An Irish football club has settled an Employment Tribunal claim with a former “club stalwart” after he claimed he was discriminated against when he applied.
Mr Jimmy Brown applied for the post of manager at Glentoran Football Club in January of this year after Scott Young left the position. He had previously been manager until 2005 but left the position then because of a dispute over his contract. However, he was not offered the position and later claimed that this omission was caused by discrimination on the club’s part. Mr Brown is a Protestant and Glentoran are well-known to be a club for principally Catholic supporters. Further, Mr Brown is 62. He therefore claimed that he had been directly discriminated against by Glentoran and issued an Employment Tribunal claim earlier this year.
Mr Brown relied upon the fact that a significantly younger manager (Mr Eddie Patterson) was offered the position and suggested that his experience and qualifications would have made him the first-choice candidate for the position. He therefore alleged that the reason for his not being chosen was his age and religion.
The Employment Tribunal claim was due to go ahead this week in Belfast but the case was settled before the start of the Tribunal on Monday. Although the nature of the settlement has not been publicised by either party (which is fairly standard under a COT3 agreement or a compromise agreement – whichever has been used – because of confidentiality clauses in them) sources at Glentoran have claimed that the agreed settlement figure was £5,000.
Glentoran Football Club stated on Monday that they “agree that the recruitment processes were not as robust as they should have been in some technical areas in respect of Mr Brown. If this process has meant that Mr Brown’s feelings were injured in any way this is a source of regret as this was not our intention”. Mr Brown declined to comment.