Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli will go before a Premier League tribunal to fight a fine imposed on him by the club.
City fined Balotelli two weeks worth of wages for missing 11 games last season through suspension. Balotelli has already appealed against the fine which the club have turned down.
The fine is thought to be in the region of around £340,000 which the Italian feels is unjust and it could be an example of a club trying to show one of their more flamboyant and more expensive strikers who is boss.
The problem, as Balotelli, sees it is that the punishment is unjust for the crime or crimes committed and he has forced the issue to go to a tribunal as it could not be settled internally.
PFA chief executive, Gordon Taylor, told the BBC:
“We try to avoid situations like this wherever possible, but the player and club have not been able to resolve this situation.”
Balotelli is well known for being flamboyant and troublesome both on and off the pitch but the club risk alienating not only the Italian but future players who may be punished in similar fashion.
Balotelli is one of the better paid players at City and the club have set a benchmark which they will now have to follow across all teams where players are paid wages. Balotelli could certainly afford the fine but other players may feel harder hit.
It all hints towards the recent talks of top clubs blackmailing certain players or treating them poorly to get them to toe the line of club policy and discipline.
Rumours are widespread that Balotelli could be on his way out of the club as Roberto Mancini continuously shows on field examples of not being able to control Balotelli or taking him off as soon as he makes a mistake.
If the tribunal hearing does not go Balotelli’s way then he will have to pay extra costs, likely to run into the thousands, along with the original fine imposed on him by the club.