There is a big storm brewing in and around the Philadelphia Union, where a lot of dirty laundry is about to be flapping in the breeze in the most unflattering ways.
Peter Nowak, dismissed last month from his Union managerial post, is suing over unpaid wages. There is lot of money at stake for Nowak (hundreds of thousands), so he has adjudged this to all be worth it, but lawsuits mean public records. As such, a virtual dump truck of public records garbage has already spilled onto the streets of nearby Chester, home to PPL Park.
There’s lots of good leg work here from Jonathan Tannenwald on Philly.com’s soccer blog. As he reports, here is the worst of Nowak’s offenses alleged by the club:
Various material breaches of League Rules (including the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement), including physical confrontations with players and officials during a Team game resulting in a fine and multi-game suspension, interfering with the rights of Team players to contact the players’ union with concerns, subjecting Team players to inappropriate hazing activities and engaging in behavior that put the health and safety of Team players at risk.
Demonstrating gross negligence, including putting the health and safety of Team players at risk by requiring injured players to participate in strenuous training activities, not allowing players to have water during such activities despite temperatures in excess of 80 degrees, ignoring the advice of the head athletic trainer regarding which players are healthy enough to play in games and participate in training sessions and creating an atmosphere where medical issues should be hid from medical staff and not treated.
This will continue to spill out in most unpleasant ways, and in the end, no one is going to come away without residual goo on their shoes. We’ll be talking more about it, I’m sure. In the meantime, here are the three critical points:
- This thing is a mess, and it’s bound to get messier.
- It’s dreadfully unfortunate timing, as it all happened in and around the very club that is hosting this week’s All-Star game.
- Peter Nowak has an MLS championship (from 2004) but has gone “all in” here, because I think it would be hard for him to work in the league again.