Jason Wilcox - New technical director

Beachryan

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Do we have any UK labour lawyers on here? Are these extremely long notice periods actually upheld in courts? I cannot fathom a court saying yep, you signed that piece of paper and now you have to serve out 2 years of your life working for an employer you wish to leave.

I also don't entirely get how that's enforceable. What would prevent an employee from simply showing up in the required hours, and literally doing nothing? Getting fired would seem to solve the problem too!
 

Beachryan

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Not in the UK you don’t. You confirm to your employer you wish to leave, and to do so you must provide them with your notice period which is written into your contract.

As I said before, a notice period works both ways — if the shoe was on the other foot and Southampton wanted to sack him, they’d have to get him 12 months notice before doing so, or pay him for his full notice and let him go.

Something that a lot are missing here — we aren’t talking about ordinary junior staff members who normally have a 1-3 month notice period — these are senior executive level employees at director status of huge companies. Large notice periods, garden leave provisions, and restrictive covenants preventing staff and information poaching is very commonplace in this market.

Where are you from, out of interest?
In my industry we have gardening leave for all market-makers, but given almost every single one of them was hired from somewhere else, most firms are pretty flexible. Worst case would be a year, but typically when I've seen that the employee is very keen on that year of pay without labour ;)

I'm pretty sure when I was working in California you can't actually enforce gardening leave, and workers are free to join a new employer after a really short period of time, maybe 2 weeks.
 

Stig

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They’ve turned down the compo offer so if he’s resigned, we will see the current hot phrase “gardening leave” while he sees out his notice period. Unless they accept the offer eventually.
We have offered a year's salary as compensation and are at an impasse but pay GBP300,000 a week to someone who doesn't try, GBP80,000,000 + fee for someone who has been a failure but we are now pissing with pennies about releasing somebody we want to be the club's technical director.
 

DWelbz19

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In my industry we have gardening leave for all market-makers, but given almost every single one of them was hired from somewhere else, most firms are pretty flexible. Worst case would be a year, but typically when I've seen that the employee is very keen on that year of pay without labour ;)

I'm pretty sure when I was working in California you can't actually enforce gardening leave, and workers are free to join a new employer after a really short period of time, maybe 2 weeks.
That’s interesting. In the corporate world in the UK it’ll generally be the case that an employee won’t see out the full length of their garden leave — they normally end up negotiating a certain amount, but an Employer is definitely entitled to (and generally does) keep an employee off the market if they’re at a senior director level and the Employer in question feels they’re going to just use all that stored goodwill and information at their new place.

It is a bit of a weird one here because there’s clearly a discrepancy between the levels of Southampton and Manchester United, but I don’t know the ins and outs of what a technical director’s job spec entails.

Then there’s also the obvious point of it being United tax and them wanting as much bang for their buck, I guess.
 

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Not in the UK you don’t. You confirm to your employer you wish to leave, and to do so you must provide them with your notice period which is written into your contract.

As I said before, a notice period works both ways — if the shoe was on the other foot and Southampton wanted to sack him, they’d have to give him 12 months notice before doing so, or pay him for his full notice and let him go.

Something that a lot are missing here — we aren’t talking about ordinary junior staff members who normally have a 1-3 month notice period — these are senior executive level employees at director status of huge companies. Large notice periods, garden leave provisions, and restrictive covenants preventing staff and information poaching is very commonplace in this market.

Where are you from, out of interest?

Edit: I think the “resigned” wording has come from dramatic journalists like Romano and has since been reigned in by other tweets.
Ireland which would be pretty similar to the UK in terms of labour laws. Fair enough on the resigned thing. It could just be what I've gotten into my head, either.

In practical terms you can't force someone to work out their notice against their will, though. They're not going to do a very good job and if it's gardening leave you're also still paying them. It doesn't seem like Southampton really have much of bargaining position in this.

We've apparently offered to pay them a year of his wages and the alternative is that they pay him for a year and get very little use out of him?
 

Lemoor

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I don’t know what I don’t know. What point?
You're making a ton of extremely strong assumptions in this case.
It's a corporate title with very little standardisation between clubs. Without knowing anything about the responsibilities of any technical director or any other kind of director it is going to be basically meaningless to anyone from outside of the club and those comparisons are completely pointless.
We have a lot more reports about Fletcher's responsibilities than we usually get for other staff or directorial members and there is nothing sham about it, nor is there anything similar to what Edu or VdS were reported to be doing at their clubs.
 

Escobar

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It is not just the notice period but also a non compete I assume. 6 months plus 6 months, equals 12 months garden leave
 

MadDogg

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Ireland which would be pretty similar to the UK in terms of labour laws. Fair enough on the resigned thing. It could just be what I've gotten into my head, either.

In practical terms you can't force someone to work out their notice against their will, though. They're not going to do a very good job and if it's gardening leave you're also still paying them. It doesn't seem like Southampton really have much of bargaining position in this.

We've apparently offered to pay them a year of his wages and the alternative is that they pay him for a year and get very little use out of him?
Southampton's bargaining position is simply that 'Man Utd is very rich and are desperate to get this new structure in place fast, so we think we can get more out of them than what they've offered'.

Part of me hopes that we call their and Newcastle's bluff, and just wait out 12 months until Ashworth and Wilcox join for free. They would obviously still have unofficial talks with Berrada and the rest of the structure so could make some impact on what is happening. And would lay down a good marker for the future that we can't be messed around with anymore.

On the other hand we are somewhat desperate, so part of me says just pay them that bit more to get it done. Obviously not the ridiculous 20m that Newcastle want, but enough to get them to accept. Get the structure in place ASAP, then we can worry about laying down a marker later on when we're in a position of strength.
 

Drainy

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Do we have any UK labour lawyers on here? Are these extremely long notice periods actually upheld in courts? I cannot fathom a court saying yep, you signed that piece of paper and now you have to serve out 2 years of your life working for an employer you wish to leave.

I also don't entirely get how that's enforceable. What would prevent an employee from simply showing up in the required hours, and literally doing nothing? Getting fired would seem to solve the problem too!
Not a lawyer but my recollection from a company law module was that a it's legal as long as it doesn't impact upon the employees ability to maintain the skills and expertise required to do that type of work going forward
 

buchansleftleg

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Not a lawyer but my recollection from a company law module was that a it's legal as long as it doesn't impact upon the employees ability to maintain the skills and expertise required to do that type of work going forward
I think we are also in a bit of a legal "no mans land" here too as previously, under EU law the employee could also say the imposition of a 12 month notice period - given they have only been employed for a short time - would be an unfair restriction on their right to work / develop skills etc as you say. The company would have to demonstrate significant investment in the individual and an expectation of potential loss due to their leaving employment outside of the notice period.

Given Wilcox hasn't been there that long, then the only real loss Southampton could demonstrate would be his knowledge of the contract status of various players at senior and academy level - so they could try and enforce an agreement where United don't make moves for Southampton players for a set period of time - giving them an opportunity to sort out various contractual situations.

Realistically Wilcox can get around this by working in a consultancy role until his "garden leave" ends - and he just submits billable hours rather than being on the payroll - So Southampton really haven't got too strong a case - just hoping United pay up to make things look neater. Given Pep's people were hanging around the council house in a consultancy role for a couple of years before he took over it's easy to get round this if needed.
 

Chairman Steve

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
 

Freak

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
Exactly. Football has become so ridiculous these days.
 

buchansleftleg

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
Dealing with Abramovich was....complicated...
 

TrebleChamp99

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Not in the UK you don’t. You confirm to your employer you wish to leave, and to do so you must provide them with your notice period which is written into your contract.

As I said before, a notice period works both ways — if the shoe was on the other foot and Southampton wanted to sack him, they’d have to give him 12 months notice before doing so, or pay him for his full notice and let him go.

Something that a lot are missing here — we aren’t talking about ordinary junior staff members who normally have a 1-3 month notice period — these are senior executive level employees at director status of huge companies. Large notice periods, garden leave provisions, and restrictive covenants preventing staff and information poaching is very commonplace in this market.

Where are you from, out of interest?

Edit: I think the “resigned” wording has come from dramatic journalists like Romano and has since been reigned in by other tweets.
You can resign and leave without working notice period or gardening leave, there isn't anything to physically stop you but you definitely burn bridges and risk some sort of legal action (usually too expensive to action and not worth it) alternatively you agree to the buyout in the contract, as people have said the notice period is usual.
 

DWelbz19

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You can resign and leave without working notice period or gardening leave, there isn't anything to physically stop you but you definitely burn bridges and risk some sort of legal action (usually too expensive to action and not worth it)
Yeah that’s correct. But on the legal action point — if it’s Joe Bloggs leaving his role as a junior accountant with a 3 month notice period, yeah, no point of a company bothering to do anything legal.

For Wilcox who is a technical director for a championship football club who then wants to leave and join the biggest club in England — definitely worth it to action.

That’s why we will negotiate and reach a settlement.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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As said in the Dan Ashworth thread… If you enforce Gardening Leave on exits, the industry will respond accordingly when you try to hire.

The process is a balance of good faith, fairness and reciprocity.

Ashworth and Wilcox will be at United before the end of September. It’s possible that Newcastle and Southampton may fight to have their tenures start after the window closes. In Newcastles case that would be somewhat business sensible and justified. For Southampton to do that they’d be shooting themselves in the face.

Clubs are not going to enter a financial arms race for staff compensation as it benefits nobody. The whole industry isn’t going to support it as they need to hire.

Radcliffe coming in has seen a few clubs test United’s resolve financially but it’s a non starter in practice.
 

Lash

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The Southampton position isn't as strong as being made out here. They're not just going to pay him to not do his job for a full year and also hire and pay someone to replace him.

I imagine Newcastle have enough cash to be petty, but not so sure about Southampton.
 

AltiUn

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The Southampton position isn't as strong as being made out here. They're not just going to pay him to not do his job for a full year and also hire and pay someone to replace him.

I imagine Newcastle have enough cash to be petty, but not so sure about Southampton.
If anything, their position is weak as piss.
 

Vault Dweller

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With all these director and executive roles having such long periods of notice or gardening, I can see many people being employed in football in a non-playing or coaching staff capability being wary of signing contracts now where restrictions like these are being strongly enforced, thus not allowing individuals to challenge themselves freely with chasing or looking at other opportunities. Obviously there should always be a notice period, but having it for periods up to a year, or having an additional non-compete clause for an additional 6 months for what is essentially a member of staff seems crazy to me. This kind of stuff barely even administered a response from most before.
 

tenpoless

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With all these director and executive roles having such long periods of notice or gardening, I can see many people being employed in football in a non-playing or coaching staff capability being wary of signing contracts now where restrictions like these are being strongly enforced, thus not allowing individuals to challenge themselves freely with chasing or looking at other opportunities. Obviously there should always be a notice period, but having it for periods up to a year, or having an additional non-compete clause for an additional 6 months for what is essentially a member of staff seems crazy to me. This kind of stuff barely even administered a response from most before.
To be fair for non coaching staffs, an opportunity to join a massive club undergoing a wholesale change with new owners is very rare.
 

spiriticon

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Do we have any UK labour lawyers on here? Are these extremely long notice periods actually upheld in courts? I cannot fathom a court saying yep, you signed that piece of paper and now you have to serve out 2 years of your life working for an employer you wish to leave.

I also don't entirely get how that's enforceable. What would prevent an employee from simply showing up in the required hours, and literally doing nothing? Getting fired would seem to solve the problem too!
I think if it's written into the contract, then its probably enforcable in some way or manner. Even if Jason Wilcox does nothing, the point of the gardening leave is to prevent company secrets being leaked to a competitor. After a year, that information is out of date. It also probably depends on how much bonus and compensation Jason Wilcox is due upon leaving. If he does enough to breach his existing contract, then he loses any money due to him from Southampton, apart from his wages. At the directorial/executive level, bonuses are far far higher than the salary.

Clearly United aren't willing to pay that money to make up for it, hence this impasse.
 
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Ali Dia

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It just goes to show how important to club owners the people in these positions have become. Can you imagine how annoyed we’d be in a parallel universe, Real coming in for genius football and financial mind Ed Woodward after Utd win the league and champions league twice on the bounce, leaving behind an attacking young team and a state of the art stadium and training facilities….

It also shows how well city are run. They seem to nearly always have someone better lined up. Its not a loss it’s a chance to try something new. Newcastle should be trying to mirror that approach, we all should be
 
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MyOnlySolskjaer

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
I mean we poached City's CEO fairly easily too, who will get started in the summer.

It's the other more technical positions that seem to have the greater requirements.
 

bond19821982

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As said in the Dan Ashworth thread… If you enforce Gardening Leave on exits, the industry will respond accordingly when you try to hire.

The process is a balance of good faith, fairness and reciprocity.

Ashworth and Wilcox will be at United before the end of September. It’s possible that Newcastle and Southampton may fight to have their tenures start after the window closes. In Newcastles case that would be somewhat business sensible and justified. For Southampton to do that they’d be shooting themselves in the face.

Clubs are not going to enter a financial arms race for staff compensation as it benefits nobody. The whole industry isn’t going to support it as they need to hire.

Radcliffe coming in has seen a few clubs test United’s resolve financially but it’s a non starter in practice.
Precisely this. Ashworth and Wilcox aren't the first and won't be the last either .
 

LawCharltonBest

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Has anyone read the articles on his pursuit?

Is the plan basically for him to cover Ashworth’s duties this summer until Ashworth comes in?
 

spiriticon

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If we genuinely want Ashworth and Wilcox to start for next year, we will pay up sooner or later. Best to start negotiating now.

Either that, or convince the pair of them that money isn't everything, and they should make personal sacrifices to join United :lol: "Do it for love"
 

Withnail

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I think if it's written into the contract, then its probably enforcable in some way or manner. Even if Jason Wilcox does nothing, the point of the gardening leave is to prevent company secrets being leaked to a competitor. After a year, that information is out of date. It also probably depends on how much bonus and compensation Jason Wilcox is due upon leaving. If he does enough to breach his existing contract, then he loses any money due to him from Southampton, apart from his wages. At the directorial/executive level, bonuses are far far higher than the salary.

Clearly United aren't willing to pay that money to make up for it, hence this impasse.
Yeah we're really interested in feckin Southampton's company secrets.

Also we offered to pay compensation of a year's wages but they apparently want more. If he's resigning and wants to jump ship to us immediately Southampton won't owe him a bean.
 

RedStarUnited

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
We did care. We negotiated some sort of settlement and he couldn't start working there officially until after the winter transfer period.

The thing with this I don't get is, with current technology, nothing is stopping any of these people on gardening leave from working.
 

Lemoor

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Yeah we're really interested in feckin Southampton's company secrets.

Also we offered to pay compensation of a year's wages but they apparently want more. If he's resigning and wants to jump ship to us immediately Southampton won't owe him a bean.
Their argument isn't about some fabled company secrets, but about us poaching him at the worst part of the season for them, since they should be working on transfers now, but instead they have to get a new director of football first.
 

Withnail

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Their argument isn't about some fabled company secrets, but about us poaching him at the worst part of the season for them, since they should be working on transfers now, but instead they have to get a new director of football first.
I wasn't entirely serious but those are literally the words they used.
 

Lemoor

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I wasn't entirely serious but those are literally the words they used.
I should have clarified I meant Southampton as 'their', not the poster you were replying to. My bad. The company secrets is kind of a silly argument, I agree.
 

eire-red

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Not read up on all the ins and outs, but are we the only club in the world that can manage to create a transfer saga with backroom staff too!?

Seems like every other club quietly goes about its business. Then again, the Berrada hire was a bit like that too so probably a bit of recency bias.
 

spiriticon

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Yeah we're really interested in feckin Southampton's company secrets.

Also we offered to pay compensation of a year's wages but they apparently want more. If he's resigning and wants to jump ship to us immediately Southampton won't owe him a bean.
We are interested in how they do things, which is exactly why we're trying to nick their director.

I'm not sure what contract Wilcox is on, but it's probably a years wages plus any bonuses. And as I mentioned, bonuses are more than wages at that level.
 

Hughie77

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I remember Abramovich/Chelsea 20 years ago poaching our CEO and we largely didn’t give a feck (and even if we were pissed off with it, we just shut up and got on with it). I think he joined with immediate effect too.

Yet here we are in 2024, and hiring directors from clubs is now this huge song and dance.
Kenyon ..it was I think,
 

croadyman

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Sounds like Martin has confirmed he's off,still hoping we are planning to appoint Head of Recruitment too but has gone very quiet on that
 

Woziak

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I mean we poached City's CEO fairly easily too, who will get started in the summer.

It's the other more technical positions that seem to have the greater requirements.
I’m sure Omar will be telling Sir Jim and Sir David, he’s more than capable to handle transfers this summer after he starts June 1st 2024, and this is a good thing.
 

Bubz27

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We have offered a year's salary as compensation and are at an impasse but pay GBP300,000 a week to someone who doesn't try, GBP80,000,000 + fee for someone who has been a failure but we are now pissing with pennies about releasing somebody we want to be the club's technical director.
But that 300k a week and 80m transfer fee are exactly why we have to be careful about paying whatever a club asks for now. New structure, we have to start off on the right foot and show that we won't pay silly money for the sake of it.
 

Leftback99

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We have offered a year's salary as compensation and are at an impasse but pay GBP300,000 a week to someone who doesn't try, GBP80,000,000 + fee for someone who has been a failure but we are now pissing with pennies about releasing somebody we want to be the club's technical director.
Yes let's pay everyone whatever they want! Repeating all the mistakes of the old regime is the way forward.