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AS Saint-Étienne ordered to pay 850,000 euros to its ex-goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier

Stéphane Ruffier and AS Saint-Étienne, continuation of the legal battle. The industrial tribunal of Saint-Étienne ruled that the termination of the employment contract for “serious misconduct” by the former international goalkeeper was unfounded and ordered ASSE (L2) to pay him more than 850,000 euros in compensation. .

This compensation includes 609,000 euros that AS Saint-Étienne is ordered to pay to its former goalkeeper for this “early termination of the fixed-term contract”. This sum rises to a little more than 850,000 euros with damages and interest linked to the “disproportionate disciplinary sanction” which had been notified to him, as well as compensation linked to the “cancelled layoffs” of the 2nd half of 2020 and the paid vacation.

The international goalkeeper (3 selections) was dismissed at the end of 2020, six months before the end of his contract, following calls to order and disciplinary sanctions for alleged insubordination. Ruffier was then the goalkeeper of Saint-Étienne, who played in Ligue 1, for almost a decade (383 matches played).

The club “takes note”, without appealing?

“It is a very good decision which recognizes the disproportionate disciplinary sanctions and the unfounded dismissal for serious misconduct,” the player’s lawyer reacted to AFP. During the hearing, Me Dorothée Bisaccia-Bernstein denounced the employer’s desire to “isolate” Ruffier until his employment contract was terminated. She had requested a total of more than 7 million euros in compensation.

The lawyer had mentioned a “long period of moral harassment carried out by coach Claude Puel and general manager Xavier Thuilot, who had the mission of reducing the payroll and firing the players who cost the most”. For her, Stéphane Ruffier underwent “a demolition company”, “a campaign of undermining” and he “ended up stopping football after having his face bashed in”.

“The club has taken note of the decision rendered by the industrial tribunal and is waiting to receive notification of it to consider further action,” the ASSE council, for its part, declared to AFP.

Me Olivier Martin, the club’s lawyer, responded at the hearing by accusing the goalkeeper, repeatedly named “best goalkeeper in Ligue 1”, of having abused his status as a favorite of ASSE supporters. He had mentioned “refractory behavior in complete opposition to the coach’s directives from February 2020”, claiming that he “deliberately arrived late for training to show who (…) is the boss”.

“It was Stéphane Ruffier who sparked the controversy with a press campaign led by his agent Patrick Glanz aimed at destroying ASSE. Because, from the height of his excessive ego, he could not bear to be a substitute during a match,” he said.

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