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02nd Oct 2018

Adrian Mutu ordered to pay Chelsea €17m after losing appeal to European Court of Human Rights

The former Chelsea striker tested positive for cocaine in 2004 and has been ordered to pay his former employers €17m after losing an appeal

Reuben Pinder

Doubt he’ll find this sort of cash down the back of the sofa

Adrian Mutu has been ordered to pay Chelsea €17m in compensation for his transfer to Juventus after losing an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Romanian striker was sacked by the club in 2004 after he tested positive for cocaine and was hit with a seven month ban from football.

After Chelsea released him for breach of contract, he signed for Juve and Chelsea appealed to FIFA for compensation.

In 2008 the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber ordered Mutu to pay €17,173,990 in compensation, made up largely of the unamortised transfer fee they paid to get sign from Parma.

In 2013 the same body ordered that Juventus and Livorno pay compensation, as Mutu had initially signed for the latter as Juve had no slots left for non-EU players.

However, the Court of Arbitration for Sport overruled that in 2015 and Mutu was found to be liable.

With no other options, Mutu appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that the CAS should not be considered an independent and impartial tribunal.

The European Court of Human Rights then judged that Mutu had “not been forced to accept the CAS’s jurisdiction” but also had not “waived in a non-equivocal manner the right to have his case heard by an independent and impartial tribunal, in that he had requested the withdrawal of the arbitrator chosen by Chelsea”.

Interestingly, one of the members of the panel during his appeal was partner in a law firm that represented the interests of Chelsea’s owner, Roman Abramovich.

The panel had to decide whether the Court of Arbitration for Sport failed in its role as an impartial body.

To paraphrase, “the Federal Supreme Court had concluded that Mr Mutu had not substantiated his allegations” against CAS, and “there had therefore been no violation of the applicants’ Article 6 § 1 rights”.

The court ruled “Mr Mutu’s complaints under Articles 4 § 1 and 8 showed no appearance of a violation of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention or its Protocols and had therefore to be declared inadmissible”.

And now with nowhere to run, Mutu must pay Chelsea €17m in compensation. I’m happy to be proved wrong, but I doubt he’ll find that money down the back of the sofa.