Jean Tigana is claiming £2.5m from Fulham in unpaid wages and bonuses after his sacking as manager last April.
The Frenchman is seeking £455,000 at an employment tribunal which began yesterday and £2.1m in a separate action, which has yet to get under way but could end up in the high court.
Tigana’s dismissal by Fulham followed a run of poor results and the breakdown of his relationship with the chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, not least over the £11.5m pur chase of Steve Marlet. Tigana has never been found guilty of misconduct at Fulham but suspicions held by Fayed about the former Monaco coach’s dealings in the transfer market are likely to figure prominently in the club’s defence when they explain why they have not paid Tigana the bonuses.
Tigana has said his contract entitled him to three “share options worth £2.1m” but Fulham are expected to argue that some aspects of the manager’s conduct were in breach of contract. That would rule out payment of the bonus, which he would have expected at the end of his three-year contract.
The £455,000 which Tigana is claiming at the tribunal includes £125,000 in wages for May and June after his dismissal and a further £2,500 rent allowance. Fulham believe Tigana was not offering value for money and so they are not obliged to pay him for the time remaining on his contract.
Tigana is also claiming that Fulham reneged on a £200,000 bonus payment for taking the club into the Uefa Cup for the first time in their history, though Fulham are likely to argue that they are not obliged to pay that money because qualification was reached only via the Intertoto Cup and not a high Premiership finish.
Tigana, who has flown into England to attend the tribunal, said in a statement to the tribunal: “The only explanation I was offered was in a lawyer’s letter. It appeared to suggest that I had already been remunerated very well for my services and they could not afford to do so. In the last few months I felt I was fighting against people who wanted to drive me out of Fulham.”