Chelsea wins appeal over Mutu compensation

Hammonds has won a victory for Chelsea Football Club against disgraced Romanian striker Adrian Mutu, who could be ordered to pay the club as much as £15m in compensation.

The Romanian national team member, now with Fiorentina, was ordered to pay Chelsea compensation yesterday for breach of contract after he was sacked from the club for testing positive for cocaine in October 2004, just a year after joining from Parma for £15m.

Hammonds sports partner Stephen Sampson advised Chelsea on its victory yesterday at sport’s highest court, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, which ruled that Fifa must decide on the level of compensation Mutu must pay for breaching the terms of his Chelsea contract.

Sampson said: “The CAS has entirely dismissed Mutu’s latest attempt to avoid the consequences of his actions. The matter is now going back to Fifa to assess the level of compensation he should pay.”

Chelsea initially called on Fifa to decide on the level of compensation payable, but the organisation said it did not have the jurisdiction to make any order for compensation.

However, following Chelsea’s appeal against Fifa’s decision, the CAS ruled yesterday that the matter must be remitted back to the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) for its decision on compensation.

A CAS statement read: “CAS has upheld the appeal filed by Chelsea FC against a decision rendered on 26 October 2006 by the Fifa Dispute Resolution Chamber concerning the Romanian football player Adrian Mutu… As a consequence the Panel has decided to annul the Fifa DRC decision and to refer the case back to Fifa for a new decision.”

No compensation figure has yet been decided by Fifa’s DRC, but the total could amount to as much as the entire cost of Mutu’s £15m transfer fee. The CAS also ruled that Mutu should pay the CAS costs as well as contributing towards Chelsea’s costs.