Sacked Gray set to sue Sky for £3million
Published 23:01 26/01/11 By Mark Jefferies
Dumped football pundit Andy Gray has launched legal proceedings against Sky Sports over his sacking – and wants a £3million payout.
The 55-year-old, who was sacked on Tuesday following his sexist comments and actions on leaked videos, spent yesterday with his lawyers discussing plans to try to sue Sky for unfair dismissal.
Sources close to Gray also revealed yesterday that he found out he was being sacked “just minutes” before the news was released to the media.
The former Everton striker is said to want £3million for the remainder of his contract with Sky, which is worth £1.7million-a-year.
The 55-year-old also spoke yesterday of his devastation at “losing a job I love” and not being allowed the chance to publicly apologise.
A source close to Gray said: “He feels very down, upset and a little embarrassed about everything - exactly how you would feel if you had just been sacked from a job you loved.
"It doesn’t feel like he got a second chance or was allowed to apologise. He feels he didn’t get a fair crack of the whip.”
His legal battle will mean he is unlikely to make an appearance on TV covering football on any other station this season, although other channels may consider bringing him back next season if the furore dies down.
Legal experts think Gray may have a strong case.
Martin Edwards, a partner and head of employment law at Mace & Jones, said: “Did Sky get it right legally? Employers who sack people as a knee-jerk reaction may have to pay heavy compensation for unfair dismissal.
"The snag for a top earner like Gray is that the maximum pay-out for unfair dismissal is at present £65,300. Much bigger sums can be handed out by tribunals in some cases – for instance, where there is discrimination. Then, there is no limit on the amount of the award.”
Gray's long-time screen partner Richard Keys resigned from Sky Sports last night over his role in the affair.