Axed coach takes Adelaide United to court

May 21, 2012
By Steve Larkin

Dutch soccer coach Rini Coolen fears deportation from Australia while pursuing court action against the A-League club which replaced him, Adelaide United.

Lawyers for Coolen claim United misled the Dutchman, who was dumped as Adelaide's head coach last December - 18 months into a four-year contract worth $1.1 million.

Coolen's lawyers appeared in the South Australian District Court on Tuesday, arguing Adelaide United breached the Dutchman's contract.

But the club says Coolen wasn't sacked but merely redeployed to a junior development role, which he opted not to perform.

Coolen's lawyer, Andrew Short, said the redeployment was untenable and Coolen was seeking damages over his contract.

Coolen remained in Australia on a visa sponsored by Adelaide United and his living situation was endangered by losing his job, Mr Short told the court.

"It places at risk his ability to stay in the country," he said.

After being removed as coach, Coolen lodged a claim against United under Football Federation Australia's grievance resolution regulations.

But the FFA's appeal committee ruled the case can't go through the grievance process.

The ruling prompted Coolen to go to the district court's civil jurisdiction, seeking damages.

Lawyers for Coolen and United on Tuesday agreed to mediation meetings, with the court setting a settlement conference for July.