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PFA SCOTLAND RESPONSE TO ALLEGATION PLAYERS ACTING IN BREACH OF CONTRACT

Jack Ross
3rd July 2012

PFA Scotland understands that Mr Charles Green has written to all clubs in the English Premier League and Championship alleging that our members who have exercised their legal right not to be employed by Sevco Scotland Ltd (newco), have acted in breach of contract.  This is refuted and PFA Scotland will shortly be writing to all clubs outlining our solicitor’s legal view on this matter and sharing with them legal guidance issued by the Scottish FA which we believe supports the players’ position.  Whilst it is accepted that newco is entitled to argue breach of contract, the Players Union is dismayed that attempts are being made to prevent our members from playing professional football simply because they have exercised their legal right not to transfer to newco.

PFA Scotland President and FIFPro Executive Member Tony Higgins said ” I haven’t spoken to a single employment or sports solicitor who agrees with Mr Green’s interpretation of the law.  Our members are being advised by our employment specialists, Brian Napier QC and Wil Van Megen, Head of Legal Department at FIFPro.  We are supremely confident that under TUPE and European Law on basic principles of freedom of movement, our members are entitled to sign for new clubs.”

PFA Scotland’s Lawyer, Margaret Gribbon of Bridge Litigation who acts on behalf of the majority of the objectors said “It is newco who have in actual fact acted unlawfully by failing to inform and consult with Rangers players prior to the TUPE transfer.  Newco has never employed the Players or held their registration, yet they believe they are entitled to prevent the Scottish FA from releasing the players’ registrations to the new company.  Newco is not a member of any footballing body in Scotland and it is unclear what league they will be playing in at the start of the season.  It is simply not credible therefore for Mr Green to accuse the players of being motivated by financial gain.  The players’ reasons for leaving are purely professional and Mr Green would not have had a club to buy had it not been for their salary sacrifices.  We do not consider that the newco’s allegation of breach of contract will stand up to scrutiny and so in the event of the players’ registrations not being issued to a new club, we will look to FIFA and/or the Court of Session for a speedy remedy.”