Alan Pardew accused over Gutierrez evidence

A tribunal considering ex-Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez’s claim he suffered discrimination at the hands of his old employer has heard an allegation former manager Alan Pardew gave “untrue” evidence.
Alan Pardew accused over Gutierrez evidence

In closing remarks to an employment tribunal in Birmingham yesterday, the player’s barrister said the case was “unusual, high profile, and it’s involved a number of high profile individuals”, including former club managers Pardew, John Carver and managing director Lee Charnley.

Martin Budworth, Gutierrez’s barrister, claimed Newcastle’s witnesses to the tribunal were “not just mistaken about this, but are giving knowingly untrue evidence”.

He alleged that Pardew had given “suspicious evidence” and that his account had been “tailored” to fit the club’s versions of events.

The Argentinian is reported to be seeking about £2m (€2.5m) in compensation for a disability discrimination claim, after alleging Newcastle ensured he did not start enough matches to trigger a lucrative one-year contract extension.

Gutierrez, currently playing for Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, spent seven seasons with Newcastle after joining the club in 2008, and underwent an operation to remove a tumour in his left testicle in October 2013.

In a statement to the tribunal, the 32-year-old said he was called into then manager Pardew’s office in early December 2013, when he felt he was returning to full fitness, to be told that he no longer featured in Newcastle’s future plans, and was free to agree terms with another club. However, Pardew, when he gave evidence, said he had told the player of his squad plans as early as the pre-season of that year, and months before the player’s diagnosis for cancer.

Yesterday,

Gutierrez’s lawyer said in his closing remarks: “He (Gutierrez) wouldn’t choose to languish if, in summer 2013, he had been told he didn’t feature in their plans.”

He added: “There’s no document that even hints at these exchanges in summer 2013.

“The respondent’s (Newcastle’s) witnesses are not just mistaken about this but are giving knowingly untrue evidence,” Budworth said.

Of Pardew’s account, he said: “He tries to suggest even as early as September 2011 that this player was already not in his plans.

“The fact he was seeking to create that impression hangs a serious question-mark over the entirety of his evidence and looks like his evidence has been tailored to reach that position.”

Budworth added his client was in 2011 “a very marketable asset at that time — he’d had a successful World Cup for Argentina”.

He said: “Mr Pardew gives suspicious evidence in trying to say he was already not in his plans as far back as 2011.”

Sean Jones, for Newcastle, said that the club had not broken any rules in their dealings with the player.

He added: “We accept we’re subject to discrimination law, but in assessing the business we’re in, and the need for a squad, we are in a unique set of circumstances. We need people who are good and fit and regularly available.”

Jones said that at the time Gutierrez left the club, Newcastle were in a Premier League relegation dogfight and it was not reasonable to be spending over £2m (€2.5m) in wages on a player.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox