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5th March 2015, 10:50

Bula speaks out on dismissal & threatens legal action

Ousted GFA National Team Manager Allen Bula has said he may take legal action unless he's reinstated. 

In a statement, Mr Bula reveals and rejects the reasons for his dismissal. These are that he was in breach of contract after making derogatory statements against the GFA, and that he displayed aggressive behaviour and unacceptable manners against members of the GFA and its Council.

Mr Bula denies both charges, and has appealed to the GFA to be reinstated. If he isn't, he says he'll consider legal proceedings on the grounds that he was unfairly dismissed and that a disciplinary against him was not properly conducted. He also contends that the GFA is in breach of contract by not allowing him to do his job and that he's been unfairly treated by some GFA members.

You can read Mr Bula's statement below.

ALLEN BULA'S STATEMENT IN FULL

"Further to the Press Release issued by the Gibraltar Football Association on Monday 2nd March 2015 in relation to the dismissal of Mr Allen Bula as GFA National Team Manager, Mr Bula confirmed his shock and disappointment at the decision taken by the GFA Council to terminate his contract with immediate effect.

In this connection, Mr Bula has confirmed that he and his family are very saddened by the whole situation as Mr Bula had left a professional paid job in Slovakia to come to Gibraltar to help, support and develop football within the GFA. When appointed National Team Manager Mr Bula worked tirelessly with the GFA for 4 years prior to UEFA acceptance and helped Gibraltar to join the UEFA family.    

Mr Allen Bula has said:

?I would like to stress that in no way my statement is against Gibraltar's Football, but is against the unfair treatment I have received from sectors within the GFA. I had the faith, passion and determination to make the National Team a success story, as we proved against Malta, Slovakia and Estonia. I always prepared the Team to the highest of standards; because I knew what Gibraltar was coming up against when we joined UEFA and we had to compete at the highest level of European football.  

All I wanted was to fulfil my responsibility and obligations as National Team Manager and for the National Team to be proud Gibraltarians on and off the pitch, regardless of the score.'

Mr Bula can confirm that he has been dismissed from his position as National Team Manager based on two allegations of misconduct as follows:

1) He was in breach of contract following derogatory statements against the GFA

In relation to this issue, the GFA Council are referring to comments made by Mr Bula in the Gibraltar Chronicle in August 2014 as well as comments made on a SKY documentary that was aired in November 2014.

In August 2014, the GFA Council accuse Mr Bula of having stated in the Gibraltar Chronicle that the development of Gibraltar's National Teams, was sailing in different directions.

The GFA Council also accuses Mr Bula of having stated in a SKY documentary which took place in November 2014 that the GFA council were causing him unnecessary stress and that the council wanted him out.

2) For aggressive behaviour and unacceptable manners against members of the GFA and its Council

The GFA Council accuse Mr Bula of having an argument with the GFA CEO in November 2014 prior to the airing of the SKY documentary; for having verbally abused a member of the technical team on the Sky Documentary. The GFA also accuses Mr Bula for unacceptable manners towards the GFA Senior League Chairman, also a member of the GFA Council.

On the latter point, Mr Bula is accused of having shouted at the said official over the telephone when he was told that he could not attend a match fixture between Scotland and Northern Ireland on the 25th March 2015. Mr Bula was requesting attendance to this important match to scout Scotland, 4 days prior to Gibraltar's qualifier against Scotland. The reasons given by this official and the GFA Council were that Mr Bula had already seen Scotland play in 2014 and there was no funding for this.

Mr Bula totally refutes these allegations and rejects that these are NOT suitable for dismissal on the following grounds:

1) The GFA had approved the SKY Documentary 3 days prior to its airing. This was viewed in the boardroom of the GFA Headquarters in the presence of the GFA President, the GFA CEO, the GFA General Secretary, the GFA Lawyer and the GFA Communications Manager, all of whom had the chance to edit the documentary if in their opinion, Mr Bula was making derogatory statements against the GFA or behaved in an aggressive manner.

2) Mr Bula had presented 15 witnesses against these allegations to defend his case at the hearings. The inquiry and subsequent disciplinary board was conducted by GFA Council members; GFA Junior League Chairman, GFA Grass Roots Manager and GFA Futsal Chairman.

The GFA Council decided to dismiss him without any consideration to safeguarding local football and it's National Team. Mr Bula has appealed to the GFA for his reinstatement as National Manager as per the letter he received from the GFA dated 2nd March 2015. Should this not be successful, Mr Bula can confirm that he has sought legal advice and will consider commencing legal proceedings against the Gibraltar Football Association, on the grounds of:

1) Disciplinary hearing not properly conducted

2) Unfair Dismissal

3) Breach of contract by the GFA, for not allowing Mr Bula do his job according to his contract and

4)  What Mr Bula considers to be unfair treatment from some members of the GFA

As an example, an incident suffered by Mr Bula a week prior to the investigatory/disciplinary hearing, was when he arrived at the GFA headquarters, his normal place of work, to find that the offices were half empty. He was then informed by the GFA store man that all GFA employees had moved to new premises. The store man was told by the GFA to inform Mr Bula that he was to stay working from the old headquarters. Later that day when Mr Bula questioned the GFA on this move, he was told by a GFA employee that they had not catered for an office desk for the National Manager in the new premises. Mr Bula was informed that if he so wished, he could share a desk in the old premises with GFA subcommittee members.

Mr Bula takes this opportunity to wish all the success to ALL Gibraltar National teams and local clubs with their future endeavours."