Leeds United ordered to pay £290,000 to former employee Lucy Ward following employment tribunal defeat

Italian owner Massimo Cellino sacked Ward in 2015 because she was the partner of then-manager Neil Redfearn, promoting her to pursue an unfair dismissal and sex discrimination case

Samuel Stevens
Thursday 14 July 2016 12:04
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Massimo Cellino, owner of Leeds United
Massimo Cellino, owner of Leeds United

Leeds United have been ordered to pay Lucy Ward, their former academy welfare officer, £290,000 following an employment tribunal which ruled in her favour, her solicitors have confirmed.

Italian owner Massimo Cellino sacked Ward, the partner of then-manager Neil Redfearn, in 2015, promoting her to pursue an unfair dismissal and sex discrimination case against the Championship club earlier this year.

Ward had previously worked at the three-time champions of England for 17 years but was served with a dismissal after taking an extended leave to participate with the BBC on their coverage of the Women’s World Cup in Canada last summer.

She will now receive £127,229.81 from Leeds for sexual discrimination while also being handed a further £5,525 on account of her unfair dismissal. The Yorkshire club will also pay Ward’s legal costs, amounting to approximately £100,000 while senior staff will take part in ‘equalities training’.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ward said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank my legal team Richard Cramer and Martin Williams of FrontRow Legal for their support and guidance. A special mention to my brilliant barrister, Nick Randall QC of Matrix Chambers, who recognised the injustice I suffered and argued it simply and skilfully on my behalf.

“And finally a thank you to all Leeds United fans and people who have taken the time to send their best wishes and support to me throughout. To my Mum, brother, friends, and in particular my partner, Neil. I could not have done this without you.”

In April, Cellino, who has parted company with six managers since his takeover in 2014, told The Independent that he blamed his lawyers for the case.

He said: “I didn't follow [it] actually. It was not an important thing. The only thing is I’m very disappointed [about] is that I never said anything about what has come out about women.

“[That comment] is a very disrespectful thing [to] my mother and my daughter and my wife. It means I have no consideration and no respect. Women and children are the most important thing. I think they deserve respect. That’s why that hurts me.”

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