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Kenyon accused in tribunal hearing


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A former senior figure at Chelsea has accused the club of "inertia" and "betrayal" in a bid to claim compensation at an employment tribunal.Paul Smith, ex Group Business Affairs Director of Chelsea, told the hearing Peter Kenyon repeatedly refused to settle the terms of his employment at the club. He said he was initially offered a salary of £350,000 for six months, and the possibility of a 100% bonus and a six figure golden bonus after 10 years were mentioned.

Mr Smith has a 25-year career in the football industry including staging the World Cup and UEFA matches.

He had known Mr Kenyon since 1992 when their paths crossed professionally, and their relationship eventually led to a job at Chelsea in September 2003.

The club had just been bought by Roman Abramovich and Mr Smith was "parachuted in" to cover as chief executive before Mr Kenyon began work.

No written contract was drafted.

Mr Smith said: "I was left to my own devices... Mr Abramovich merely told me not to screw up."

He was working 15-16 hour days, six days a week, and was eventually given an employment contract at the end of October.

This offered a salary of £300,000 and a 50% bonus, so Mr Smith did not sign but awaited negotiations with Mr Kenyon.

Commenting on his work at that stage he said: "Mr Abramovich had sufficient confidence in me that I was entrusted with dealing on his behalf in the area closest to his heart, player transfers."

Negotiations over his salary continued, and at one point he was offered £500,000 and a bonus of £250,000, but this was later withdrawn.

Mr Smith said: "I was faced with an attitude reminiscent to one which confronted the pied piper: duties dispatched but respect and promises quickly forgotten."

He added: "From the beginning there was inertia and betrayal of trust by Mr Kenyon."

The former club executive said Mr Kenyon claimed he had been "neutered" by Roman Abramovich in terms of salary negotiations.

Mr Smith added: "Trying to focus Mr Kenyon on a solution became virtually impossible. It was like trying to nail jelly to a wall."

He is claiming a sum of £366,000 at the tribunal but claimed today that in terms of salary, bonus and unpaid benefits, the club owes him £950,000.

Mr Smith will take action at the High Court to claim the rest of the money.

Throughout his time at Chelsea, Mr Smith negotiated key deals including Samsung sponsorship worth £55million and football camps to be run with Disney.

He said he was told of his dismissal in a "cold and robotic" way by Mr Kenyon, who had disliked his comments appearing in newspapers.

He also accused Mr Kenyon of deliberately refusing to pay him and dismissing him to conceal this.

He said: "By removing me, the facts would never surface to become a blemish on his managerial record.

"If I had remained at CFC, Mr Kenyon would have had the embarrassment of having to explain away the history of the 'failed' contract negotiations and accumulative personal debt. With me gone, he could keep this sorry episode quiet for limited expense."

The hearing continues.

http://www.teamtalk.com/football/story/0,1...3732051,00.html

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So let me get this right? He was offered a contract, which he turned down hoping for more! He never got it and never signed a contract and was then let go by the club!

Surely without a contract he doesn't have a leg to stand on, and he was very stupid not to have one in the first place.

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So let me get this right? He was offered a contract, which he turned down hoping for more! He never got it and never signed a contract and was then let go by the club!

Surely without a contract he doesn't have a leg to stand on, and he was very stupid not to have one in the first place.

thats how i read it aswell.abit like agency workers only needed when theres work on.

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