Troubled Fiorentina striker Adrian Mutu has received yet another kick in the nads, with the news that he will be forced to pay Chelsea the princely sum of €17,173,990 (astonishingly precise figure courtesy of the Associated Press) in compensation – after a five-year legal wrangle following his sacking by the club in 2004.
Chelsea terminated Mutu’s contract after he tested positive for cocaine, even though the Romanian forward had four years left to run on his deal.
The London club then claimed (quite rightly) that Mutu had breached his terms of employment ‘without just cause’ and FIFA duly awarded them damages on the striker’s behalf.
A quick breakdown shows the various factors on which Chelsea’s compensation claim was made:
- The wasted costs of acquiring the player (approx. £22 million)
- The un-earned portion of Mutu’s signing-on bonus (£44,000)
- ‘Other benefits’ received by the player (approx. £3 million)
- Substantial legal costs incurred (approx. £390,000)
- “The unquantifiable but undeniable cost in playing terms and in terms of the Club’s commercial brand values, at least equivalent to the replacement cost of £ 22 million”
Mutu disputed this total and, after a protracted re-defining of the terms, FIFA’s own calculations produced a figure considerably smaller.
The €17.2 million (approx. €16.5 million in ‘player costs’, approx. €300,000 in signing-on fee compensation and approx. €365,000 in legal fees) fine was settled upon, then later upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Last Friday, CAS confirmed that Mutu planned to appeal their decision…
“Mutu requests the CAS to annul the FIFA decision and to establish that no compensation is in fact due.”
…and the disgraced striker duly appealed to the Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne today for the CAS’s decision to be overturned.
However, the Swiss court threw Mutu’s appeal out almost instantly (bearing in mind it usually takes an average of four months to reach a verdict on such matters), issuing the following statement earlier today;
“We reached the conclusion that this was not the case [the fine being unjust] and the Romanian footballer’s appeal was unfounded.”
As a result, Mutu will be forced to repay Chelsea the entire €17.2 million he owes them (plus an added annual interest of five percent applied from 2008) coupled with €104,000’s worth of legal fees.
The problems are now stacking up for Mutu, who is currently serving a nine-month suspension after – of all things – failing a double-doping test in January, with Fiorentina since confirming that he is now up for sale.
Like my dear sweet old mother used to tell me when I was but a wee bairn, “it ain’t no joke, when you mess with coke” – and she was right.