Manchester City star Carlos Tevez is no stranger to media attention. Ever since he and Javier Mascherano arrived in the Premier League in August 2006 controversy seems to have followed him; from the problems of third party ownership rules at West Ham to his brave move from red side of Manchester to the blue.
Ffion Lloyd, Trainee Solicitor at Aaron & Partners LLP takes a legal view of the proceedings with regard to employment law issues.
His most recent action however, seems to be his most controversial yet. During a Champions League match between Manchester City and Bayern Munich on 27 October, Tevez appeared to have defied his manager’s instructions by refusing to play when called up as a substitute. Subsequently he’s been suspended by his club during disciplinary proceedings and fined two week’s wages.
It if does appear that Tevez failed to perform his contractual duties and failed to obey reasonable and lawful instructions, Manchester City could potentially dismiss him for gross misconduct on the basis that his conduct amounted to a fundamental breach of his contract.
On the other hand, Tevez claims that he was in fact willing to play and that all he refused to do was to warm up since he had already warmed up. It was then that Roberto Mancini, his manager, allegedly said that if he didn’t warm up he couldn’t play and Tevez maintains that this is the reason why he didn’t. If this turns out to be true then potentially one act of disobedience would not be sufficiently serious to amount to gross misconduct and a dismissal offence.
One problem facing Manchester City is that if they do dismiss Tevez they are likely to suffer both financially and in football terms. If they cancel his contract he would become a free agent and they would lose his £45m price tag although there is still the possibility that they could sue the player for this loss by maintaining that his conduct was a fundamental breach resulting in this loss.
Manchester City’s decision will be announced later in the week!