Friday 21 October 2016

Ex-Chelsea doctor snubbed £1.2m payoff

Dr Eva Carneiro chose to pursue claim against club and Mourinho

Ben Rumsby

Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30

Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro is pursuing a claim at an employment tribunal against former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and the football club. Photo: Reuters
Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro is pursuing a claim at an employment tribunal against former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and the football club. Photo: Reuters

Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro snubbed a pay-off of £1.2m (€1.5m) from the club after demanding a 40pc increase in salary to £400,000 to remain the club's first-team doctor.

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The claim was made in explosive documents submitted at the opening of her employment tribunal.

In what were skeleton arguments made public on day one of her constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claim at London South Employment Tribunal, Carneiro was painted by her former employers as publicity-hungry, money-grabbing and lacking commitment to self-development, while she alleged Jose Mourinho was a "bad employee" who had not only called her a "daughter of a whore" but had also suggested she work with Chelsea's ladies' team prior to her acrimonious departure last year.

The two sides of the story were laid out in merciless detail at a Croydon court, with that of Chelsea and new Manchester United manager Mourinho - who is scheduled to appear in person as a witness next week - revealed for the first time.

Denying any wrongdoing, they said Carneiro claimed she was called a "filha da puta" by Mourinho to avoid her compensation claim being capped at the statutory £78,355 for constructive dismissal cases and accused her of making "wholly unrealistic and extravagant financial (and other) demands".

They insisted she had been "offered her job back on more than one occasion" and had rejected "an open offer of £1.2m to settle out of court, far more than the respondents believe she could realistically recover even if she succeeded on all her claims".

Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA
Jose Mourinho. Photo: PA

They alleged she had agreed to return to work only if her salary was increased from £285,000 to £400,000 - plus bonuses as a reward for her contribution to the club's success - and "an immediate return to her position on the bench", from which she had been banished by Mourinho.

They also claimed the 42-year-old had appeared to be "increasingly preoccupied with developing her profile and associating herself with the first team, in a way that Chelsea discouraged backroom employees from doing".

To support this, they accused her of signing autographs and posing for photographs, nominating a high-profile first-team player via YouTube to take part in the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', seeking to position herself behind Mourinho during televised matches and of entering into talks over presenting a television programme.

"Most seriously of all, she secretly briefed against Chelsea to the media, in flagrant breach of the club's communication policy and disciplinary procedure," they added, without going into further detail.

Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. Photo: Getty
Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich. Photo: Getty

They said they had also been concerned about Carneiro's "commitment to developing the skills required to progress to the role of medical director" and revealed she had been close to losing her job several years earlier.

They claimed she had been spared following the intervention of Roman Abramovich's right-hand woman, Marina Granovskaia, who also spearheaded negotiations aimed at avoiding the matter going to court.

Carneiro's submission, meanwhile, began: "This is a tale of two employees: one good and one bad."

It went on to accuse Chelsea of a lack of action following "sexually explicit chanting" about her at away matches - in particular at United and West Ham United.

It included complaints about a lack of female changing facilities for her, the club's failure to provide her with an official suit, and "regular sexually explicit comments from colleagues".

It also alleged Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December, stated in respect of her being banished from the bench: "She works in academy team or ladys [sic] team not with me."

Messages exchanged between Carneiro and director Granovskaia were outlined in the submission, including one in which the latter was said to have accused Mourinho of "ranting" and adding: "You did nothing wrong."

The document focused heavily on the widespread backing Carneiro had received over her decision to treat Chelsea star Eden Hazard against Swansea City on the opening day of the Premier League season, which led to her being castigated by Mourinho and banished from the bench.

Earlier in court, the two sides argued over the matter on which the entire case could hinge, whether Mourinho called Carneiro a "filha da puta" (daughter of a whore) or merely exclaimed "filho da puta" (son of a b****) as she ran on to the pitch that day.

Mourinho was cleared by the Football Association in December of verbally abusing the doctor and some of his witness statement was read out by his and Chelsea's barrister, Daniel Stilitz QC.

"It's like saying f*** off in English," Mourinho argued, denying any sexist connotations.


Carneiro did not give evidence to the FA hearing and her own barrister, Mary O'Rourke QC, revealed the 42-year-old would testify that she actually had heard Mourinho call her a "filha da puta", and that this would be supported by audiovisual evidence of the incident.

Both sides confirmed that they would call upon Portuguese language experts to support their respective arguments, as happened in the FA case.

It also emerged during the hearing that Mourinho, Granovskaia and Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck were scheduled to testify in the case next week but none of the club's players are scheduled to appear.

And Carneiro, who had arrived at court wearing a beige sleeveless dress and powder-blue coat alongside polar-explorer husband Jason De Carteret, revealed she was no longer seeking her old job back in a handwritten note to her barrister.

Carneiro will be cross-examined by Stilitz for what could be more than two days when the hearing resumes at 2pm today.

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