The International Dimension in a Coaching Dispute; COVID-19 as a Reason to Delay Salaries

The International Dimension in a Coaching Dispute; COVID-19 as a Reason to Delay Salaries
FIFA PSC, 8 December 2020, no. 20-00939, Petar Houbtchev[1]
FIFA PSC, 8 December 2020, no. 20-00940, Gueorgui Dimitrov Donkov[2]
FIFA PSC, 8 December 2020, no. 20-00941, Levon Apkaryan[3]


In these cases, Bulgarian club PFC Levski Sofia (PFC Levski) decided to get rid of the coaching team for financial reasons soon after the club’s new owner had arrived in the club. However, instead of finding an amicable solution, the club pushed the coaches to go to FIFA for a resolution. PFC Levski hoped that the coaches would be deemed Bulgarian citizens and that FIFA thus will not retain jurisdiction over the dispute. However, FIFA rejected all these arguments and issued decisions in favor of the coaches.

Brief Facts

 

On 14 May 2019, the coaches Petar Houbtchev, Gueorgui Dimitrov Donkov and Levon Apkaryan - all three holding German passports but born in Bulgaria - and Bulgarian club, PFC Levski Sofia, signed individual employment contracts, valid from the date of signature until 15 June 2021. The club hired Mr Houbtchev as head coach and Mr Donkov and Mr Apkaryan as assistant coaches. The contracts explicitly mentioned that the coaches are German citizens and stipulated their German passport numbers.

As per a clause in the contracts, the coaches were entitled to terminate their employment in case of a delay of payment of at...

Why not join us?

Football Legal is an independent media publishing football law contents on a daily basis dedicated to all football law practitioners (lawyers, clubs, federations, intermediaries, football stakeholders, etc.).

Register today and stay tuned to the latest legal news.

Get started