You remember Henning Berg’s stint as Blackburn manager, don’t you? The former Rovers player spent a tumultuous 57 days in charge at Blackburn as the man who replaced the Steve Kean (KEAN OUT!). Towards the end, things were so bad Berg stormed out of the club’s Christmas party after being cajoled into doing a Michael Jackson routine on stage. After his firing, Berg sued Blackburn over wages, a suit that is still ongoing. Now, in court to dispute the claim, Blackburn have openly admitted that the club is “out of control and incompetent.” Fun times.
Berg is seeking £2.25 million in wages he says was guaranteed as part of his contract. In a bid to avoid paying, Blackburn owners Venky’s are claiming the club is still in the control of a renegade managing direction they say they have no ability to suspend or remove.
Details via The Independent:
The club’s lawyers conceded that the latest chapter in their efforts to avoid paying their sacked manager Henning Berg £2.25m in wages was a “shambles,” but pleaded that their Indian owners were struggling to wrest control from India and at the mercy of MD Derek Shaw who is “in de facto control of the club and continuing to act without authority and his self-interest.” But the Championship club, who are trying to prove that Shaw was acting without authority by agreeing a contract which entitles Berg to payment of his three-year contract in full, and not just 12 months, were pilloried in another day of deeply damaging High Court evidence.
Blackburn are trying to convince the court that Berg should have investigated Shaw’s authority to enter into the agreement, and that Shaw acted against the Indian management’s direction that a 12-month severance clause be included in the contract. Berg’s lawyer, Paul Gilroy, was having none of it.
The case was “nothing short of a fiasco,” Mr Gilroy told the judge. “You are being asked to accept that a professional football manager, when he enters negotiations to take the helm of a professional football club, sits across the desk from the managing director and then has to conduct an investigation into the authority of that person.” Rovers sent Berg off to “don a track suit” and begin work two weeks before the contract was agreed, the court heard, which did not leave him in a position to interrogate its legality. Though the club claimed in court that Mr Shaw is being disciplined for overriding Mrs Desai’s request for a 12-month severance pay clause, a Shaw statement on the Rovers website contradicting that fact was only removed from the site at 4pm yesterday/on Thursday.
Wow, Blackburn. Just wow. Less making chicken ads with the players, more getting your shit in order.
Remember when Blackburn fired their deputy director with a one-sentence press release after a letter he wrote leaked to the press? And when a fan released a chicken wearing a Blackburn flag on the pitch at Ewood Park? Blackburn, you are amazing (for all the wrong reasons but don’t stop because this blog loves you.)