Royle facing court appeal

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle was today facing another court case after his former club appealed against a decision to award him more than £400,000 damages.

IPSWICH Town boss Joe Royle was today facing another court case after his former club appealed against a decision to award him more than £400,000 damages.

Mr Royle, 55, was sacked by Manchester City in May 2001 at the end of a season which saw the club relegated from the Premiership.

The current Town boss sued City when he received only a fraction of the pay-off he was due.

The hearing at the High Court in Liverpool was told Mr Royle was sacked by the club days after losing the final league match against Chelsea.

City had lost to Ipswich on May 7 making it mathematically impossible to stay in the Premier league. They lost 2-1 to Chelsea on May 19 and finished third from bottom.

A part of Mr Royle's contract stated he would receive, in addition to his £300,000 annual salary, an extra £400,000 bonus if City were in the Premiership when he left.

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Because the club had played all their matches, City bosses refused to pay him the cash, believing the season to have ended.

The judgment, given in Manchester on July 6 last year, found that although the club's relegation was inevitable, the season was not deemed to have ended because play-off matches had still to take place.

Judge Michael Kershaw QC ruled in favour of Mr Royle and ordered he be paid £422,899.08 damages, plus costs.

Today the case is due to be reopened at the court of appeal in London. It will be heard by Lord Justice Stephen Sedley, Lady Justice Janet Smith and Lord Justice William Gage.

Today Mr Royle was expected to be at the Appeal Court in London, but he did not wish to say anything about it before the hearing began.

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