Press Release May 16, 2005
WHY US TYCOON CAN’T SACK SIR ALEX
WITH Malcolm Glazer finally taking control of Manchester United, all the talk is to whether the move will spell the end of the road for manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
But if the American tycoon thinks he can simply part company with the club’s long-standing figurehead, he should think again.
That is the advice of his near namesake, Manchester-based employment law specialist Malcolm Glazier.
For while American law would allow the 76-year-old to sack whoever he liked, that is not the case under British employment regulations, explains Mr Glazier, a senior lawyer at Employment Law Advisory Services (ELAS).
“Just because Sir Alex carries the can for what happens on the pitch does not mean Malcolm Glazer can simply sack Ferguson and bring in some fresh blood,” he said.
“Under the transfer of undertakings, when someone takes over a firm, all their employees still have exactly the same rights that they had in the first place.
“If the new owner tries to change that, they would be left facing a very costly tribunal for unfair dismissal.”
In fact, any changes to employees’ terms and conditions within three months of buying a company can be deemed by a court to be a direct result of the takeover.
Only after that time has expired could the new owner choose to make staff redundant - but that would automatically stop them hiring a new manager, not an option open to the owner of a Premiership football team.
“Mr Glazer probably has enough money to buy out the rest of Ferguson’s contract and pay him off,” said Mr Glazier.
“But that is not a realistic opportunity to most takeover companies. In short, they need to be acutely aware of their new responsibilities before they do anything which might prove costly in the long run.”
ELAS is a specialist in employment law and health and safety issues.
Note to Editors
For more information or to interview ELAS employment lawyer Malcolm Glazier call Chris Marritt at Mason Media on 0151 707 4514 or 07908 214950.
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