Representatives of Antonio Conte and Chelsea Football Club were back in court last Friday for a preliminary hearing over statutory claims (for example: unfair dismissal or discrimination) at the Central London Employment Tribunal, reports the Times’ Matt Hughes. Statutory claims — literally, claims that are governed by statutes (which are laws and regulations made by legislative bodies, such as a local or federal government) — are common legal proceedings and given the acrimonious nature of Conte’s sacking last summer, it’s not all that surprising that the two parties have ended up in court.
Why the move is a bit surprising is because after ten months of legal threats, motions, delays and deliberations, Conte was reportedly awarded the full £9m in compensation due by a panel of Premier League arbitrators in May. Of course, arbitration decisions are not necessarily the final word. If either of the parties takes exception with the decision, the matter could still be taken to High Court.
Hughes’ report does claim that the matter of the £9m is “settled”, so this new claim could also be something different. After all, Conte was due that money as per the terms of his contract (i.e. his severance); now he could be going after the club over claims of unfair dismissal or some other related claim. Or maybe he’s just making sure the severance gets paid promptly. Or maybe his lawyers are bored. It’s tough to know exactly what’s going on this many levels removed from the matter and with all proceedings up to this point happening in private. If the matter does end up going to court however, the dirty laundry will become public and Chelsea probably don’t want that to happen under any circumstance.
Antonio Conte starts new legal case against #Chelsea. Former manager has lodged statutory claim at London Employment Tribunal after winning breach of contract case at Premier Lge Tribunal. https://t.co/lC6tFZ9O1i— Matt Hughes (@MattHughesTimes) August 22, 2019
The Times’ report claims that the maximum compensatory award of an unfair dismissal claim is £60k, which would make Conte’s move somewhat petty (especially if it’s in addition to his severance), but that cap (which is actually £86k) does not apply in cases of constructive dismissal that also involve a form of discrimination.
I’m no lawyer so this is all a bit esoteric for me, but basically, long story short, Conte v. Chelsea is still not over.