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O'Neill & Villa settle dispute

Wed 25th May 2011 | Legal

The dispute between Martin O'Neill and the issues surrounding his departure from Aston Villa in August 2010 have been resolved in an FA Premier League Managers' Arbitration Tribunal.

Commenting after the hearing, Martin O’Neill said: "It has taken a long time to deal with this matter but I am pleased that all issues have now been amicably finalised.

“I am very proud to have managed Aston Villa and I wish the club all the best for the future,” he added.

“I would also like to thank the LMA and my outstanding legal team, led by Paul Gilroy QC, and Geldards, solicitors, for their support and hard work in bringing my case to this very satisfactory conclusion.

“I am now looking forward to the future and getting back into football management.”

However, the LMA did not provide any details of the settlement. O'Neill took his case to the FA Premier League Managers' Arbitration Tribunal to consider the circumstances that led to his abrupt departure, following the failure of a mediation process to resolve his dispute with the club late last year.

This tribunal, which began sitting on 19 May, is only the third in recent years; the other two concerned Alan Curbishley and West Ham in 2010, and Kevin Keegan and Newcastle in 2009.

All Premier League managers' contracts include a clause ensuring the manager and the club attempt mediation, so this tribunal is a court of last resort, when other attempts at mediation have failed.

This model of arbitration, chaired by a QC, is designed to avoid the expense and time of going to the High Court.

In the Keegan case, Newcastle had to pay £2m in damages plus interest, as they were ruled to be in breach of a term in his contract.

Curbishley also won his case for constructive dismissal, with West Ham paying an undisclosed compensation fee.

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