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Tony Pulis ordered to pay Crystal Palace £3.7 million after High Court judgement

The West Brom manager has lost his appeal.

Former Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis.
Former Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

WEST BROM MANAGER Tony Pulis has lost a £3.7 million (€4.3 million) legal action against former club Crystal Palace, a High Court judgement revealed on Monday.

Earlier this year, Pulis had been ordered to pay Palace £3.7 million by a Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal which found he had “deliberately misled” the south London club and described his conduct as “disgraceful”.

Pulis challenged that decision in the High Court but judge Michael Burton found against him at a hearing in London, with a written ruling published today.

Burton said Pulis had a contract which would see him get a £2 million bonus if he kept Palace in the Premier League in 2013-14 and stayed in the manager’s job until 31 August 2014.

Pulis oversaw the Eagles’ successful bid to avoid relegation but did not stay with Palace until 31 August.

Palace officials said Pulis had deceived them into an early payment of the bonus by saying he was “committed” to the club and “urgently needed the money early” so he could buy a plot of land for his daughter.

Soccer - Crystal Palace Press Conference - Beckenham Training Ground Pulis and Palace chairman Steve Parish in November 2013. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Burton said Palace had agreed to Pulis’s request for early payment and handed over £2 million on 12 August 2014, only to be told a day later by the manager that he wanted to leave. Pulis quit Palace on 14 August.

Pulis, who denied “fraud”, said he only wanted to leave if it was “mutually agreeable for him to leave on the eve of the new season”, and that it had been “mutually agreeable”.

Arbitrators, however, had concluded that Pulis made “false representations”.

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They decided he had not been “committed to the club”, had not intended to stay until 31 August and “there was no such land transaction”.

They also found he had not told the truth and “deliberately misled” Palace chairman Steve Parish “concerning his intentions”.

“Mr Pulis secured early payment of his bonus from the club by deceit in August 2014,” arbitrators said.

“The day after he had secured payment of £2 million … he dropped the bombshell on the club that he intended to leave, leaving it, as must have been his intention, in the lurch on the eve of the new season.”

Arbitrators added: “By any standards his conduct (prior to and during the litigation) has been shown to be disgraceful.”

Burton said he would dismiss Pulis’s challenge and instead enforce the damages awarded by the arbitrators, a panel made up of three senior lawyers.

© AFP 2016

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