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Employment law solicitors’ speculation proves fruitless

23rd February 2012

It may be possible that the decision by Fabio Capello to resign from the job of England football manager has deprived a firm of employment law solicitors somewhere in England the chance of representing a very high-profile case.

Before the announcement of Capello’s resignation, the press was awash with speculation that the FA was intent on sacking Capello anyway and that it would cite breach of contract over the Italian’s public criticism of the FA’s decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.

Almost immediately, a number of newspapers sought to garner the opinion of the nation’s top employment law solicitors, asking whether the FA would be within its rights to remove Capello.

One problem seemed to be that no one actually knew the details of the manager’s contract with the FA – a hurdle even the most insightful employment law solicitors would fail to overcome.

One told the The Telegraph newspaper, “In relation to the issue of Capello expressing an opinion on the captaincy, it depends on his contract and whether it allows him the provision to comment publicly on any matter which contradicts the approach of his employers at the FA.

“In usual circumstance, if a senior manager publicly undermines the collective decision of a board it can still be debatable whether it is grounds for dismissal. Unless it is specified under the terms of a contract that if a board makes a decision, no senior manager will make any public comment, there may be no basis for disciplinary action.”

In a football world all too familiar with long-running employment disputes such as the stand-off between Carlos Tevez and Manchester City, and recent constructive dismissal claim of Kevin Keegan, I think we can afford to feel glad to be without a pre-Euros legal battle.

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