Unfair dismissal case over Brighton FC sackings

10 Jul 2019
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GMB, the union for football staff, has revealed it is preparing to mount legal proceedings against a Premier League outfit after management refusal to hold appeal hearings for three staff sacked last month over unproven accusations of team news leaks.

The union said it had been left with no option other than to move to lodge legal proceedings against Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (BAHFC) after it refused the statutory right of an appeal against the dismissal by the three Lancing training ground staff.

GMB said management had dismissed the staff without providing a reason for doing so, despite the staff members asking repeatedly for evidence of wrong-doing. One of the dismissed staff was sacked by phone call.

The union said it had it had since been approached by Seagulls fans who had claimed season tickets had been withdrawn and others banned from attending home games, with even lifelong fans apparently coming under suspicion.

GMB has said it would provide information on the club’s conduct and treatment of staff to club sponsors American Express and Premier League Interim Chief Executive Richard Masters.

Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary said:

“Basic communication with the club over this matter has been difficult as Brighton and Hove Albion FC have simply dodged and ducked instead of dealing with matters to correct their original unfair actions.

“These three members of staff are dedicated employees and committed Seagulls fans - who have not been presented with any evidence for their dismissal – and they should be reinstated with unblemished names and records.

“The video recording of one of our members being summarily dismissed over the phone clearly indicates both failure to following employment dismissal procedures and lack of evidence for this decision in the first place.

“Reports we have heard from fan that a witch hunt has been widened to include dedicated Seagulls season-ticket holders will concern many, as the club’s reputation as a community-minded outfit is dragged through the mud by this apparent outbreak of paranoia.

“GMB will not step back from protecting members against unfair treatment whoever the employers are and we will robustly pursue on behalf of our members anyone who thinks they can do so.”

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