0 Brighton and Hove Albion groundstaff sacking 'a witch-hunt'

Groundsmen at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club claim they were unfairly dismissed in a "witch-hunt" after team selection was leaked online.

Brighton's AMEX stadium

Three members of the groundstaff were allegedly denied disciplinary hearings or reasons for their sacking last Friday (07/06).

The GMB union said the dismissal "stinks" and called for Brighton to reinstate workers.

Brighton announced team selections were being leaked from October 2018.

Ex-deputy head groundsman Ashley Smith, 34, said he was taken into "private meetings" and questioned along with his colleagues from April.

The meetings were not recorded and the employees were allegedly told "they were helping with the inquiry".

"It was a dream job that has been taken off me for no reason," he said.

"I have a family mortgage and it's going to have a massive impact on my whole life. I haven't been sleeping since."

"I've supported Albion since I was five. They can't treat people like this. We are all human beings and we are being treated like we are not."

"What I want now is to be reinstated and given a chance to clear my name. No one will employ me until I do."

He was sacked alongside groundsmen colleagues Dean Massey and Jordan Woodsford on Friday.

Reasons given included not fitting into the club's new culture and being too big a fan, but there was no mention of the leaks, Ashley said.

Internal investigations into team sheet leaks began in October 2018.

A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove Albion said the club would not comment at this time.

GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said: "No evidence has been found or presented by the club during this near three-month investigation which links our members to the supposed social media team leaks, yet they dismiss our members without notice."

"This just stinks and considering this club prides itself on its commitment to the standards, values and expectations set by the Premier League, the way they have treated their staff throughout this witch-hunt is simply deplorable and unfair."

The GMB and Mr Smith said the workers had appealed against the decision and the union is taking legal advice.


You can read the original article from the BBC HERE

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