West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has been ordered to pay former club Crystal Palace £3.77million in damages after losing his High Court appeal against the findings of an independent mediation tribunal.
The case centres on a £2m bonus that was to be paid to Pulis on the condition he kept the club in the Premier League and was still employed on August 31, 2014.
Pulis is said to have asked for – and been paid – the sum around a fortnight earlier than had been agreed, before informing Palace of his decision to leave the club a day later.
The Welshman was accused by Palace of offering assurances on August 8 – six days before he left the club – that he was committed to the Selhurst Park outfit and required the money urgently to buy land for his children.
The Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Tribunal found both assertions to be false, insisting Pulis fully intended to leave and that there was “no such land transaction”.
Pulis denied fraud and contended that his departure on the eve of the 2014-15 Premier League season had been “mutually agreeable”, but arbitrators described his conduct as “disgraceful” and Judge Michael Burton dismissed his appeal.
Burton said: “I enforce the award and the final award both as to the liquidated damages for £1.5m in respect of the repudiation, and also in respect of the £2.276m damages for deceit plus the interest and costs awarded.”