Royle loses in court and faces £80k bill

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today suffered another heavy loss – this time in the courtroom rather than on the football pitch.The Town boss lost the appeal court case over compensation he claimed from former club Manchester City after he was sacked in May 2001.

IPSWICH Town manager Joe Royle today suffered another heavy loss - this time in the courtroom rather than on the football pitch.

The Town boss lost the appeal court case over compensation he claimed from former club Manchester City after he was sacked in May 2001.

He was also refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords - and was ordered to pay more than £80,000 in costs to his former club.

Last July Mr Royle had been awarded £423,000 in compensation by the High Court in Liverpool - but City appealed and today the Appeal Court in London upheld their case.


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However he immediately said he would be seeking a fresh appeal. Mr Royle was refused leave to appeal to the House of Lords against today's judgment, although he can still petition the law lords.

Manchester City had urged the Court of Appeal to overturn last year's award to reflect the reality of the circumstances at the time of Mr Royle's departure - City's relegation from the Premier League as soon as the team's last match was played.

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Relegation had become a certainty when City were beaten at Portman Road by Ipswich in May 2001.

Mr Royle had argued the club was not actually sent down to the First Division until some time later, when the three relegated clubs handed over their Premiership company shares to the three promoted teams.

Because City were still in the Premier League when his contract was terminated, he was entitled to a full pay-off, his lawyers argued.

But Lady Justice Smith said today that, whether the club was about to be or had just been relegated, it was inevitably going to play in the First Division in the following season and the manager, but for his dismissal, would have been on a lower rate of pay.

Mr Royle, 55, sued City when he received only £150,000 rather than the £750,000 he had sought.

Manchester City, now back in the Premiership, said in a statement today: "We are very pleased with this positive outcome. Mr Royle was properly compensated by the club at the time of his dismissal following our relegation from the Premier League in 2001.

"We wish him well for the future."

The Town boss was not in London for today's hearing at the Appeal Court. He was taking a training session as the club prepares for Saturday's vital home match against Nottingham Forest.

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