Gregory starts legal action against Derby

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The Independent Football

John Gregory has started legal action against Derby for his "premeditated and dishonourable" dismissal.

The First Division club yesterday confirmed his sacking after an appeal to the club was rejected following his formal dismissal on 9 May because of "serious allegations" against him. But Gregory is in the process of taking his case to the High Court for wrongful dismissal and payment of outstanding wages.

A statement released by his solicitors read: "The decision by Derby County Football Club to dismiss John Gregory for serious misconduct was clearly premeditated and dishonourable.

"Over the course of three days of hearings we submitted evidence, including documentary evidence running to over 400 pages, which proved that John Gregory was innocent of all the allegations against him. As has been widely reported in the press, John Gregory has a clause in his contract which entitles him to substantial compensation from Derby County if his contract were terminated.

"The justification for his dismissal was always a device by Derby to try to avoid honouring their contract with him by paying the compensation.

"Today we are beginning the process of High Court proceedings for payment of John Gregory's contract in full and damages for his wrongful dismissal."

Gregory, appointed manager at Pride Park in January 2002 with a brief to keep the club in the Premiership, was formally dismissed this month having been suspended in March, but lodged an immediate appeal, which was rejected yesterday.