FORMER boss Lee Bradbury has slapped Cherries with a High Court action to pursue around £350,000 in damages over claims of wrongful dismissal.
The 37-year-old’s case centres on the apparent circumstances surrounding his Cherries departure – with Bradbury alleging breach of contract.
Bradbury’s claim said he had refused to agree to proposed changes to the club’s management structure and coaching personnel prior to his exit.
He was appointed Cherries manager in January 2011 but left Dean Court in March 2012 following a tumultuous reign with the Dorset outfit.
Bradbury is claiming damages of £354,706.93 for breach of his £1,750 per week salary under his employment contract, expenses, bonuses, pension, car insurance and private medical insurance.
The High Court document said that following his Cherries exit, Bradbury had spent six months unemployed before taking a job as Havant and Waterlooville boss at an annual salary of around £35,000.
Bradbury’s claim said he was telephoned by chairman Eddie Mitchell at 1.30pm on Sunday, March 25, 2012, who informed him he was under pressure to make changes around the manager’s position.
It said that Mitchell told Bradbury he was going to promote youth team manager Paul Groves to share his job and work as joint first-team boss.
Mitchell is said to have further stated that he would also promote Shaun Brooks, head of youth at the time, to work alongside the newly-promoted Groves as assistant manager.
The claim said Bradbury, whose contract stated he was to have “total control of and responsibility for all football matters”, asked for time to consider the matter but Mitchell said he needed an answer that day and rang back for his response at 4.30pm.
During the second call, Bradbury is said to have asked what would happen to his assistant Russ Wilcox and first-team coach Ryan Garry, and he was told they would either have to take the jobs vacated by Groves and Brooks, or leave Dean Court.
The High Court claim said Bradbury told chairman Mitchell he could not consent to the proposed changes to the coaching staff and Mitchell informed him the club was “left with no option but to part company” with Bradbury.
According to the claim, Cherries director of football Tom Mitchell denied Bradbury had been dismissed. The document said Bradbury’s representative emailed Mitchell junior on March 26, 2012 to ask why his client had been summarily dismissed and his response was that Bradbury hadn’t been dismissed, but had resigned from his employment, and would no longer be paying his salary and his contract was terminated forthwith.
Groves and Brooks were subsequently appointed as manager and assistant following Bradbury’s departure, with the pair returning to the club’s youth set-up in October following an unsuccessful spell in charge.
The Daily Echo was last night awaiting a response from Fareham-based Bradbury, while Cherries chairman Mitchell said the club would not be commenting on the matter.