It could be the end of a long process. On April 24, 2016, after a draw in Marseille (1-1), Michel Der Zakarian had announced his departure at the end of the season from FC Nantes, the club he was coaching for the fourth consecutive season. The tension had become too strong with its president. “I no longer want to work with Mr. Kita”he told the press at the time.
An announcement which the FCN will then use to refuse him his seniority bonus in the amount of 184,290 euros. The club argued that the coach cannot claim this bonus since he himself took the initiative to leave.
The charter of professional football is indeed clear: “ A seniority allowance will be paid to any trainer in charge of the technical management of the professional team in a club which does not renew his contract in the same function and at least equal salary if he exercised in this function within of this club for at least 4 seasons (…) If the coach leaves his club on his own initiative, he loses the benefit of the indemnity”can we read.
Deplorable relations between Kita and Der Zakarian
Michel Der Zakarian, he ensures the opposite. It was because the club deprived him of his contract renewal that he left. The Canaries will therefore fail, as they claimed, to prove that negotiations on the continuation of the coach’s contract had been “undertaken during a meeting dated April 4, 2016”.
Waldemar Kita’s media statements finally convinced the judges. Thus the president declared as early as January 2016 that “It was unfortunately the role of a leader”when things went wrong, “to press the red button”.
“Der Zakarian has sullied my name”
In November 2016, on SFR Sport, he reiterated: “The coach who was there before (Der Zakarian) cried to come to my house, he kissed me when I bought him from another Second Division club (Clermont). Behind, what did he do? He smeared my name saying he no longer wanted to work with the Kita family. It’s not pretty… He took advantage of it for three years and he tears me down because I didn’t want to renew his contract.”.
Conclusion of the judges: “It follows from all of these elements that Mr. Der Zakarian was never placed in the situation where he would have had the choice of continuing or terminating the employment relationship in the absence of a renewal proposal from the club and that the latter does not demonstrate that Mr. Der Zakarian left the club on his own initiative to exempt himself from the payment of the seniority allowance..
As the coach did not substantiate his accusations related to the image damage he alleged, the Court of Appeal did not rule on this question.
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