|Rangers Administrators Sold Players Contracts To The Newco|
Wednesday, 11th Jul 2012 15:41
The twist to whether Steven Davis is elegible to sign for Saints took another twist today when the administrators for the old Rangers stating they sold the players contracts to new owner Charles Green.
Just what that will mean to Saints purchase of Steven Davis at the moment is uncertain and it could be a legal wrangle that will be solved quickly or it could run and run, certainly the administrators of the old Rangers Duff & Phelps are satisfied that they sold the contracts to the newco under TUPE regulations which protect employee terms and conditions when parts of a business are sold to another company and if this is the case then Saints could have a legal battle on their hands, or at least would have to negotiate with Rangers newco over a transfer fee for Davis.
The big question though is how this issue is written into the contract, I would imagine there is some sort of break clause in as its highly possible that Saints negotiated wages and signing on fees etc based on the fact they were getting the player on a free, if they now had to pay a substancial fee for Davis would they feel that signing the player would be a good deal, that is the question we will soon find out.
Certainly new owner Charles Green and Duff & Phelps seem confident in their legal position and indeed Green sent out letters to football clubs across the UK warning them of the legal position.
Perhaps the strangest stance is that of the PFA, they have advised their members at Rangers not to transfer to the newco, strange because normally they would be fighting tooth and nail in these situations for their members rights to have their contracts paid in full when clubs change hands as in the situation at Portsmouth, its seems thet the PFA likes to run with the foxes and hunt with the hounds and is not afraid to offer its members conflicting advice when it suits them
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|ByTheGolacs added 17:03 - Jul 11|
but it does not matter what Green paid for what. It does not matter than he paid the administrators £2m odd (of a total of £5.5m) and that it was recorded as being for the contracts. The law and the TUPE regulations still provide the employee with the right to refuse the transfer to the newco should they wish to do so. No-one can legally force an employee to transfer to a newco simply because that newco has purchase the assets/goodwill etc of the old business. This whole issue will come down simply to whether or not the players invoked their rights under TUPE in the correct, timely manner, not whether a portion of the money paid by Green was accounted for as being for the players contracts.
|vectis added 17:13 - Jul 11|
Bythegolacs is exactly right. And I am sure the club lawyers have gone through this with a fine tooth comb before any announcement was made. Unless NC is totally stupid...which somehow I doubt lol
|SaintNick added 17:29 - Jul 11|
the problem with this is that football laws are different to normal law in many respects as Portsmouth are finding out at the moment, where they cant just rip up the contracts of their players and make them redundant as they can with the rest of the employees, this could well develope into a test case within football
|ByTheGolacs added 18:01 - Jul 11|
but you can rip up the contract of a footballer Nick if you have grounds to do so (gross misconduct or similar) the only issue in football is that if you want to terminate a contract of a footballer without proper grounds to do so you have to pay up that contract in full - which is the problem Pompey have. There is also the special position football creditors have. But that is not relevant here. No contracts were cancelled and no-one (it appears) wanted to do so from the Newco. It is actually pretty straight forward (although lawyers can always try to make a case as to why it is different). The legal matters at hand are the TUPE regulations. To my knowledge (and I have seen no evidence anywhere in the media that says differently - even Green has not given any indication here) there are no exceptions within the TUPE regulations that apply to football. It is the TUPE regulations that provide the legal cover for any employee to refuse to be transferred to the newco. As long as they give notice in the correct way and in the correct timescale - and the regulations do not specify a timescale only that it should be 'reasonable. To be fair it is that which Green may try to use to argue his case i.e. how long did it take the players to make it known they did not want to transfer and was the time that elapsed 'reasonable' BUT he cannot legally in any way shape or form claim that the TUPE regulations are not relevant because he paid some money that was accounted for as being 'for the transfer of contracts' the law does not allow for that. At least that is what my best-man who is a QC of 20 years standing confirmed to me. But you are right in one thing. If it involves football it will always get more messy than in almost any other industry.
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