Martin Budworth, represented footballer Jonas Gutierrez in his successful disability discrimination claim against Newcastle United. The case and Martin Budworth’s commentary was reported widely across the BBC and national newspaper titles.
Martin Budworth, said:
“It is very gratifying to have been able to help Mr Gutierrez in fighting for these findings especially when the club said his claims were ludicrous.”
“The tribunal has made it clear that a Premier League football club owes the same duties to a disabled person as any other employer.”
Carol Couse, sports law expert from leading UK law firm Mills & Reeve, who was the instructing solicitor in the case and attended every day of the tribunal alongside Jonas Gutierrez, said:
“Having battled cancer on two occasions and subsequently suffered unfair treatment by the club as a result of this, Jonas is pleased that the Employment Tribunal has today found in his favour and held that he was indeed discriminated against by Newcastle United due to his cancer diagnosis and treatment. “
“As he alleged, it has been determined by the tribunal that the Newcastle United Board influenced team selection to prevent Jonas reaching the contractual trigger point to secure an extension to his contract and the evidence of Newcastle officials and ex officials has been discredited. He wishes to place on record his thanks to all the Newcastle fans who have supported him throughout his case.”
“This case demonstrates that football is not above the reach of employment law and clubs should be mindful of their duties to treat their playing staff in the same way as they would treat any other employee. Jonas had the strength of character to bring this claim under intense press scrutiny and derision from the club to highlight his unfair treatment.”