An employment tribunal has found that former Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was dropped by the club because of his cancer diagnosis.
Gutierrez launched a disability discrimination claim against the Magpies, alleging that they froze him out of the first team because of his diagnosis with testicular cancer in 2013.
The club denied the claim, saying that Gutierrez simply was no longer in favour with successive managers, but the Argentine accused the management of orchestrating his demise, ensuring he failed to make enough appearances on the pitch to trigger a lucrative one-year contract extension worth up to £2m.
The tribunal panel found in favour of the player.
“We concluded that the reason why the respondent managed the claimant’s selection was because they no longer wanted him at the club because of his cancer,” it said in it’s 64-page decision.
The panel said it was clearly ‘a very rapid decision’ made after Gutierrez’ diagnosis, and that there was “a continuing course of conduct” by Newcastle to “remove” the midfielder from the club.
Gutierrez has since moved on to Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, after spending seven seasons with Newcastle, who are facing a very serious threat of relegation at the end of the current campaign.