Liverpool FC chaffeur Dave Sloan 'forced out' over blowing whistle on 'tout' executive, tribunal told

Former police officer occupied a position of 'great trust' at the Premier League side but alleges he was sidelined

A chauffeur at Liverpool football club, who was responsible for driving players, managers, its owners and their families was constructively dismissed after blowing the whistle over allegations of ticket-touting by a club official, an employment tribunal heard.

Former police officer Dave Sloan occupied a position of “great trust” at the Premiership side but alleges he was side-lined and eventually forced out after raising concerns over illicit ticket sales, the hearing in Liverpool was told.

The lifelong fan, who was present at the Hillsborough disaster, said he grew suspicious after noticing the executive’s bank balance had increased by £40,000.

Mr Sloan, 50, worked for Liverpool for four years having been hired as the former managing director Christian Purslow’s personal driver. He said he would routinely chauffeur players including Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, as well as manager Brendan Rodgers, his wife and Liverpool owner John W Henry and family in the company’s luxury Audi A8.

The tribunal was told that Mr Sloan was part of a special team at the side’s executive HQ responsible for attending to the personal needs of players. Among his tasks were cleaning and filling up young footballers’ cars with fuel whilst others would help finding accommodation for new signings, arranging schools for their children and opening bank accounts.

Bur Mr Sloan alleges that his role was reduced after a change in the management structure and following his decision to blow the whistle on alleged ticket-touting he would often be left “twiddling his thumbs” at the Melwood training ground whilst private contractors ferried the club’s millionaire stars.

He was eventually told to stay at home and brought in only to carry out “menial tasks” such as hoovering and fixing a wall clock for one of the club’s refurbished training ground restaurant, he told the tribunal.

Under cross examination by Lydia Edgar, representing Liverpool FC, Mr Sloan said he had had a good relationship with the executive team. “Sometimes I would take them on social occasions when they had one too many and I would look after them,” he said.

But relations soured following an incident in which he was sent to travel to Ibiza to take a visa to £35m striker Andy Carroll to allow him to join the club’s US pre-season tour.

During the trip it was alleged he had become agitated and sworn three times in front of Carroll, upsetting him. During a disciplinary meeting with bosses in August 2012 he was told that when dealing with players he should “have the patience of a saint”, the tribunal was told.

He was also warned about smoking in front of the team bus. In addition Mr Sloan said he was accused by his line manager of being “overhelpful”.  He said: “I was told I was being disruptive by going in and having conversations with people and being generally friendly and saying hello … it was distracting people,” he said.

Mr Sloan said he had been told not to talk to Carroll. “I did approach him and asked him and he knew nothing about the incident … he actually laughed about it,” he said.

In his witness statement Mr Sloan claimed to have been he told by a security contractor at Anfield that one of bosses, player liaison manager Ray Haughan had been involved in alleged ticket-touting – allegations he denies.

The driver said he was routinely asked to go to the cash machine by Mr Haughan, and on one occasion noticed that his balance had increased by “approximately £40,000”, Mrs Edgar said.

Mr Sloan said: “There were allegations and rumours. My concerns were something was going on. I didn’t know exactly what was going on but I had concerns over this issue.”

He added: “I thought if this is going on and fans outside haven’t got tickets and someone inside is making money, that’s not right.”

The chauffeur eventually shared his concerns with another executive – a meeting which began the official whistle-blowing procedure.

“Mr Haughan used to look after players’ money. We are talking about thousands of pounds of money. Players used to come in and put this on the table. He used to put this in the drawer, no book-keeping no accounts,” he added. Under questioning from Mrs Edgar, Mr Sloan said he did not believe the money was put into Mr Haughan’s bank account.

But after raising his concerns over ticket-touting, Mr Sloan said he became anxious and struggled to sleep claiming to colleagues that he was being “treated like a skivvie” by Mr Haughan, it was claimed.

The matter eventually came to a head at a Christmas party hosted by club manager Brendan Rodgers at the Hope Hotel in Liverpool for club staff. Mr Sloan denied being drunk at the event, claiming he had had a “few beers” but was in control.  At the party he told a group of senior executives he believed Mr Haughan was “robbing the club blind,” the tribunal was told

Mrs Edgar read statements from witnesses including Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre who claimed he was confronted twice by Mr Sloan describing him as “going ballistic, gesticulating in his face and getting angrier and angrier.”

Mr Ayre said the chauffeur was complaining that he was not being shown enough respect, the tribunal heard. Mrs Edgar said the driver had to be physically restrained and removed from the premises after appearing to “lunge violently with his fists” – only to return later to continue his altercation with the club boss.

Asked whether he claiming there was “some sort of collusion” against him, Mr Sloan replied: “I am.”

He was suspended the following day. Liverpool FC denies any allegations of wrongdoing.

The tribunal continues.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
News
i100
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz