F.I.F.A. – Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2015-2016) – controversie allenatori –———- F.I.F.A. – Players’ Status Committee (2015-2016) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 11 August 2015, by Mr 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 an employment-related contractual dispute arisen between the parties. I.

F.I.F.A. - Commissione per lo Status dei Calciatori (2015-2016) – controversie allenatori –---------- F.I.F.A. - Players' Status Committee (2015-2016) – coach disputes – official version by www.fifa.com – Decision of the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee passed in Zurich, Switzerland, on 11 August 2015, by Mr 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 an employment-related contractual dispute arisen between the parties. I. Facts of the case 1. On 15 October 2012, the Coach A from country B (hereinafter: the Claimant) and the Club C from country D (hereinafter: the Respondent) concluded an employment contract (hereinafter: the contract), valid from the date of the signature until 31 May 2014, under the terms of which the Claimant was hired as “Head Coach of the first professional football team”. 2. On 20 June 2013, the parties signed a “Protocol of amendment” (hereinafter: the amendment), by means of which the parties, inter alia, extended the employment relationship until 31 May 2015 and made a few amendments regarding the “remuneration” and the “termination clause” in the contract. 3. Article 1.1 of the amendment stipulated the remuneration corresponding to the 2013/2014 season, in the amount of EUR 650,000, payable in four equal instalments as follows: • EUR 162,500 payable on 20 August 2013; • EUR 162,500 payable on 20 November 2013; • EUR 162,500 payable on 20 February 2014; • EUR 162,500 payable on 20 April 2014. 4. Article 1.3 of the amendment stated that: “The Employment Agreement [i.e. the contract] can only be terminated before its natural date of expiration with the prior written approval of both parties. Parties accept and undertake that each party has a right to unilaterally terminate this Employment Agreement before its natural date without the need of just cause. In this case, the compensation for the early termination of the Employment Agreement shall be the amount of EUR 2,000,000 in total”. 5. On 5 June 2014, the Claimant lodged a claim in front of FIFA against the Respondent claiming the total amount of EUR 162,500, together with 5% interest per year as from 25 January 2014 until the date of effective payment. 6. In this respect, the Claimant explained that on 2 January 2014, the Respondent sent him a letter in which it acknowledged the intention of the Claimant to terminate the contract and proposed to pay him the amount of EUR 162,500 on 25 January 2014, corresponding to the outstanding instalment due on 20 November 2013 in accordance with the amendment. The said letter sent by the Respondent to the Claimant stipulated as follows: “Referring to your verbal notice of quitting your job, I, Mr E, General Manager of Club C [i.e. the Respondent] inform and notify Mr. Coach A [i.e. the Claimant] that the below mentioned receivable/payment until your last working day, which are determined in favour of you in the Agreement dated 20.06.2013 [i.e. the amendments] made between Club C and yourself, are assigned to your bank account. I want to say you that there is no misunderstanding between us. And I guaranteed and hope that in the future there will be no problem between us also. If you can notify in written your resignation, I would appreciate. We Club C hereby irrevocably declare that the payment orders and/or assignments determined herein are definite. Mr Coach A shall not need any further confirmation and/or onsent. Club C shall realise the payment dated 20.11.2013 in the agreement dated 20.06.2013 as follows: - 162,500.00 EU on 25.01.2014”). 7. On 19 August 2014, the Respondent rejected the Claimant’s claim in its entirety. In this respect, the Respondent alleged that the Claimant had terminated the contract without just cause by means of the correspondence dated 2 January 2014, and therefore, the amount claimed by the Claimant of EUR 162,500 “shall be set-off from the compensation that shall be paid to the Respondent”. 8. On 23 February 2015, the Claimant presented his comments to the Respondent?s reply and reiterated his initial claim. The Claimant further added that the termination was mutually agreed and that the Respondent had accepted it in its letter dated 2 January 2014. 9. Despite having been invited to do so by FIFA, the Respondent did not submit its final position in the matter at stake. 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 which edition of the Rules Governing the Procedures of the Players’ Status Committee and the Dispute Resolution Chamber (hereinafter: Procedural Rules) were applicable to the matter at hand. In this respect, he took note that the present matter was submitted to FIFA on 5 June 2014. Consequently, the Single Judge concluded that the 2012 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. 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 recalled that the claim was submitted to FIFA on 5 June 2014 and concluded that the 2012 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). 3. In continuation, 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 2012 edition of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, he is competent to deal with the matter at stake. 4. His competence and the applicable regulations having been established, and entering into the substance of the matter, the Single Judge started his analysis by acknowledging the facts of the case and the arguments of the parties as well as the documents 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 he considered pertinent for the assessment of the matter at hand. 5. In doing so and to begin with, the Single Judge firstly noted that the Claimant and the Respondent had concluded on 15 October 2012 an employment contract (hereinafter: the contract) valid from the date of its signature until 31 May 2014 and by means of which the Claimant was hired as “Head Coach of the first professional football team”. 6. Furthermore, the Single Judge observed that the Claimant and the Respondent had signed on 20 June 2013 a document named “Protocol of amendment” (hereinafter: the amendment), by means of which the parties, inter alia, extended the employment relationship until 31 May 2015 and specified that the Claimant was entitled to receive from the Respondent for the 2013/2014 season the amount of EUR 650,000 payable in four instalments as follows: a. EUR 162,500 payable on 20 August 2013; b. EUR 162,500 payable on 20 November 2013; c. EUR 162,500 payable on 20 February 2014; d. EUR 162,500 payable on 20 April 2014. 7. In continuation, the Single Judge duly took note of the content of the letter provided by the Claimant dated 2 January 2014 and allegedly sent from the Respondent to the Claimant, by means of which the Respondent acknowledged the Claimant’s intention to terminate the contractual relationship and proposed a total sum of EUR 162,500 to be paid on 25 January 2014. 8. The Single Judge then turned his attention to the claim of the Claimant who maintained that the parties in question agreed on the mutual termination of the contractual relationship and, therefore, deemed that he was entitled to receive from the Respondent the amount of EUR 162,500 together with 5% interest per year over said amount as from 25 January 2014 until the date of payment. 9. Equally, the Single Judge observed that, for its part, the Respondent argued that the Respondent had terminated the contract without just cause by means of the correspondence of 2 January 2014 and, therefore, the amount claimed by the Respondent, “shall be set-off from the compensation that shall be paid to the Respondent”. 10. Having duly examined the argumentation and documentation put forward by both parties, the Single Judge went on to analyse the content of the letter signed by the Respondent and addressed to the Claimant on 2 January 2014. In doing so, the Single Judge observed that in such letter the Respondent had proposed to pay the Claimant the outstanding amount of EUR 162,500 on 25 January 2014 corresponding to the outstanding instalment due on 20 November 2013 and had stated the following terms: “We Club C [i.e. the Respondent] hereby irrevocably declare that the payment orders and/or assignments determined herein are definite. Mr Coach A [i.e. the Claimant] shall not need any further confirmation and/or consent”. Additionally, the Single Judge took note of the fact that the Respondent had already in said letter of 2 January 2014 invited the Claimant to notify his resignation in writing, which the latter on the same day, i.e. on 2 January 2014. 11. With the abovementioned considerations in mind and considering the content of the letter dated 2 January 2014 sent by the Respondent to the Claimant, the Single Judge concluded that the parties at the dispute terminated their contractual relationship by mutual agreement. 12. On account of all the above, the Single Judge determined that the parties concerned had terminated their contractual relationship by mutual agreement and, consequently, decided that the Respondent is liable to pay to the Claimant the outstanding amount of EUR 162,500 agreed at the moment of the termination. 13. In addition, taking into consideration the Claimant’s request as well as the constant practice of the Players? Status Committee in this regard, the Single Judge decided to award an interest at the rate of 5% p.a. over the outstanding amount of EUR 162,500 as of 26 January 2014 until the date of effective payment. 14. As a consequence of all the above, the Single Judge ruled that the claim of the Claimant is partially accepted and that the Respondent has to pay to the Claimant outstanding remuneration in the amount of EUR 162,500 together with 5% interest p.a. on the said amount as from 26 January 2014 until the date of effective payment. 15. 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 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. 16. In this respect, the Single Judge reiterated that the claim of the Claimant is partially accepted but that the Respondent is the party at fault. Therefore, the Single Judge decided that the Respondent has to bear the costs of the current proceedings in front of FIFA. 17. 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 does not exceed CHF 200,000 the Single Judge concluded that the maximum amount of costs of the proceedings corresponded to CHF 20,000. 18. In conclusion and in view of the numerous submissions that had to be analysed in the present matter but taking into account that the present decision was taken by the Single Judge and not by the Players’ Status in corpore, the Single Judge determined the costs of the current proceedings to the amount of CHF 15,000. 19. Consequently, the amount of CHF 15,000 has to be paid by the Respondent 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 partially accepted. 2. 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 amount of EUR 162,500, plus 5% interest p.a. on the said amount as from 26 January 2014 until the date of effective payment. 3. Any further claims lodged by the Claimant, Coach A, are rejected. 4. If the aforementioned sum, plus interest as specified above, is 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. 5. The final costs of the proceedings in the amount of CHF 15,000 are to be paid by the Respondent, Club C, within 30 days as from the notification of the present decision, as follows: 5.1 The amount of CHF 12,000 has to be paid to FIFA to the following bank account with reference to case nr. XXXX: UBS Zurich Account number 366.677.01U (FIFA Players’ Status) Clearing number 230 IBAN: CH27 0023 0230 3666 7701U SWIFT: UBSWCHZH80A 5.2 The amount of CHF 3,000 has to be paid to the Claimant, Coach A. 6. 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 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. 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 Markus Kattner Acting Secretary General (Encl. CAS Directives)
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