Chelsea’s former club doctor, Eva Carneiro, has made clear that any settlement she receives in her employment case against the club should include an apology from the club’s former manger Jose Mourinho.
The Gibraltar born medical professional is suing her former club for constructive dismissal, whilst also launching a separate legal action against Mourinho regarding the same incident that resulted in her departure from the London club. Her suit against the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’, who was sacked by Chelsea in December after a series of poor results, is for victimisation and discrimination.
Mary O’Rourke QC, Carneiro’s barrister, refused to say much after she left the London South Employment Tribunal on Monday afternoon, stating that proceedings were ‘confidential’. She did, however, make clear that a resolution was unlikely. She said, “The two sides are so far apart financially. And we want Mr Mourinho to make a public apology”.
The fact that the two sides are so far apart on any possible agreement means that the case is likely to go to a full employment tribunal, with a date of June 6th currently pencilled in to hear the case. Bruce Buck, Chelsea’s chairman, and board member Marina Granovskaia were both in attendance at the private mediation hearing but neither were able to help the case come to a mutually acceptable conclusion.
The incident stems from how Carneiro felt she was treated by Mourinho during the club’s match against Swansea on the opening day of the season. Chelsea were already down to ten men after Thibaut Courtois was sent off for a late tackle on Swans striker Bafetimbi Gomis. Towards the end of the game Eden Hazard, the Blues’ winger, went down with an injury and the medical team were called onto the pitch several times by the referee.
Carneiro and Jon Fearn, the club’s physio, ran on to the pitch to give Hazard treatment, meaning that he had to go off and leave the team with just nine players for a period of the game. After the match the Portuguese manager called his medical team ‘impulsive and naive’ for going on to the pitch at such a late stage in the game. He later decided to demote Carneiro from first-team duties.
Those in positions of power at the defending Premier League champions have consistently refused to comment on the ongoing trial, stating that they won’t comment on an internal staffing matter. If the case goes to a full tribunal, however, then the whole thing will be played out in public. Statements, emails, text messages and documents could all be made available for the trial and the match referee as well as members of Chelsea’s staff will be called as witnesses.
Mourinho wasn’t represented at yesterday’s hearing, with the club continuing to defend him despite having ended his association with the West Londoners at the end of last year. The Portuguese manager has been consistently linked with a move to Manchester United, should the Red Devils choose to part company with Louis Van Gaal this summer. He was cleared of using discriminatory language by the Football Association after the investigated footage appearing to show him aim the Portuguese words for ‘son of a bitch’ at Carneiro during the game last August.