Manchester United could have the grounds to terminate Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
Clips of Ronaldo’s sit-down conversation with Piers Morgan were aired on Sunday evening. The 37-year-old was heard accusing Ten Hag and the United executives of trying to force him out of the club and saying they had “betrayed him”.
Litigation and Sports Lawyer David Seligman took to Twitter to say that United could have the right to terminate Ronaldo’s contract due to a ‘material breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence’.
Simply put, the 37-year-old could be dismissed as United (the employer) have lost confidence in Ronaldo (the employee) to such an extent that is not feasible for him to return to work.
His now-deleted Tweet read, “After that interview, Man United would likely have grounds to terminate Ronaldo’s contract – material breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence as well as express terms regarding bringing club into disrepute.”
Therefore, Seligman – who is a Senior Associate who advises and represents various football clubs, players and agents on a wide range of legal issues – has implied United could have “just cause” to terminate Ronaldo’s contract.
Just cause refers to the employer’s right to discipline or terminate employees for misconduct or negligence and it is believed Ronaldo’s actions could come under misconduct.
While, Fifa’s official rules state that, “A contract may be terminated by either party without consequences of any kind (either payment of compensation or imposition of sporting sanctions) where there is just cause.”
Seligman, who has advised on international transfers worth in excess of £100 million, also spoke about how United could withhold payments from Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes. The majority of Premier League transfers will see the club responsible for buying the player pay the agent fees. The club can pay the agent as part of the transfer arrangement or for acting on their behalf.
Premier League clubs paid out more than £272.6 million to football agents during the 2021-2022 campaign. While Manchester United individually paid £29.1 million, according to the BBC.
Additionally, agents are paid for “further services” to maintain a stable relationship between club and player. Therefore, Mendes could miss out on a potential pay-check following Ronaldo’s interview.
It’s clear to see the relationship between United and Ronaldo is severed and Seligman said this could impact the financial agreement between Mendes and the Red Devils. Seligman Tweeted, “United could probably withhold agents payments too. Agents paid for ‘further services’ to maintain a stable relationship between club and player…i.e, the opposite of what this interview appears to be!”
Seligman went on to speak about Ronaldo’s registration to Manchester United Football Club. He admitted the Fifa’s rules and jurisprudence on player registration were complicated.
He wrote, “#Fifa rules/jurisprudence on player registrations are not all that simple. #MUFC could terminate contact but retain registration for purposes of compensation, if termination caused by #Ronaldo conduct. #CR7 legal position very interesting now.”
Meanwhile, Fifa’s rules state, “Professionals who end their careers upon expiry of their contracts and amateurs who terminate their activity shall remain registered at the association of their last club for a period of 30 months. This period begins on the day the player made his last appearance for the club in an official match.”
Ronaldo’s contract at the club was called into question after his bombshell interview with Morgan- which was aired on Sunday evening. During their chat, the 37-year-old accused Erik ten Hag and the Manchester United executives of trying to force him out.
Ronaldo admitted to having no respect for the Dutch manager and said he felt “betrayed” by the club. Ronaldo went on to hit back at Wayne Rooney after his former team-mate criticised his behaviour at Man United this season. He accused Rooney of being jealous of his success as a footballer.
Ronaldo also accused United of a lack of “empathy” after club officials doubted him when he returned late for pre-season due to his daughter’s illness.
- The Daily Mail report