Dumped Phillips considers legal action against Bayonne
October 28, 2013
Over and out ... Mike Phillips' career with Bayonne appears to have come to an end © PA Photos
Mike Phillips, who was told by Bayonne officials his contract, which is in its final year, will be terminated this week, is preparing to take legal action against the club according to the Daily Telegraph.
Phillips was suspended last week after turning up drunk at a training session. He met with club officials on Saturday when he was advised that the contract would be scrapped. Bayonne's chairman Alain Afflelou said the formal notice would be delivered today and accused Phillips of "treason".
In a statement, Phillips said: "I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the decision taken by Aviron Bayonnais Rugby Club to terminate my employment.
"I was also disappointed by the fact that I officially heard about my dismissal through an interview given in a French newspaper this morning. As a result of discussions with my legal team in France, I have now instructed them to issue proceedings .. through the French judicial system."
The two-time British and Irish Lions tourist said: "I wish to thank my team-mates and the many friends I have made in the Basque Country for their help and kindness over the past two seasons. I will now wholeheartedly concentrate all my energy and efforts on training with Wales and try to earn a place in the match day squad to help Wales have a successful Autumn campaign against South Africa, Australia, Argentina and Tonga."
Asked about reports Phillips was considering legal action, Afflelou said he did not expect to be faced with paying compensation. "We'll let the lawyers do their work but I don't think so. He is a repeat offender and has been laid off for misconduct."
Phillips was dropped after he was accused, along with New Zealand duo Dwayne Haare and Stephen Brett, of arriving drunk for a video analysis session on October 11. Phillips was dropped for Friday's 24-19 win over Montpellier but Haare was named on the bench while Brett played from the start and enjoyed a key role in his team's second try. According to a club source, both Kiwi imports will receive heavy fines.
The 31-year-old apologised to the Bayonne supporters earlier this week on Twitter. "Sorry to all Bayonne fans for this situation. I give the team my wholehearted support for tomorrow night. Good luck."
Phillips upset the Bayonne authorities in September 2012 when he was banned for 10 days and fined following another alcohol-fuelled episode. He played 39 matches in the Top 14.
Wales coach Warren Gatland said he would talk to Phillips when he arrived in camp for the autumn internationals, but he admitted that he was "concerned" given the player's poor disciplinary history.
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