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Charlie Adam Takes On Blackpool

Charlie Adam Blackpool 2010/11 Andrey Arshavin Arsenal Arsenal V Blackpool (6-0) 21/08/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
In a worrying development for Ian Holloway and Blackpool, club captain Charlie Adam will take his club to a Premier League arbitration court next week over unpaid bonuses. Adam is set to take the club to court over unpaid payments after the Seasiders avoided relegation from the Championship. While Adam of course is right to ask for the money he is owed, you have to doubt his timing.

Blackpool have had an excellent start to the season, and in many ways it has been completely unexpected, but their success has been built on the momentum and togetherness that has been created under the charismatic Ian Holloway.

Looking at Blackpool from an outsiders perspective the one thing that is noticeable is how all the players seem to singing from the same hymn sheet.  You have to feel that Adam’s lack of patience could really damage their bid for survival.

Why didn’t he wait for till the end of the season to make his demands? There wouldn’t have been a fall in the legitimacy of his claim and while there still might have been unrest in the camp, it wouldn’t have been made public.

But Seasiders boss Ian Holloway is adamant that the situation won’t damage his sides chances of survival, and has been quick to distance himself from the whole situation. He said: “If there’s a problem then that’s none of my business.

“That’s between the club and one of the players and it’ll be sorted out by arbitration by the sounds of it. If Charlie feels that way and the chairman feels that way and there’s a dispute, then someone else has to sort it out and I’m just glad it’s not me.”

But Holloway will be concerned by the fact that should Adam win his case, he could look to have his deal cancelled for breach of contract. That would be a massive blow for the club, not only because they would be losing arguably their best player, but they would be losing him for nothing, a big financial blow considering he has 22-months left on his current deal.

While the whole situation demonstrates that player-power is becoming a real problem in Premier League football, I would urge the Blackpool hierarchy to sort it out before the court date, because it has the potential to be very damaging for the club both on and off the field.

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  1. jmansor

    October 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    If the club owes the money, I don’t disagree at all. Why have contracts if clubs don’t honor them. Also,knowing the way clubs are being run with too much debt you better not wait or the club will be in administration paying back pennies on the dollar.

  2. Football Souvenirs

    October 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    You definately have to question his timing as it undermines Blackpool’s great start to the season. I wonder whether Adam realises that he is one of Blackpool players likely to attract interest from other clubs should Blackpool get relegated

  3. Nick

    October 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Are you sure that Adam could have waited til the end of this season to file for arbitration? I have no idea how arbitration works in the UK, nor do I know what Adams’ contract or the FA players union collective bargaining agreement (assuming there is one) says about arbitration of disputes, but I did work for unions in the US for over 7 years, helped negotiate contracts, filed scores of grievances, and took some of those grievances to arbitration. All labor contracts in the US have very strict timelines — if you fail to file a grievance in time, or fail to file for arbitration in time, you lose, period. End of story.

    I can’t think of a reason why it would be different in this case. How could you agree to a contract that allowed for arbitration without timelines? Could some player file an arbitration tomorrow over a dispute that took place in 1993? That seems nuts. It’s seems likely to me that Adam’s two options were a) do what he’s done, or b) drop the whole thing. It’s also possible that they discussed putting it all off until after the season, of course, but that would naturally involve both parties’ consent. And it might seem a bit like cutting the boss a break for no reason.

    Last point: maybe all of Adam’s teammates are behind him on this, thinking, “Yeah, Charlie got screwed and we hope he wins this one, for his sake and mine — I want to get the bonuses I’ve negotiated and earned, as well!” Fighting against the boss can lead to more solidarity among the workers, even if they’re football players.

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