Gus Poyet loses appeal against dismissal from Brighton

by Redmans Solicitors on July 18, 2013

It was yesterday confirmed by Brighton & Hove Albion football club that Gus Poyet’s appeal against his dismissal for gross misconduct has been rejected.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham star – who was also capped 26 times for Uruguay during his playing career – was manager of Brighton & Hove Albion from 2009 to 2013 and masterminded their ascent to the Championship and their highest-ever League finish. However, there was a falling-out between Poyet and the Brighton board after the season ended and this resulted in Poyet, Taricco (his assistant manager) and Oates (first-team coach) being suspended from their employment. Mauricio Taricco has since had his suspension lifted but Poyet was dismissed by Brighton on the grounds of gross misconduct on X.

Poyet’s dismissal is now infamous as he alleges that he first learned of his dismissal from BBC staff during filming for the recent Confederations Cup. The BBC staff printed off the statement on the Brighton website and showed it to Poyet, with Poyet admitting that he was “shocked” about learning about his dismissal and, in particular, surprised at not being informed of the decision directly by the club. Brighton, however, contend that they informed Poyet prior to making the statement on the website.

The former Brighton manager appealed the decision to dismiss him and the appeal hearing was heard by a panel over a two-day period on 11 and 12 July 2013. The result of the appeal was released on the Brighton website on 16 July 2013, with the club confirming that “following a suspension, investigation, disciplinary meeting and separate appeal hearing, which was conducted by three members of the club’s board in London on 11 July and 12 July 2013, Brighton & Hove Albion today confirmed that after further consideration Gus Poyet’s dismissal for gross misconduct has been upheld.”

It is not yet known whether Poyet will take further legal action, although Richard Bevan, speaking on behalf of the League Managers’ Association, confirmed that this was a possibility. Mr Bevan stated that he was “surprised” at the decision that the club made and that the LMA “did not consider the consider that the charges against him amounted to gross misconduct.”

Mr Poyet commented on the matter: “We will have discussions in the next few days and decide what to do. We will analyse it. I wish I could explain what happened but I still can’t. At least it is finally over but I am disappointed that it finished like this.” He also confirmed that he wished to stay in England and manage in the Premier League.

Chris Hadrill, an unfair dismissal solicitor at Redmans, commented: “This is an unusual case in that it is extremely high-profile and involves gross misconduct, yet no-one seems to know what the basis of the misconduct is. It’s possible from the noises that are coming out of the LMA that further legal action might be taken by Poyet.”

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