Wednesday, July 6, 2022
1Former Hearts boss launching legal battle against club

Former Hearts boss launching legal battle against club

By Cara Sulieman

FORMER Hearts boss Csaba Laszlo will launch a legal bid against his old club next week when he takes them to an employment tribunal over the sudden end to his reign there earlier this year.

The Hungarian is suing Heart of Midlothian FC for unfair dismissal and breach of contract after his dismissal in January.

The tribunal has been set down to last four days, scheduled to start on Tuesday, with Mr Laszlo is expected to give evidence in person about the controversial end of his time with the Edinburgh side.

He initially had a flying start at Tynecastle, leading the team to third place in the SPL and qualifying for the Europa League.

As a result of his efforts, Laszlo was named Manager of the Year for 2008-09 by both the SPL and the Scottish Football Writers’ Association.

He had previously been named Manager of the Year in Hungary in season 2003-04.

However widespread speculation about disagreements over signing priorities, tactics and his own managerial ambitions saw the 46-year-old axed in January.

He was replaced by former Hearts stalwart Jim Jefferies, who remains in post.

With 18 months left on his contract at the time, Laszlo is suing the club for what he alleges was unfair dismissal.

Just a month after the controversial sacking, the manager broke his silence and talked about taking legal action against the club.

He told reporters:  “When I spoke to Romanov, he briefly told me he was terminating my contract.

“He didn’t even give a reason. No justification, he said he didn’t have to.

“My contract was completely clear.

“I have instructed my lawyer to look at it and it’s clear my contract has been broken.

“It is specified on it that if they break the deal, they will have financial obligations imposed.

“I wanted to keep my private contract details to myself.

“I refused to speak to journalists because I expected the club to honour their commitments.

“But that did not happen and, in the last few days, I have had to take the matter further.”

His latest action comes just months after he gave evidence at a tribunal when Louise Mackenzie sued the club for sex discrimination.

The football secretary claimed that she had a right to work match days and relied on the extra money they brought in.

She also said that another secretary brought in to cover her days off once Ms Mackenzie went part time was given special treatment when it came to the weekend shifts.

Laszlo gave evidence to say that he had demanded seven day cover by a secretary once he started, leading to the club taking on the second employee.

At the time he described himself as “unemployed” and had to leave the tribunal early to pick up his kids from their Edinburgh school.

However she lost her claim after the tribunal ruled in favour of the club.

Laszlo, a central midfielder in his playing days until a knee injury forced him to retire aged just 27, has since been reported as saying he wants to find another managerial position in Scotland as his family is now settled here.

Prior to joining Hearts in July 2008 he was national boss of Uganda where local media dubbed him the ‘Miracle Man’ after he led the side from 167th in the Fife rankings to 91.

Uganda protested at the appointment, claiming he had not been given permission to speak with Hearts and had broken his contract with them.

He was sacked by Hearts on January 29 this year after 18 months, making him the longest serving coach under current club owner Vladimir Romanov.

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