Football

Barcelona to appeal ruling over player sacking

Barcelona to appeal ruling over player sacking
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Barcelona will appeal a court ruling that ordered them to pay Brazilian midfielder Matheus Fernandes €7.7 million for unfair dismissal, a club source has told ESPN.

Fernandes, who played just 17 minutes for Barca’s first team, sued the club after they terminated his contract in 2021 for poor performances.

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His legal team was demanding €14.8m but a Spanish court this week ruled Barca must pay him just over half that amount in compensation.

The judge rejected Barca’s argument, which also included a report from a physio, saying they had not provided « evidence of the inadequate performance of the player in training. »

The magistrate added: « Neither is there any record [of Barca telling Fernandes] to improve his performance before canceling his contract.

« The real reason for the termination was the unilateral business decision to dispense with and not keep on the payroll a player signed by the previous board. »

Fernandes, 24, joined Barca on a five-year deal from Palmeiras in January 2020 for an initial fee of €7m under previous president Josep Maria Bartomeu. He immediately went on loan to Real Valladolid.

The midfielder returned to Camp Nou for the 2020-21 campaign, but made just one appearance for the first team, playing 17 minutes of the bench in a 4-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kyiv.

In the summer of 2021, three months after Joan Laporta had replaced Bartomeu as president, Barca announced that they had terminated Fernandes’ contract four years early.

« We have informed Fernandes that the club no longer requires his services and are terminating the contract he had until June 2025, » a short statement read at the time.

Fernandes returned to Palmeiras in his homeland but has spent the last two years out on loan, first with Athletico Paranaense and now at Red Bull Bragantino.

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