Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez was dropped by Newcastle United because of his cancer diagnosis, an Employment Tribunal has found. The 32-year-old was suing the Magpies for about £2m on the grounds of disability discrimination. Gutierrez, who joined Newcastle from Real Mallorca in 2008, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 2013. He had been a regular at St James’ Park before that time, scoring 10 goals in 177 appearances at the time of the return of the illness and subsequent treatment. The Argentina international sued Newcastle over the way he was treated following his diagnosis and claimed the Premier League club saw him as a liability after he returned from treatment.
Gutierrez, now playing for Deportivo La Coruna in Spain, also alleged that he was not selected for some of the second half of the 2014-15 season. The Tribunal ruled the club made it impossible for Gutierrez to trigger an appearance-based contract extension. Newcastle United says they are “dismayed” by the judgment and are considering further options with their legal team.
Claims of unfavourable treatment and another of harassment related to disability were dismissed. A further remedy hearing will be held in due course, in which compensation will be addressed.