Sports team boss awarded €13,000 for getting sack after heavy defeat

By Gordon Deegan

A boss of a professional sports team here has been awarded €13,000 for unfair dismissal after being summarily sacked after a heavy defeat in a match

In the case before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), the sacked coach/manager told the Commission that after the heavy defeat, he was called into a meeting with the club’s chairman and Board who, he claims, said that “things were not working out” and it was “time to part ways”.

The team boss said that he was offered the wages outstanding to him at the time and a small sum of money to “walk away”.

He said that he told the Board that he wanted to keep his job, that he had one year left in his contract and did not want to go.

However, the man told the WRC that he was told in no uncertain terms that his job was gone with immediate effect.

He tried to get in contact with the club on many occasions since to resolve the situation but it has not engaged.

However, the man has now successfully sued for unfair dismissal at the WRC and the club has 42 days in which to pay the award from the date of issue of the decision.

The man - who commenced his contract with the club in May 2015 - said that the club wanted him out and was looking for any excuse.

The man told the WRC that he was employed as a manager/ coach on a two-and-a-half-year contract - the sport played by the un-named club is not disclosed in the WRC report.

He said that he was paid €800 per week during the playing season and €300 on a retainer during the off-season and worked long hours each week of around 80 hours per week.

He said that as part of his job, outside of the management and coaching of the team, he was involved in the promotion of the club and trying to generate financial sponsorship at local and national level.

The man said that new investment has come into the club and it has rebranded and a new board of management is now in place.

The club did not forward any written submissions in response to the complaint and did not attend the oral hearing and no explanation was put forward to the WRC for the non-attendance.

In his ruling, WRC Adjudication Officer, James Kelly found that the manager was not provided with any fair or reasonable opportunity to address the club’s concerns in relation to the team’s performance.

He said: ”In the circumstances, I find that there was a manifest failure by the respondent to adhere to the basic requirements of procedural fairness in reaching the decision to terminate the complainant’s employment.”

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