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Keegan’s tribunal findings – summary.

Posted on October 2nd, 2009 | 60 Comments |

Constructively dismissed
Constructively dismissed
Thanks to Stardust for posting the breaking news about Keegan winning his constructive dismissal case against Newcastle United. However, I just thought I’d try to distil it into something more manageable and article-shaped.

In the simplest terms Keegan was constructively dismissed and has been awarded £2m as a result.

The player that kicked all this off was Nacho Gonzalez. Keegan was asked by the club to sign the player to ‘do a favour’ to two South American agents. No one from the club had actually seen Nacho play and all Keegan had to go on was a couple of YouTube videos. Keegan refused to sanction the signing of the player but the club went ahead and signed him anyway.

This was what tipped things over the edge but the bigger underlying issue was that Keegan was being denied the final say on transfers.

Keegan’s contract wasn’t totally clear on whether or not he had the final say on transfers, although it did contain a clause to the effect of “performing the duties expected of a Premiership manager“. This – along with public statements made by Wise and others, the fact that Keegan took the job in the first place and the fact that Kinnear was given the final say on transfers within the same club structure – persuaded the tribunal that Keegan’s contract implicitely gave him the final say on transfers even if it didn’t do so explicitly.

The tribunal accepted that in proceeding with the Nacho signing against Keegan’s wishes, the club knew it might push Keegan into resignation, yet they did so anyway. Keegan was thus constructively dismissed.

Keegan claimed that losing his job had cost him the £8,607,534 wages remaining on his contract; he also claims he suffered ‘stigma damages’ which might prevent him from gaining future employment and he estimated those stigma damages at £16,500,000. The club rejected any such claims and stated that a clause in his contract limiting his payout to £2m was valid and thus that’s what they awarded him.

Other things the tribunal cleared up are:

  • Keegan was never offered a chance to settle for £4m as reported in the press.
  • The club admitted at the tribunal that it intentionally misled the press, public and fans of Newcastle.
  • Keegan had a ‘difficult’ relationship with Wise and Jiminez anyway, although the tribunal accepted that this alone would not have prompted Keegan to leave.
  • The club’s claim that Keegan used the Nacho incident as a ‘convenient excuse’ to walk out was not true.
  • The atmosphere in the Newcastle United dressing room prior to Keegangate was ‘excellent’.

All the club has to say on the matter is:

THE Premier League Tribunal Panel considering the matter between Newcastle United and Kevin Keegan has today returned its decision.

Click here to view the decision in full.

The Club will be making no comment on this matter.

Thus a contentious and troubling issue is closed at least officially, although whether fans continue to use it as a reason to take sides and clobber each other remains to be seen.

If any potential takeover was waiting on this issue to be resolved it is now free to go ahead.

Link to full tribunal findings: http://www.leaguemanagers.com/news/news-6426.html

NUFCBlog Author: Hugh de Payen

I’m a baby-boomer of the punk rock persuasion, currently exiled in Somerset for crimes committed in a previous life where locals keep trying to poison me with something called ‘scrumpy’. Hates sprouts, coat-hangers, Cilla Black, ornaments, Steven Seagull movies and 50 Cent (he’s not worth 10).

Hugh de Payen has written 634 articles on this blog.

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60 Responses

  1. I am glad kk has won but I think he should have got the £9million,I was also shocked,but not surprised,. to read that ashley and his cronies had deliberately misled the public and press.in other words they have LIED.hopefully the club can now be sold and we can be rid of these liars.

  2. I’m not sure what shocks me more, that the club would sign a player on loan from youtube clips or that Keegan was the one behind the Xisco deal all along.

  3. Absolute disgrace!

    Not the fact he’s won and the club look like it’s run by a set of pricks, but:

    ‘The club admitted at the tribunal that it intentionally misled the press, public and fans of Newcastle.’

    I’m ashamed that my club is being run by a complete set of idiots!

  4. marshy – why should he have got the 9M? it was in his contract that if he was constructively dismissed that he would be awarded 2M in compensation.
    the thing that i think a lot of people keep overlooking is the fact that this 2M doesn’t come out of ashley’s pocket but out of the clubs accounts.
    either way, i’m glad its over and hopefully now a sale can be concluded.

    @matt – was thinking the same thing. all along it had been the “nacho and xisco signings” but not once did xisco’s name come up in the published findings. was kind of interesting.

  5. So pleased Keegan has won.
    Shame he only got £2m, but if there was a compensation limit in the contract, then this award is the right result.

    We’d played dire football under Roeder and Allardyce, the start to the season by Keegan was refreshing.

    Shame on Ashley, Wise & Co. for ruining this promising new era under KK just to grease the palms of two Spanish agents.

  6. So everyone agrees that in an effort to get to better players, the club paid to loan a player for the benefit of the club – that Keegan was right to walk and let the club implode?

    give in.

  7. the start to the season by Keegan was refreshing.

    …..

    It was?

    A good point at Old Trafford, struggled to break down an average Bolton team, got taken to extra time by a championship club in a cup game and got absolutely battered by Arsenal.

    The part about misleading the press and fans is to do with them saying Keegan was in charge of transfers when they didn’t think he was IMO.

  8. Stardust says:
    October 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Do you know what the word humility means?

    Thought not.

  9. Yes it was – surely people realise that Matt

    Probably stemmed from wise being the DOF and they knew how people reacted to his appointment.

  10. Of course it was!!!! The point being, why not come out and say that????

    “Keegan is full of it, he was never in full charge and will never be in full charge of transfers”

    There is a good reason.

  11. based on the statements in the findings, i think it just cements peoples negative opinion of wises appointment even more. spent 1M+ on wages for a loan signing as a favor? tried to justify the talent off of you tube clips? are you kidding me?

    while i didn’t think it was right for KK to be suing the club, given the findings and reasonings laid out, i think all that went on was fair, as was the result.

  12. im not surprised about nacho it always seemed a bit dodgy that valencia would buy a player then loan him out and then for that player to be out all season when if i remember correctly he was only supposed to be out a few months at most

  13. I see the clubs official website says there will be no formal statement on the matter. Shows what a bunch of cowards they are. Much happier to spread malicious rumours about Keegan and lie to the fans. Real classy!

  14. At last Ashley’s web of lies and deceit have been laid bare to all of us ‘mugs’ who continue to support the club!

    This man has thicker skin than a rhino!

  15. Monrokelly says:
    October 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    “Shows what a bunch of cowards they are. Much happier to spread malicious rumours about Keegan and lie to the fans. Real classy!”

    Monro, you do realise that there is more than a little irony in that statement? :-)

  16. Worky,

    So it would appear the pepers were pretty much right all along in this case.

    Credit where it’s due..

  17. for a DOF to go to there manager and tell him there signing a player,and to have a look at him on youtube is a complete joke.

  18. workyticket says:
    October 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Monrokelly says:
    October 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    “Shows what a bunch of cowards they are. Much happier to spread malicious rumours about Keegan and lie to the fans. Real classy!”

    Monro, you do realise that there is more than a little irony in that statement? :-)

    HaHa, I guess there is. You know what I mean though. To be honest its pretty much what people have come to expect from the current regime though. Why couldn’t they have just had there day in court without the lies and false rumours?

  19. Looking back to May 2007 and knowing what I know now, I would have rather the club went into administration under FFS than this lying, cheating, manipulative arrogant tw*t own us!

    We might have ended up with a decent owner then.

  20. I don’t think there’s much wrong with taking a player on loan as a favour if it meant the agents would consider you in future when better players who they work for become available.

    Scratching each others back is common in the business World after all.

  21. Think of it this way, KK Asks 2m, ashley pays, KK asks 8m, ashley pays, KK asks ridiculous amount despite having 2m clause in his contract, ashley wont pay, tribunal, truth comes out, KK Gets his name cleared and is vindicated (… Ashley will sell quickly, hopefully<<<<<just copyed that but i think its spot on

  22. Brian McNally the Mackem in rubbish article shocker! In other news, water has been officially declared to be ‘wet’.

  23. My club has been ripped apart over a loan signing that wasn’t even here to play anyway?

    How petty from all of them.

  24. Think of it this way, KK Asks 2m, ashley pays, KK asks 8m, ashley pays, KK asks ridiculous amount despite having 2m clause in his contract, ashley wont pay, tribunal, truth comes out, KK Gets his name cleared and is vindicated (… Ashley will sell quickly, hopefully<<<<<just copyed that but i think its spot on

    …….

    It’s not spot on at all though, batty.

    Keegan could have just said that he won’t sign a confidentiality agreement, so Ashley could have let him say what he wants or has to go to a tribunal.

    Trying to take the club to the cleaners for £25 million is a massive pisstake, don’t delude yourself he was only asking for it so the truth could come out as he could have walked away, asked for nothing and then told the fans what happened.

  25. Rangerman says:
    October 2, 2009 at 6:59 pm
    My club has been ripped apart over a loan signing that wasn’t even here to play anyway?

    How petty from all of them.

    One loan signing today….

    If they’d have got away with it once they would have done it time and time again.

    KK was bang on to nip it in the bud!

    I admire his integrity and bravery, however I think he should hang his head in shame over wanting £25m.

  26. Rangerman says:
    October 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    he could have walked away, asked for nothing and then told the fans what happened.

    Are you serious?

    So if K came out and told everyone what had happened what would ‘the regime’ have done? They would have denied it all (like they did, don’t forget they have admitted deliberately lying to the press and the fans)and we would have been right back to square one.

    The only way were going to get the truth was this way.

  27. Hugh de Payen says:
    October 2, 2009 at 7:35 pm
    Does anyone really believe that Keegan thought he’d get £25m?

    Hugh,

    In compensation arguments the claimant will always be advised by their legal advisor. They set the bar not the claimant – Unless the claimant is stupid.

    They aim high and eventually get what they want.

  28. I would imagine a solicitor sat down with Keegan, worked out that his outstanding contract was worth £8.6m and estimated what Keegan could have lost by being unemployable due to ‘stigma’ until his retirement age. I can see how the solicitor arrived at £25m – it sounds about right to me.

    I don’t actually think that either Keegan or his solicitor expected to get £25m.

    They may have hoped for more because this whole thing has cost Keegan at least £6.6m as it stands. It’s fortunate for the club that the £2m limit was in the contract and upheld by the tribunal; unfortunate for Keegan that he lost so much money for something that wasn’t his fault.

    Personally I think Keegan’s been hard done by, although concomitantly I’m glad the club didn’t have to pay out more money.

  29. hugh, if he didn’t think he’d get 25m why did he claim it? the 8m would have been reasonable and normal to claim, but another 16.5m? Find that hard to explain

  30. Joseph, see my post above yours. I can see how they might arrive at £25m when they presented this case.

    Maybe Keegan really expected £25m, maybe he didn’t. I don’t know. I’ve speculated he didn’t but I could be wrong.

    There is an order of magnitude’s difference between £2m and £25m and I expect if Keegan really expected £25m he’ll take it to the High Court (which they can do despite agreements not to).

  31. Congratulations Sir Kevin on a magnificent victory.

    You have cleared your name and remain a United hero and legend (it was never in doubt).

    As for the Fat Cockney Barstard…….

    It’s summed up in the tribunal statement…”The club admitted at the tribunal that it intentionally misled the press, public and fans of Newcastle.”

    Bugger off Fatboy – and take your lackey Starprick with you

  32. Congratulations Sir Kevin on a magnificent victory.

    You have cleared your name and remain a United hero and legend (it was never in doubt).

    As for the Fat Cockney Barstard…….

    It’s summed up in the tribunal statement…”The club admitted at the tribunal that it intentionally misled the press, public and fans of Newcastle.”

    Bugger off Fatboy – and take your lackey Starprick with you

    we didnt need a tribunal for that just look at the contradicting statements

  33. Rangerman says:
    October 2, 2009 at 7:04 pm
    Think of it this way, KK Asks 2m, ashley pays, KK asks 8m, ashley pays, KK asks ridiculous amount despite having 2m clause in his contract, ashley wont pay, tribunal, truth comes out, KK Gets his name cleared and is vindicated (… Ashley will sell quickly, hopefully<<<<<just copyed that but i think its spot on

    …….

    It’s not spot on at all though, batty.

    Keegan could have just said that he won’t sign a confidentiality agreement, so Ashley could have let him say what he wants or has to go to a tribunal.

    Trying to take the club to the cleaners for £25 million is a massive pisstake, don’t delude yourself he was only asking for it so the truth could come out as he could have walked away, asked for nothing and then told the fans what happened.
    <<<<i sed i think so dont try to tell me what i think dipshit

  34. summerof69 says:
    October 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm
    “today is a day i lost a hero and it started over this clip”

    69,

    I think that the Daily Mail got the wrong YouTube clip there, and that it wasn’t around when Keegan was looking.

    I’m just trying to check what the real one is.

  35. That clip was made by someone on Ed’s blog that used to go on about how great Nacho was but cant remember his name, was his name Nacho ?

  36. “THE CLUB admitted at the tribunal that it intentionally misled the press, public and FANS of Newcastle”

    THE CLUB = Fat Ash, Lamearse etc

    THE FANS = well, that’s you and me folks

  37. I don’t believe that it was Keegan’s idea to claim for £25 million, i also think that they thought they would only get £2 million as that is what his contracted stated.

    For me the statment that the club deliberately misled the fans and everyone else is the biggest factor in this whole sorry affair.

    They should all hang their heads in shame (so much for Mort being a good guy) and focus on selling up and leaving the club.

  38. Quote from the Guardian

    “Some interpreted Keegan’s exit as another walkout by a man with a tendency to flounce, but the judgment vindicates him as a man of pride and principle. As the manager he was not prepared to sanction that signing, which was being urged on him by Dennis Wise, the man Ashley appointed as executive director (football).”

  39. I don’t believe that it was Keegan’s idea to claim for £25 million, i also think that they thought they would only get £2 million as that is what his contracted stated.

    For me the statment that the club deliberately misled the fans and everyone else is the biggest factor in this whole sorry affair.

    They should all hang their heads in shame (so much for Mort being a good guy) and focus on selling up and leaving the club.

  40. How anyone can justify the club after reading this beggars belief. The only reason the club went ahead with this tribunal in my opinion was to reduce the amount they would have to pay to Keegan. Quite frankly they did not have a hope in hell.

    On top of that it has revealed the disgraceful, murky insider dealings going on in the club by the current encumbents, who have unashamedly admitted to lying blatantly to the press/media and worst of all us their customers.

    Well done KK.

    Ashley and Co get out of Toon. You are a disgrace.

  41. This whole sorry affair has ripped the guts out of our club but I actually found myself laughin out loud reading this bit again on the Guardian blog –

    “Newcastle, in the detail, put forward an appalling argument. The panel decided that when they appointed Keegan as the manager they did guarantee him the final say on transfers. This conclusion is based partly on what the club itself said in public. The judgment quotes Wise twice, Ashley’s first chairman Chris Mort, and Lee Charnley, the club secretary, making press or website statements to that effect.

    Yet the club told the tribunal that these statements, that Keegan had the final say, were “simply untrue” and that those officers of the club made them as “nothing more than an exercise in public relations”. The panel found that explanation “profoundly unsatisfactory”.

    How desperate and incompetent can a defense be?

    “So you were basically lying then guys?”

    “Well no but yer but no but….”

  42. At first read, the whole thing seemed so peety as to be unbelievable. But of course KK was right, he was clearly put in an impossible position. This would just have been the thin end of the wedge. If they had gotten away with it once and KK had done nothing, then the flood gates would have opened and they would have walked all over him.
    I have always thought kk was wrong for just walking, but clearly he had no other choice and the tribunal has vindicated him. Good luck to him. As for ashley and co, yet more lies and dodgy dealings. no surprises there then!!!!
    Please let there be some good news about a sale of the club SOON.

  43. summerof69 says:
    October 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    “oh well sorry about that worky it was just aguess sice there was only 2 vids i could find”

    No need to apologise. THANKYOU 69! See the new story.