A WAR of words has broken out between Barnsley and Heart of Midlothian after the Scottish Premier League side dismissed the Reds’ claim for compensation for the services of Daniel Stendel as being ‘entirely without merit’.
The former Oakwell head coach will be officially unveiled by Hearts today, having left Barnsley exactly nine weeks ago.
He was not an employee of Barnsley Football Club when we first consulted him and there is no basis on which Heart of Midlothian Football Club is liable to Barnsley Football Club.Hearts’ statement
In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, Barnsley broke their silence regarding the circumstances of Stendel’s exit – and claimed that he was sacked partly because he spoke to a rival Championship side without permission earlier this season.
The statement added that the club had failed to secure a compensation settlement with Hearts for the services of Stendel and his former Reds assistants Dale Tonge and Christopher Stern – and will continue to proceed in their quest for ‘damages’.
Both parties have been in dispute over a severance package for Stendel, whose Oakwell contract was due to run until next summer.
A Barnsley statement read: “Early in the season Daniel Stendel entered into negotiations with a rival Sky Bet Championship club, to take over their managerial post and recruited other members of contracted Barnsley Football Club staff to follow him. Never once did Mr Stendel seek approval or alert members of the club’s board to these discussions.
“Only when approached by the board was there any sign of acknowledgement. This was a clear violation of Mr Stendel’s contract and created additional unnecessary distractions for our club, which was recently promoted to the Sky Bet Championship.
“This event, coupled with numerous other issues, led to the removal of Mr Stendel as head coach.”
The club went on to claim that attempts to agree a compensation settlement ‘privately and amicably’, out of the public eye with Hearts for the services of Stendel, Tonge and Stern had been ‘to no avail’.
After two months of discussions, the club said it could not wait any longer to speak to fan, adding: “The club will continue to vigorously defend its rights against all parties involved in tampering of club staff, so the club recovers all damages incurred.
“All recovered damages will be reinvested in our squad.”
Meanwhile, in a separate development, Hearts issued their own statement, which read: “On behalf of the board of directors of Heart of Midlothian Football Club, we would like to reassure our supporters that we have followed all proper procedures in appointing Daniel Stendel.
“He was not an employee of Barnsley Football Club when we first consulted him and there is no basis on which Heart of Midlothian Football Club is liable to Barnsley Football Club.
“Misleading reports and statements to the contrary elsewhere are entirely false.
“Should any claim be commenced against Heart of Midlothian Football Club, it will be defended in the strongest possible terms. Given that we consider any threatened claim to be entirely without merit, we do not propose to comment further on this matter.”
The Yorkshire Post understands that Stendel is unhappy with the statement issued by his former club.