Ports lodge McMahon tribunal appeal

Former Portadown player Peter McMahon leaving the Industrial Tribunals hearing in Belfast. Pic by Pacemaker Press.
Former Portadown player Peter McMahon leaving the Industrial Tribunals hearing in Belfast. Pic by Pacemaker Press.

Portadown officials today (Wednesday) lodged an appeal against an Industrial Tribunals decision in relation to former player Peter McMahon.

McMahon was awarded around £7,000 at a recent hearing - understood as relating to “unpaid wages”.

However, Portadown feel circumstances surrounding the absence of a club representative at the hearing can support grounds for appeal.

The case was taken by McMahon in response to a decision in early 2016 by Portadown to suspend the player’s wages. The club took the step with full support from the Irish Football Association on the grounds that McMahon’s decision to refuse a course of medical treatment prescribed by an independent consultant was a “breach of contract”.

It is understood that stance was backed at the time in writing by the game’s officials then upheld at a subsequent IFA tribunal.

McMahon became a free agent at the end of the 2015/16 season and this week signed for Dungannon Swifts.

“The player has not turned up to his place of employment or provided the club with any written medical advice contrary to that provided by the consultant,” stated a club spokesman at the time of the Industrial Tribunals verdict. “As our representative has been on holidays and only received the notification in the last few days, he applied in writing to have the hearing postponed, as a long-standing engagement was scheduled for today.

“This submission was acknowledged by the Employment Tribunal, however they decided to hold it in our absence.

“Portadown FC will be appealing the decision as they feel that all the evidence supports the club’s decision to withhold payment to the player.”

The Ports are also preparing a defence against two disciplinary issues imposed by the Irish Football Association - a 12-point deduction relating to McMahon’s contract status plus a potential “suspension of all football activities” in connection with payment of fines.

Both issues will be discussed on Monday night by the IFA Appeals’ Board.