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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 18 hours ago
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Jan 13, 2013

Sacked A-League coach wants $2.2 million

Former Adelaide United coach Rini Coolen is suing the A-League club for $2.2 million after his sacking as head coach in December, 2011.

Dutch-born Coolen's demands were outlined at the opening of a trial in the South Australian District Court on Monday and include almost $1.3 million to pay out the three-and-a-half years he had left on his contract.

He also wants $105,000 for the loss of a car he was given to use, $107,000 for the loss of potential bonuses and several hundred thousand dollars for exemplary damages.

In his first year at Adelaide United Coolen took the Reds from bottom to third place in the A-League and then negotiated a new four-year deal.

But after a string of poor performances, including just two wins and six losses from 11 games the following season, he was relegated to the role of youth coach, which he rejected.

Mark Douglas, for Coolen, told the court that during his client's contract negotiations he had been assured that the board of Adelaide United were "not the type of people who lose six games and then try to execute the coach".

But he said they had done exactly that and what had followed was a string of episodes of "back peddling" as the club tried to "rid themselves of Mr Coolen by any means available".

"What Mr Coolen has suffered is the fate of a man living without income in a country that is not his own," Douglas said.

Douglas said as well as the damages Coolen was looking to the case to provide clarity and to vindicate the position he took, which could have significant implications on his future employment prospects.

Because of the impending litigation Coolen had also been denied the opportunity to tell his side of the story.

The trial is continuing and will include a cross claim by Adelaide United that Coolen had overstated his level of skills and experience.

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