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Wednesday 5 October 2011

What do to with a footballer who won't play

Although Carlos Tevez must be given the presumption of innocence (not in the sense attributed to a child, of course, but as the opposite to guilty), the apparent refusal to remove a tracksuit and play football for his team would appear to be a severe breach of contract.
The sports world seems abuzz with how difficult it will be for a team (in this case Manchester City) to castigate their player/employee.
Anybody having taken the subject of law will remember their first case history… which may well have been Warner Bros v Nelson (also known as the Bette Davis case)*.  This was in the days when judges used a large amount of commonsense when the law was either unclear or not sensible.
Following this case law, the football club could dismiss the player and stop him playing football for any other club for the duration of the contract which they have together. This is on the basis that the player could earn a living doing something else instead.
Unfortunately, in 2011, that would be far too simple.
*If you want details of the case, lookup “Warner Bros v Nelson [1937] 1 KB 209”

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