Former Leeds assistant wins damages claim

Date published: Thursday 28th April 2016 2:02

Nigel Gibbs: Won his case against Leeds

Nigel Gibbs: Won his case against Leeds

The former assistant manager of Leeds, Nigel Gibbs, has won £331,426 damages over his dismissal by the club.

Mr Justice Langstaff assessed the award due to Gibbs, who resigned from his post in July 2014, after a hearing at the High Court.

The judge said the sum should be held by Mr Gibbs’ solicitors until agreement was reached on the amount to be withheld because of bonuses he is to receive in his new job as assistant head of player development at Tottenham.

The issue in the case was whether Mr Gibbs was constructively dismissed, because of a repudiatory breach of contract by Leeds, who he joined in April 2013, or whether he simply chose to go.

The former Watford defender was on a fixed-term contract with Leeds which was due to end in June 2016 and included an annual salary rising to £220,000 plus benefits.

In London on Thursday, the judge said that after Mr Gibbs indicated he was not interested in taking over as head coach/manager following the departure of Brian McDermott, he was not assigned work befitting his status and felt he was standing around “doing nothing”.

He was excluded from taking any meaningful part in the training of the first team and was told by email that his role was to be confined to working with the under-18 and under-21 players.

The day after, Mr Gibbs – who was keen to fulfil his contractual duties – was told by the then head coach/manager that he was not wanted at the club and he resigned.

The judge said that the evidence was all one way that an assistant manager was to be involved in the selection, tactics and training of the first team, and a requirement to work only with the under-18s and under-21s was not reasonable.

“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.”

The email prompted the resignation and was what one would expect a self-respecting person, such as Mr Gibbs, to do, he added.

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