Ex-soccer star David O’Leary wins €4m compensation deal

David O'Leary: Pleased that all issues are resolved.

Former Ireland soccer star David O’Leary has won a £3.4m (€4m) compensation claim against Dubai-based club Al Ahli.

O’Leary, who played for Arsenal and managed and Leeds and Aston Villa, had taken the claim to Fifa following his dismissal one year into a three-year contract.

The League Managers’ Association (LMA) said that despite having sacked O’Leary, Al Ahli claimed he had abandoned his job.

“Club officials had openly stated to the media at the relevant time that there had been a dismissal,” said an LMA statement.

The club also argued that Fifa lacked jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Fifa rejected both lines of defence and awarded O’Leary, who was backed by the LMA and represented by Paul Gilroy and solicitor Michael Kennedy, the full sum due under his contract.

O’Leary said: “It has taken a long time to deal with this matter but I am pleased that all issues have now been finalised.

“I hope my case provides reassurance to all managers and coaches working all over the world that there is a formal system in place that provides employment protection.”

O’Leary spent 20 years playing as a defender for Arsenal and his 722 appearances for them are a club record.

The highlight of his 68-cap international career for the Republic of Ireland came in the 1990 World Cup.


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