'Overweight' Taarabt Could Be Fired By QPR

Contract Could Be Terminated But Club Must Be Seen To Help Player First

20.10.2014

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Premier League football club, Queens Park Rangers, could legally dismiss their 25-year-old midfield star Adel Taarabt for failure to fulfil his contract after it emerged that his manager Harry Redknapp says he is overweight and unfit to play.

According to leading employment lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, Glenn Hayes, the struggling club must give the Moroccan every opportunity to lose weight and support him with this over the coming months, however if the player does not cooperate and is unable to fulfil his contract as a result of his weight, the club could lawfully dismiss the player.

Taarabt has played just three times this season for QPR and after the weekend’s fixture against Liverpool, Redknapp said:

“He's not fit to play football unfortunately. He played in a reserve game the other day and I could have run about more than he did.

'I pick people who want to try, who come in every day and work, train and show a good attitude. When he starts doing that, if he ever can, maybe he'll get a game. I can't protect people who don't want to run and train, and are about three stone overweight.'

'What am I supposed to say? Keep getting your 60, 70 grand a week and don't train?'

Glenn Hayes, Employment Partner at law firm Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
QPR’s perilous financial situation is well known and I expect that they certainly will have one eye on whether they can generate a transfer fee for the player in January. They will also look to see whether it is possible to loan the player out again, but with Harry Redknapp announcing that the player is almost three stone overweight, I doubt clubs will be rushing to get a deal done any time soon.

“The reality of the situation is that QPR have one of their highest earners not playing football. He is potentially a key member of the QPR squad and presumably like all players, he will have clauses in his contract that relate to his fitness and willingness to train. If he isn’t meeting these, and it appears that he is not willing to change, then the club could look to lawfully terminate the contract.

“If the Taarabt situation occurred in the corporate world and a senior executive was not fulfilling their duties, the business wouldn’t hesitate to take action to protect their financial position. It should be no different in sport, but then again football does sometimes operate in a bubble when it comes to employment law.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner