Gutierrez tribunal doubts credibility of evidence from ex-Newcastle boss Alan Pardew and MD Lee Charnley
The tribunal which found in favour of Jonas Gutierrez in his discrimination claim against Newcastle United has questioned the credibility of evidence given by club witnesses.
The 32-year-old midfielder claimed he was frozen out after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, and the tribunal today found in his favour.
And in the latest blow to the relegation-threatened club, its report said former manager Alan Pardew and managing director Lee Charnley's evidence lacked credibility.
Gutierrez won two out of four claims for disability discrimination after the Birmingham Industrial Tribunal ruled him a more reliable witness than Pardew and Charnley.
He claimed the club had acted unfairly by restricting the amount of games he played to prevent an automatic contract extension being triggered.
The tribunal upheld that claim of less favourable treatment, and also one of failure of Newcastle to make reasonable adjustments to his treatment in light of his illness.
But it dismissed another claim of unfavourable treatment as a result of his disability and one of harassment.
The Sun reports that in its 64 pages of findings, the tribunal makes it clear it preferred the evidence given by Gutierrez to that of the club witnesses.
It said Mr Charnley’s evidence "at times appeared to be evasive and lacking in credibility", particularly when he was asked to confirm that Gutierrez was an established international player.
“He appeared reluctant to agree that the claimant had played in the World Cup – saying that 'he thought the claimant had played some part' - and when asked how many other international players were in the squad as at September 2011 his response was that “he could not say”.
“Given that Mr Charnley (along with other members of the Board) was responsible for decisions as to the composition of the squad this seemed a rather surprising answer.”
The tribunal said Pardew, who was manager at the time Gutierrez was told he could leave, delivered his evidence in a "confident, convincing and articulate way".
But it said it was "vague and generally unconvincing " in relation to a crucial conversation with the player in November or December 2014, when his future was discussed.
“Ultimately, on the balance of probabilities and taking into account our assessment of the respective credibility of the claimant and Mr Pardew, we preferred the evidence of the claimant," said the report.
Full judgement in the case, in which Gutierrez is seeking a reported Â£2million payout, is reserved until a remedy hearing between all parties, which is yet to be scheduled.