Mike Phillips to sue Bayonne

Mike Phillips has confirmed in a statement that he plans to sue Bayonne, the club that recently released him from his contract for arriving at a video analysis session drunk.

“As a result of discussions with my legal team in France I have now instructed them to issue proceedings against Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Club,” Phillips said.

“I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the decision taken… to terminate my employment. I was also disappointed by the fact that I officially heard about my dismissal through an interview given in a French newspaper this morning.”

The interview he is referring to came from Bayonne’s chairman Alain Afflelou yesterday and was published in French newspaper Sud Ouest. He described Phillips’ actions as ‘inexcusable’ and accused him of ‘treason’ against the club, adding that he had wanted to fire the Wales scrum-half as soon as he heard the news, but had to wait in order for a disciplinary hearing to take place.

Phillips said he will “wholeheartedly concentrate all my energy and efforts on training with Wales and try to earn a place in the match day squad to help Wales have a successful autumn campaign against South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Tonga”.

What do you make of the whole Phillips saga? Were Bayonne right to fire him, and does he now have grounds for legal action?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

10 thoughts on “Mike Phillips to sue Bayonne

  1. Of course Bayonne has the right to fire him. If I turned up pissed to work I’d get sacked too.

    If I was him, I’d apologise, move on and start looking for a new club. No good can come of him kicking up a fuss.

  2. He got what he deserved. If I were to turn up at work intoxicated the outcome would be the same.

    I’m assuming he is contesting the manner in which he was informed of his sacking rather than the fact that he was sacked for wrongdoing.

    Given his history though and the manner it was dealt with last year by Bayonne, he should be disappointed with one person only – himself!

    1. No, he is contesting the fact that he was fired for wrongdoing. The difference between Phillips and most of us is that Phillips was under a contract, which limits the reasons for an employer to fire an employee. Most people are at-will employees when hired, which means an employer can fired that employee for any reason. Phillips is in a different situation. I believe that the contract most state the specific reasons for termination or Phillips’ conduct must breach the contract. I think the former is the most likely the case.

      1. The contract will likely have a vague “misconduct” clause to allow the club to get rid of players who misbehave, and I suspect that most courts would acknowledge that it is inappropriate to turn up drunk. It would be madness if Bayonne don’t have such a clause

  3. I know full well, as other commenters have already said, that if I turned up to work drunk I wouldn’t last the day. That’s in a finance setting, but I know exactly the same is true of coaches at the local rugby club, and one professional was kicked out last year for getting drunk during a drinking ban (not even during a training session, on a Friday night).

    Phillips seems to be of the opinion that his Rugby career is just a way of turning a leisure activity into a money pot. Maybe when he loses this case he’ll develop some degree of professionalism which everyone else is expected to live up to.

  4. Maybe an alternative headline is “Mike Philips further reduces his chances of finding another contract”, even those that were contemplating touching him with a bargepole are going to think again.

    He’s getting bad advice, even if there is a case to answer on a technicality it doesn’t make turning up for work drunk acceptable.

    Be humble, apologise for being a dick and letting your team mates down, say you will “learn from it” and find somewhere to play rugby between AIs and 6N.

  5. Unfortunately Phillips only has to look at the example of his former international teammate Gavin Henson to know that there’s almost always a club out there willing to give you another chance no matter how poor your attitude or behaviour. Because of that he feels free to take his former club to court despite being 100% in the wrong.

    1. Steve, am firmly in agreement that someone will pick him up, but probably not for as much money as he was hoping for!

      Serves him right for being a plonker.

  6. Henson, Powell, Phillips, makes sorry reading for a proud Welshman. Mikey should wind his neck in and slope off quietly with his tail between his legs.
    But as said, someone out there will be daft enough to sign him up. Good scrum half but a total loose cannon.

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