Leicester: English first division club Leicester City are threatening to go to court if the Football League does not reverse its ruling that they cannot sack midfielder Dennis Wise.
“The Leicester board does not want Dennis Wise back, the fans who chanted against him on Saturday don’t want him back and the players don’t want him back,” Leicester chairman Greg Clarke said in the Sun on Monday.
The former Chelsea and England player had his contract terminated after an alleged attack on teammate Callum Davidson during a pre-season tour of Finland that left the defender with a double fracture of the cheekbone.
Davidson is out of action for six weeks following surgery.
After a six-hour hearing on Friday the Football League decided that 35-year-old Wise’s punishment was too severe and said the most Leicester could do was fine him two weeks’ wages.
Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballer’ Association also came out in support of Wise, calling the punishment “excessive”.
But Clarke is determined to fight the decision. “If that is what it takes we’ll go to the civil courts. If ABH (actual bodily harm) can’t get you sacked maybe GBH (grievous bodily harm) and murder can,” he said in the Sun.
“The League has lost all right of moral authority if they condone violence like this. If this is an example of how the Football League police themselves, they’ve done enough to destroy their reputation.
“If they are not going to take a hard line we are going to see more of these sorry episodes. We are talking pre-meditated assault here, actual bodily harm. In some cases you might be lucky to escape prison. I am outraged.
“A player made an unprovoked attack on a fellow pro and left him with broken bones. This wasn’t just a slap.
In the unlikely event the Football League does not see sense, we are going to have to look at alternatives.
“We’ve all hung our heads in shame at the violence on the terraces. What sort of leadership are we showing by this decision'”
Clarke also insisted that Wise was not sacked simply to ease the club's crippling wage bill following relegation from the premier league last season.
“It is not a case of saving his wages, like people have suggested. There is no witch-hunt against Dennis Wise, but I promise you he will never work for Leicester City again.”
Wise, who began his career with Wimbledon, won 19 England caps. He joined Leicester from Chelsea in June 2001 but has made just 16 starts for the club.