It’s sometimes not results that brings a manager down. From time to time it’s not the lack of goals or a leaky defence that heralds his fall from grace. It can be the unforeseen.
I expect Chelsea Football Club will eventually settle the dispute with the departing Dr. Eva Carneiro out of court. They would be well advised to do so.
True, the best lawyers usually win court cases. But when it comes to unfair dismissal claims these days, the law often finds in favour of the claimant. Especially if that claimant can allege her being a female played a part in the breakdown of her relations with the manager. My understanding is that will form one part of the claim should her lawyers proceed with legal action against Chelsea. The case they bring would not, in the public eye at least, reflect well on Jose Mourinho. He might want his day in court. He’d love that.
But even if they triumphed in court, the bigger picture says this is one match Chelsea can’t win.
Lawyers who have so far offered an opinion on the story agree that, based on video evidence and the rules of the game, the Gibraltar born Carneiro was merely doing her job and has a good case for constructive dismissal. Her lawyers will claim she was “publicly humiliated” when Mourinho, they allege, called her (in Portuguese) “the daughter of a whore.” That’s the translation of what he can be seen yelling as she runs past him with her medical kit, having been waved on the field of play by the match referee. Carneiro speaks Portuguese.
She ran on the pitch to attend to the seemingly stricken Eden Hazard, who had his hand up asking for medical assistance. It was not Eva’s fault if he was faking it. How would you know these days, when so many footballers feign injury?
Mourinho was uncharacteristically caught on camera. He screamed at his medics not to go on to the pitch. He believed his player was simply wasting time. To not follow what she had spent years learning would have gone against all Eva’s training.
Jose may have shouted and sworn in Portuguese, but that has not offered him protection. His words have been translated and Carneiro’s lawyers are certain to use those words against Mourinho and his employers.
The chain of events on the day, and in the weeks since, do not reflect well on the club or the manager. If both are not to suffer further bad press over this issue, they now need to settle the matter and fast. Lawyers will, of course, want to keep this going as long as possible.
Has more fuss been made about this story because the doctor is a woman? Certainly. Has it received more coverage because she was the most attractive employee to wear a Chelsea shirt? For sure. But none of that matters.
Chelsea, a club with a chequered record when it comes to dealing with Public Relations, mishandled the falling out between two employees. No suprise they backed the manager. But they should have not allowed the matter to fester.
They should not have allowed a situation to develop whereby a qualified employee was humiliated and ‘sent to Coventry.’
As with most other unfair dismissal claims, both parties will have to reach a financial settlement. The sooner the better. This story will not simply go away. The world we live in today will not allow it to. It has many of the ingredients the late author Jackie Collins would have relished.
You have a pretty girl, a doctor, cast aside by a charismatic, outspoken football manager. A football club owned by a Russian with a dubious past and you have the Premier League, the ‘Hollywood’ of world football. This has the makings not only of a book, but of a movie.
I suggest that, having so far dragged their feet on the sad chain of events, Chelsea FC now nips a likely legal process in the bud. That would probably be accompanied by a gagging order preventing Eva Carneiro from speaking publicly, let alone selling her story of life at Stamford Bridge (working title: Bridge of Sighs).
A pity. That would make for good reading the next time I find myself sitting in the waiting room of my doctors surgery. Would make a pleasant change from six month old copies of ‘Hola.’