Bayern’s Ribery wins cut in damages by Luxembourg court
Former France international and Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery has won a sharp cut to the damages a Luxembourg court awarded his former agent for breach of contract.
An appeal court in the small EU Duchy on Thursday reduced the damages by one million euros ($1.1 million) from the 2.67 million euros he was told to pay Luxembourg agent Bruno Heiderscheid in 2011 for failing to hand over commission fees.
The ruling seen by AFP on Friday did not immediately give the reasons for the decision.
Through his lawyer, Ribery welcomed the decision, though said he would continue the fighting his former agent in court, including in Aix-en-Provence, France where a separate decision in the feud is still expected.
“The dispute with Mister Heiderscheid is not over and the battle continues,” the lawyer, Carlo Brusa said in a statement sent to AFP.
The dispute between the two men dates back to 2007 when Ribery switched to Jean-Pierre Bernes, who had a string of top French names on his roster.
Bernes was once a key part of the management team at French club Marseille where Ribery became a player in 2005.
Ribery had two contracts with Heiderscheid — the first paid a 10 percent commission on the player’s gross salary, while a second added in earnings from his appearances for the French national team.
After their break, Heiderscheid went to the top sports tribunal in Lausanne which found in his favour for the first contract but struck down the second.
Heiderscheid lost an appeal in Switzerland and then took the case to Luxembourg, where he said the Swiss judges had been “confused.”
Ribery, 32, returned from a nine-month injury lay-off just a week ago but was hurt again in Bayern’s 2-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League and will miss the next three matches.
He started Wednesday’s match in Croatia but was forced off at half-time due to muscle problem in his right thigh.
He will now miss league matches against Ingolstadt and Hanover, as well as the midweek German Cup clash with Darmstadt on Tuesday.
“I may not be able to play against Ingolstadt. I have to take it slowly even though I’m dying with desire (to play),” Ribery had told Bild newspaper.
The 32-year-old spent nine months on the sidelines due to an ankle injury and had only just returned to the team last weekend.
According to some experts in Germany, the decision is more about prudence than a serious problem.
Ribery played only 23 matches for Bayern last season due to the ankle issue.