Lovett prepared to take Saints to court - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovett prepared to take Saints to court

17/02/2010 09:23:01 PM Comments (0)

Andrew Lovett's legal team are prepared to take St Kilda to court over his AFL sacking, calling the reasons for his dismissal "particularly flimsy".

While their first preference is for the grievance process with St Kilda to continue, Lovett's lawyers have made it clear they will consider all their options.

Lovett was originally preparing to take the Saints before the AFL grievance tribunal to argue against his indefinite club suspension, which started on Christmas Eve.

But a day after he was charged with rape, the Saints announced on Tuesday they had sacked the former Essendon midfielder.

When they announced Lovett's dismissal, the Saints also said they now considered the grievance process was a moot point.

The AFL are seeking legal advice on whether Lovett's grievance process should still proceed.

Former AFL umpire Derek Humphery-Smith is acting as Lovett's lawyer in his dealings with the club.

"We think that (the grievance process) is the appropriate forum at this stage to pursue remedies for Andrew, but there are obviously a range of legal avenues available to him," Humphery-Smith said.

"I thought it (St Kilda's dismissal letter) was particularly flimsy and we've expressed that view, that we think many of the matters St Kilda have relied on in coming to their decision, there's nothing new in that.

"The timing is obviously questionable and that's a matter that I think needs to go before the grievance tribunal.

"Certainly we consider that St Kilda's actions are unlawful."

The Saints originally suspended Lovett when they learnt he was under police investigation - an investigation that led to the rape charge.

Lovett will face court on Friday in relation to the charge and David Grace QC will represent him there.

In sacking Lovett, St Kilda said he had made multiple breaches of his playing contract, but his manager Alex McDonald wants to know what they were.

Before from the rape allegation, Lovett was also arrested for drunkenness within weeks of joining the club late last year, but that charge was later dropped.

"If St Kilda could sit down and explain what these other incidents are, maybe we could resolve the issue," McDonald said.

"There must be other incidents or issues that we don't know about."

McDonald added that the sacking came as a shock to Lovett, but the onballer is determined to play again in the AFL.

"He's very, very disappointed, doing it tough - this is his career, what he does.

"It came as a big shock to all of us."

The AFL Players' Association are backing Lovett and their chief executive Matt Finnis said they had to do so, despite several players backing the Saints' decision.

"I guess I'm not surprised - I guess, at the end of the day, this is not a popularity contest, this is about us saying we have to preserve the integrity of the collective instruments that we negotiated," Finnis said.

"If we turn out the rules because we have a difficult case, that undermines our broader policy response."

Lovett's former Essendon captain Matthew Lloyd said the Saints had no choice but to sack him.

"I thought it was the only decision that really could be made in the circumstances," Lloyd said.

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