Mario Balotelli's Good Behaviour Clause 'Unusual But Not Surprising'

Lawyers React As Milan Reportedly Take Steps To Tame Controversial Star

27.08.2015

AC Milan’s decision to reportedly introduce a good behaviour clause into the contract of Mario Balotelli is a “very unusual step” but perhaps not all too surprising, according to specialist employment lawyers.

According to media reports, the football club has included stipulations in the agreement to take the Italian forward on loan from Liverpool which will commit him to a healthy lifestyle and also see his social media accounts monitored.

He is also reportedly being banned from outrageous haircuts or clothing, with club officials apparently basing the clause on regulations used in the Italian air force.

Balotelli is returning to Milan after a disappointing spell at Liverpool, where he scored just a single league goal after a £16 million move.

According to specialist employers at Irwin Mitchell, the introduction of such a clause into a contract is not a common step.

Glenn Hayes, Partner and specialist employment law expert at the national law firm, said: “Balotelli famously proclaimed ‘Why Always Me?’ on a shirt during a Manchester derby and it seems once again that one of the game’s more controversial personalities is being singled out once again.

Expert Opinion
“It is very unusual for this type of thing to happen, but perhaps not surprising when the striker has been shown to have a disruptive nature in the past

It is unclear as to what the extent of the clause is, although reports do suggest it includes a range of issues including maintaining a healthy lifestyle and being responsible on social media. What is almost certain however is that it is likely to give Milan the ability to terminate his contract without notice if he breaches certain terms within it, prompting a return to his parent club.

“Whilst normal businesses tend to set out what is regarded as acceptable behaviour or not in advance of the employment relationship starting, football clubs usually deal with matters retrospectively and usually terminate or issue fines when a player crosses the line as to what is acceptable and what is not.

“As such it is interesting to see here a club taking a proactive step, perhaps reflected by the need to do so due to his ‘bad boy’ tag, which he has done little to lose in the last few years.”
Glenn Hayes, Partner