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May 3, 2013

FIFA awards O'Leary compensation

David O'Leary has won his compensation claim against Al Ahli FC, and FIFA has ordered the club to pay the former Aston Villa and Leeds United manager $5.2 million (£3.342 million).

O'Leary left Al Ahli in April 2011 after a 5-1 defeat at the hands of Al Jazira, less than a year into a three-year contract. Although the Dubai-based club stated he had been sacked at the time they later claimed O'Leary had walked out.

Al Ahli refused to pay O'Leary compensation for the remainder of his contract which led the coach to take his case to world football's governing body and it has now found in his favour. FIFA threw out Al Ahli's claim and ordered that all outstanding money relating to the fixed contract should be paid to O'Leary.

O'Leary said in a statement released by the League Managers' Association: "It has taken a long time to deal with this matter but I am pleased that all issues have now been finalised. I would also like to thank Richard Bevan and the LMA as well as my outstanding legal team, led by Paul Gilroy QC, and Michael Kennedy from Herbert Reeves & Co, for their support and hard work in bringing my case to this very satisfactory conclusion.

"I hope my case provides reassurance to all managers and coaches working all over the world that there is a formal system in place that provides employment protection."

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, added: "We are clearly delighted with the outcome. In addition, the LMA is extremely grateful to the FA for their assistance in initiating the process with FIFA. The added significance and wider impact of this process is the proof that FIFA has mechanisms in place which regulate worldwide employment issues.

"It is extremely encouraging to know that the world governing body can provide a means of redress for managers and coaches at all levels seeking to establish their employment rights, wherever in the world they happen to work."

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