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LMA backs Poyet in dispute

The League Managers Association has backed Gus Poyet in his ongoing dispute with Brighton after he failed to attend a disciplinary hearing.

Poyet was suspended by Brighton along with two members of his coaching staff, Mauricio Taricco and Charlie Oatway, while the club carried out an internal investigation.

The Seagulls confirmed on their official website on Monday that Poyet, who has been linked to the manager's jobs at both Stoke and Everton, cited legal reasons for his absence, arguing that he wasn't given a fair opportunity to defend 'unfounded charges' against him.

A statement released on the LMA's official website read: "Brighton & Hove Albion FC ordered Gus Poyet to attend a crucial disciplinary hearing today, despite the fact that he only returned from annual leave yesterday and the charges were not particularised until 13th June.

"Further, the very lengthy appendices to the initial report comprise around 500 pages and these were also only delivered recently. Clearly Gus needs to have a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to what we believe are unfounded charges against him.

"Also, it has repeatedly been made clear to the Club that Gus's LMA representative, Richard Bevan was not available to accompany him today, but was available to attend on Thursday 20th or Friday 21st June as well. These two dates fall within the five working day period for an employee to offer alternatives to the original date set by the Club as set-out in the Club's own handbook.

"We believe that our members are entitled to the same legal protections that other employees enjoy. Football clubs need to observe basic employment rights like any other employer in our view. Just to be clear, however, we are confident that Gus will demonstrate there is no case to answer in this matter.

"Notwithstanding these important points, the Club decided to go-ahead with the hearing in the absence of both Gus and Richard Bevan. Late this afternoon the Club agreed to adjourn and reconvene the disciplinary hearing to Thursday 20th June 2013. The LMA is pleased that the Club has agreed to an arrangement whereby Gus and his chosen representative will be able to attend.

"The LMA will not be making any further statement at this stage."

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