First Leeds United were found wanting in the way that Education and Welfare secretary Lucy Ward was dismissed, a tribunal finding in her favour on all counts that she brought against the club. Now it’s the turn of Nigel Gibbs.
Earlier today, Leeds United found out the ruling of a judgement against a case of constructive dismissal brought against the club by Gibbs, a former deputy to then-Leeds manager Brian McDermott.
The case itself hinged on whether Gibbs, a former Watford player, was constructively dismissed from his Leeds United employ, according to a report in the Guardian, “because of a repudiatory breach of contract by Leeds, who he joined in April 2013, or whether he simply chose to go.”
Gibb, who the Guardian report was on a “fixed-term contract”, that was due to end in June of this year, that included an annual salary that would rise to “£220,000 plus benefits,” left Leeds United in July 2014 through his resignation.
With it being Leeds, the actual circumstances of his leaving aren’t exactly crystal clear either. It transpires that Gibbs expressed no desire to take over the head coach role at Elland Road but was quite “keen to fulfil his contractual duties”, according to the Guardian piece and he argued that the work then expected of him was not befitting of the status that he had at the club.
In an email sent to Gibbs, the assistant manager was told that he would be excluded from a meaningful role with the first team and that he would be confined to working solely with the Under-18 and Under-21 squads. A day after the email, Gibbs was told by the then head coach of Leeds United that his services were no longer required by the club, a conversation that forced his hand and led to his resignation.
In his judgement, where Gibbs was awarded £331,426 in damages, although this could change due to bonuses he may receive in his current employment as assistant head of player development at Tottenham, Mr Justice Langstaff said: “The loss of status would be plain, not only to the parties, but to others with whom the claimant had to deal. It would not meet the contractual expectations.”
Gibbs himself, after the judgement was delivered, reacted in a press release from his representation Thomas Cooper LLP in which he explained his actions: “My claim against Leeds United Football Club Limited was undertaken as a last resort after having to endure several weeks of increasingly intolerable behaviour from a number of senior figures involved with the club, culminating in theClub attempting to remove me from my role of Assistant Manager of its First team playing squad.”