from country B, Coach A (hereinafter: “the Claimant”) signed an employment contract (hereinafter: “the contract”) with the club from country D, Club C (hereinafter: “the Respondent”), valid from the date of its signature until the end of June 2013 and under the terms of which the Claimant was hired as assistant coach of the Respondent. 2. Article 7 of the contract stated that the Respondent should pay to the Claimant the following amounts: (1) a net monthly salary of EUR 2,250; (2) a bonus of 4,500 (i.e. equivalent to EUR 404.78) per winning match and; (3) a bonus of 1,500 (i.e. equivalent to EUR 134.93) per draws as guest team. 3. Article 8 of the contract stated that in case of a dispute between the parties, the dispute should be settled amicably or, in absence of a settlement, should be submitted to the arbitration of the “Football Federation of country D” and eventually to FIFA. 4. On 28 February 2012, the Respondent sent a letter to the Claimant by means of which it amended his net monthly salary to EUR 2,750. 5. On 31 October 2012, the Claimant lodged a claim with FIFA against the Respondent, alleging that the latter had terminated the contract without just cause. Therefore, the Claimant requested from the Respondent the following amounts, plus interests from the moment in which the obligation started until the moment of effective payment: a) EUR 8,250 (EUR 2,750 x 3) as three outstanding monthly salaries corresponding to the months of July, August and September 2012 (cf. letter dated 28 February 2012); b) 69,000 as outstanding bonuses (cf. article 7 of the contract) corresponding to 14 winning bonuses and 4 draw bonuses as guest team; c) EUR 24,750 (EUR 2,750 x 9) as compensation equivalent to the residual value of the contract, i.e. from October 2012 until June 2013. 6. The Claimant alleged that on 20 September 2012, the Respondent orally communicated to the head coach, Coach E (hereinafter: “the head coach”) and the Claimant, that their employment relationship ended. Taking into account that the dismissal was communicated orally, the head coach requested to the Respondent to communicate its decision to all the players and the rest of staff which the latter allegedly accepted to do. 7. The Claimant further alleged that his dismissal was confirmed by the fact that the head coach and his staff was replaced by a new coach and his new staff on the next match which took place on 23 September 2012. The Claimant deemed that this fact confirmed the unilateral termination of the contract by the Respondent. 8. Furthermore, the Claimant argued that, at the moment of his dismissal, the Respondent owed him three monthly salaries, i.e. July, August and September 2012. 9. The Claimant added that after his dismissal, the head coach and himself tried to reach an amicable solution with the Respondent without success and that on 17 October 2012, his legal representatives sent a letter to the Respondent requesting the payment of the outstanding monies. In addition, the Claimant stated that the Respondent did not reply. 10. On 15 January 2013, FIFA sent the Claimant?s claim to the Respondent requesting its position via the “Football Federation of country D”. 11. On 5 March 2013, the Football Federation of country D informed FIFA that the Respondent sent on 16 January 2013 a claim to them in connection with the unjustified Claimant?s absences in accordance with the article 8 of the contract. 12. The Football Federation of country D enclosed the relevant Respondent?s claim, by means of which the latter argued that the Claimant at the beginning of the season 2012/2013 took as his own initiative and without the Respondent?s authorisation a rest period of ten days. According to such claim, due to the team?s bad performance, the Claimant together with the head coach allegedly abandoned their positions convinced that under their technical direction the team could not achieve the expected results. 13. The Respondent further alleged in front of the Football Federation of country D having sent three different letters, one of them being allegedly a formal warning, since the Claimant was absent from training on 20, 21 and 22 September 2012. In such letters, the Respondent gave to the Claimant a deadline of 24 hours to resume his duties, otherwise his absence will be considered as a premature termination. 14. In this respect, the Respondent enclosed the following documents: a) letter dated 22 September 2012 addressed to the Claimant asking explanations with regard to his absence from trainings on 20, 21 and 22 September 2012 and giving the Claimant warning; b) formal notification dated 24 September 2012 addressed to the Claimant?s address in country D. 15. The Claimant rejected categorically the content of the claim lodged by the Respondent in front of the Football Federation of country D. 16. In particular, the Claimant stated that he was never informed about the Respondent?s claim in front of the Football Federation of country D and thus he did not have the opportunity to present his position within the frame of the proceedings. 17. Moreover, the Claimant alleged that under the light of the article 8 of the contract, both FIFA and Football Federation of country D were possibly competent to hear any potential disputes arisen between the parties concerned. Since the Claimant lodged the claim against the Respondent in front of FIFA on 31 October 2012, i.e. more than 2 months before the alleged claim of the Respondent with the Football Federation of country D, the Claimant?s deemed that his claim in front of FIFA should prevail. 18. Furthermore, the Claimant stated that the alleged Respondent?s claim in front of the Football Federation of country D was lodged two days after FIFA requested its position in relation to the present claim. The Claimant further alleged that if the Respondent deemed that the Claimant was the party breaching the contract it should have lodged a complaint against him or tried to settle the matter amicably before and not 1 year and almost 3 months and a half later after the alleged Claimant?s breach (i.e. 20 September 2012). 19. In addition, the Claimant presented further comments and claimed that he was never absent from any trainings whatsoever and reiterated that in fact the club on 20 September 2012 terminated the contract without just cause. The Claimant enclosed media reports in this respect and a printout from the Respondent?s website dated 21 September 2012, which stated that the Respondent’s officials decided to appoint another technical commission to manage the first team of the Respondent. 20. The Respondent did not submit any formal position in relation to this matter. 21. After the investigation phased in the present matter was closed, the Respondent?s legal representative informed on 28 June 2015 FIFA that on 17 May 2013 the Arbitral Commission of the Football Federation of country D rendered a decision. 22. The Respondent invoked that based on the legal principle of res iudicata, the present matter was already decided by the Football Federation of country D and thus the FIFA deciding bodies have to declare themselves incompetent to enter in this matter. Moreover, the Respondent?s legal representative alleged that on 6 June 2013 it had informed FIFA about the cited decision and sent a copy of it. 23. On 29 June 2015, FIFA informed the parties that the investigation phase in the present proceedings was closed on 25 March 2014. 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 took note that the present matter was submitted to FIFA on 31 October 2012. Consequently, the Single Judge concluded that the 2008 edition of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution (hereinafter: “the Procedural Rules”) is applicable to the matter in hand (cf. art. 21 of the Procedural Rules). 2. Furthermore and with regard to his competence, the Single Judge confirmed that, on the basis of art. 3 par. 1 of the Procedural Rules in connection with art. 23 par. 1 and 3 as well as art. 22 c) of the 2015 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, he would be, in principle, competent to deal with the present matter since it concerns an employment-related dispute with an international dimension between a coach from country B and a club from country D. 3. However, the Single Judge acknowledged his competence to deal with the present dispute was contested by the Respondent since the present matter had allegedly already been decided by the “Football Federation of country D” on 17 May 2013. 4. In this respect, the Single Judge first remarked that the Claimant lodged his claim against the Respondent before FIFA on 31 October 2012 and that the Respondent allegedly lodged its claim against the Claimant in front of the Football Federation of country D on 16 January 2013, i.e. more than two months after the Claimant’s claim before FIFA. 5. In addition, the Single Judge observed that the Claimant had alleged that he had never been informed about the relevant proceedings in front of the Football Federation of country D and therefore that his right to be heard was not respected. 6. Moreover, the Single Judge recalled that an arbitrational clause was indeed included in article 8 of the contract which stated that in case of a dispute between the parties, the dispute should be settled amicably or, in absence of a settlement, submitted to the arbitration of the Football Federation of country D and eventually to FIFA. 7. In this respect, the Single Judge pointed out that article 8 of the contract was clearly a non-exclusive arbitrational clause which gives the competence of FIFA to deal with disputes arising from the contract in case the parties would not reach an amicable settlement. 8. As a result of the aforementioned, taking into consideration article 8 of the contract as well as considering that the claim of the Claimant in front of FIFA against the Respondent was lodged before the complaint of the Respondent against the Claimant in front of the Football Federation of country D, the Single Judge concluded that the Respondent’s objection towards the competence of FIFA to deal with the present matter has to be rejected, and that the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee is competent, on the basis of art. 23 par. 1 and 3 in combination with art. 22 lit. c) of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, to consider the present matter as to the substance. 9. Subsequently, 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 confirmed that in accordance with the art. 26 par. 1 and 2 of the edition 2015 of the Regulations and taking into account the fact that the present claim was lodged with FIFA on 31 October 2012, the 2010 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. 10. The competence of the Single Judge and the applicable regulations having been established, and entering into the substance of the matter, the Single Judge started by acknowledging the above-mentioned facts as well as the documentation contained in the file. However, the Single Judge emphasised that in the following considerations he will refer only to the facts, arguments and documentary evidence which it considered pertinent for the assessment of the matter at hand. 11. As a preliminary remark, the Single Judge observed that the Respondent had never submitted its position to the claim lodged against it by the Claimant, despite having been asked to do so by FIFA. In this respect, the Single Judge pointed out that when FIFA requested the position of the Respondent, the Football Federation of country D answered enclosing a copy of the complaint lodged by the latter against the Claimant at the Football Federation of country D. 12. Bearing in mind the aforementioned, the Single Judge referred to art. 9 par. 3 of the Procedural Rules and pointed out that in the present matter a decision shall be taken upon the basis of the documents already on file, in other words, upon the statements and documents presented by the Claimant. 13. Having said this, the Single Judge took note that on 26 January 2012 the Claimant and the Respondent concluded the contract which was valid until the end of June 2013. 14. In this respect, the Single Judge observed that the Claimant had argued that the Respondent orally terminated the contract on 20 September 2012 without just cause and requested outstanding remuneration as well as compensation. 15. In view of all the above, the Single Judge first recalled that from the evidence on file, the Claimant worked for the Respondent until 20 September 2012. 16. In continuation, the Single Judge observed that it remained undisputed that on 21 September 2012, the Respondent had appointed a new technical staff to manage the team. 17. Furthermore, the Single Judge took note that the Claimant argued that at the moment of the alleged verbal termination of the contract by the Respondent, the latter still owed to the Claimant three monthly salaries, i.e. July, August and September 2012. 18. In view of all the above, the Single Judge concluded that on 21 September 2012, the contract was unilaterally terminated by the Respondent without just cause and that the Claimant was thus entitled to compensation for the early termination. 19. In this regard, the Single Judge recalled that it remained undisputed that the salaries of July and August 2012 remained outstanding. 20. In this respect, the Single Judge was keen to stress that, in accordance with the general principle of pacta sunt servanda which in essence means that agreements must be respected by the parties in good faith, the Respondent must fulfil the obligation it voluntarily entered into with the Claimant and to pay the total amount of EUR 5,500 representing the salaries of July and August 2012 (cf. salary established in the letter dated 28 February 2012). 21. In addition, the Single Judge took note that the Claimant had requested interest over the outstanding amounts. In this regard, the Single Judge decided to grant interest at a rate of 5% per year over the relevant two different monthly salaries as from their respective due dates, i.e. from 1 August 2012 and 1 September 2012, respectively, until the date of effective payment. 22. Having said this, the Single Judge went to address the Claimant?s request for bonuses for a total amount of 69,000 corresponding to 14 wins and 4 draws away in the league of country D. 23. In this regard taking into account that the parties had agreed upon in article 7 of the contract that the Claimant would receive from the Respondent the sum of 4,500 for each win and 1,500 for each draw as guest team, the Single Judge decided that the Respondent had the contractual obligation to pay to the Claimant the total amount of 69,000 corresponding to 14 wins and 4 draws away in the league of country D. 24. In addition, the Single Judge took note that the Claimant had requested interest over the outstanding bonuses. In this regard, the Single Judge decided to grant interest at a rate of 5% per year over the relevant bonuses as from their respective due dates, i.e. the subsequent month in which the relevant matches were played. 25. Turning his attention to the compensation payable for the unilateral termination without just cause by the Respondent. In this respect, the Single Judge took note that the Claimant was claiming a total amount of EUR 24,750 including outstanding remuneration plus compensation equivalent to the residual value of the contract, i.e. from October 2012 until June 2013. 26. In this context, and taking into account the legal principle of contractual freedom, the Single Judge held that, as a general rule, if an employment contract contains a specific provision establishing an amount of compensation to be paid in case of early termination, such provision should prevail over any other way to determine compensation for a unilateral early termination. 27. In this respect, the Single Judge remarked that the parties did not establish a specific provision in the contract fixing an amount of compensation in case of its premature termination. 28. In this context, the Single Judge underlined that the Claimant informed FIFA that he did not sign any other employment contact after the date of the termination of the employment relationship with the Respondent, i.e. 21 September 2012 and until the end of its validity, i.e. 30 June 2013. 29. Consequently, the Single Judge concluded that the Claimant is entitled to a compensation equivalent to the residual value of the contract, i.e. from 1 September 2012, month of termination of the contract until 30 June 2013 (10 months). For the sake of good order, the Single Judge underlined that the salary of September 2012 was also part of the aforementioned compensation as it was due at the end of the month in question, i.e. after the termination by the Respondent of the contract. 30. Therefore, the Single Judge decided that the Claimant should be entitled to receive from the Respondent the amount of EUR 27,500 as compensation for breach of contract. 31. Moreover, the Single Judge took note that the Claimant had requested interest over the damage compensation. In this regard, the Single Judge decided to grant interest at a rate of 5% per year over the relevant compensation amounting to EUR 27,500 as from the date in which the Claimant lodged the present claim at FIFA, i.e. 31 October 2012. 32. In view of all the above-mentioned considerations, the Single Judge decided that the claim of the Claimant is partially accepted and that the Respondent has to pay to the Claimant the amount of EUR 5,500 as outstanding salaries, the sum of 69,000 as outstanding bonuses as well as the amount of EUR 27,500 as compensation for breach of contract plus the respective interest. 33. Finally, 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 costs in the maximum amount of CHF 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. 34. 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. The amount in dispute to be taken into consideration in the present proceedings is up to CHF 50,000. Therefore, the Single Judge concluded that the maximum amount of costs of the proceedings corresponds to CHF 5,000. 35. Considering that, in the case in hand, the responsibility of the failure to comply with the employment contract can entirely be attributed to the Respondent and taking into account the particular circumstances of the present matter, the Single Judge determined the costs of the current proceedings in the amount of CHF 3,000 and held that such costs have to be borne by the Respondent. 36. Consequently, and in line with the aforementioned, the Single Judge decided that the Respondent must pay the amount of CHF 3,000 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 A, is admissible. 2. The claim of the Claimant, Coach A, is partially accepted. 3. The Respondent, Club C, has to pay to the Claimant, Coach A, within 30 days as from the date of notification of this decision, the total amount of EUR 5,500 as outstanding salaries, plus interests as follows: • 5% per year over the amount of EUR 2,750 as from 1 August 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of EUR 2,750 as from 1 September 2012 until the date of effective payment. 4. The Respondent, Club C, has to pay to the Claimant, Coach A, within 30 days as from the date of notification of this decision, the total amount of 69,000 as outstanding remuneration, plus interests as follows: • 5% per year over the amount of 6,000 as from 1 March 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 13,500 as from 1 April 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 16,500 as from 1 May 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 18,000 as from 1 June 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 4,500 as from 1 July 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 6,000 as from 1 September 2012 until the date of effective payment; • 5% per year over the amount of 4,500 as from 1 October 2012 until the date of effective payment. 5. The Respondent, Club C, has to pay to the Claimant, Coach A, within 30 days as from the date of notification of this decision, the total amount of EUR 27,500 as compensation for breach of contract plus a 5% interest per year from 31 October 2012 until the date of effective payment. 6. Any further claims lodged by the Claimant, Coach A, are rejected. 7. If the aforementioned sums, plus interest as provided above, are not paid within the aforementioned deadline the present matter shall be submitted, upon request, to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee for consideration and a formal decision. 8. The final costs of the proceedings in the amount of CHF 3,000 are to be paid by the Respondent, Club C, within 30 days as from the date of notification of this decision, as follows: 8.1 The amount of CHF 2,000 has to be paid to FIFA to the following bank account with reference to case nr. xxxxxxxxxxx: UBS Zurich Account number 366.677.01U (FIFA Players’ Status) Clearing number 230 IBAN: CH27 0023 0230 3666 7701U SWIFT: UBSWCHZH80A 8.2 The amount of CHF 1,000 has to be paid directly to the Claimant, Coach A. 9. The Claimant, Coach A, is directed to inform the Respondent, Club C, immediately and directly of the account number to which the remittances under points 3., 4., 5. and 8.2 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. 67 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 Marco Villiger Deputy Secretary General Encl. CAS directives
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