Mendy sues City for £10m unpaid wages
Player chases withheld pay after rape-charges acquittal Cheshire house on market in attempt to avoid bankruptcy
By Ben Rumsby
Sport | Football
Benjamin Mendy is suing Manchester City for up to £10million after they stopped paying him when he was charged with multiple counts of rape. The former France full-back, who was acquitted of all charges at Chester Crown Court this summer, has filed a claim with an employment tribunal after it emerged he was selling his house to avoid bankruptcy. A representative for the 31-yearold, who joined Lorient days after being found not guilty in July, told the High Court in August his client was chasing millions of pounds in pay from September 2021 to his release in the summer. Mendy has hired top sports lawyer Nick De Marco KC to represent him. A statement released to Telegraph Sport read: “Nick De Marco KC [instructed by Laffer Abogados, Madrid] is acting for Benjamin Mendy in a multi-million pound claim for unauthorised deductions from wages. Manchester City FC failed to pay Mr Mendy any wages at all from September 2021, following Mr Mendy being charged with various offences, all of which he was subsequently acquitted of, until the end of his contract in June 2023. The claim will come before an employment tribunal.” In August, a specialist judge was told that HM Revenue and Customs was seeking a bankruptcy order against the France international over a tax debt of nearly £800,000. Jacquille Jarrett, representing HMRC, said proceedings at the insolvency and companies court had been postponed previously pending the outcome of the criminal trial and for a settlement of Mendy’s debt from backdated salary or the sale of his property. “There has been no contact from the debtor,” Jarrett said, adding: “The agreement advises an update would be given to HMRC but no contact was made. We look to secure a bankruptcy order today.” Mendy’s accountant, David Lumley, said his client’s agent was “in negotiations with Manchester City to get the back pay on the basis that he has been found not guilty”. The sum is “in the order of £9-£10million gross”, he told the court. He also said Mendy’s house in Cheshire was being marketed by estate agent Savills for £5million. Lumley said: “I would like to ask for a short extension because I am told very firmly by his agent that the pay issue will be resolved from Manchester City. He was very short of money indeed, the costs of the legal case were over £1million.” Judge Clive Jones told the August hearing that Mendy’s HMRC debt was £788,409. Criticising Mendy, the judge said: “I’m very unimpressed at the lack of information provided both to HMRC and to the court prior to this hearing.” He added that Mendy must attend any further hearing or be legally represented. The judge adjourned the bankruptcy proceedings until last month to allow Mendy to sell his house. He said he had been told there was “more than sufficient equity in a house”, adding that “time should be given to enable payment to be made”. “I also bear in mind that there are also negotiations in place about the backdated pay,” the judge said, adding that Mendy could be being paid “a large sum in wages” in France. At the October hearing, the High Court was told Mendy was “embarrassed” about a tax debt he wanted to pay “as quickly as possible”. However, Louis Doyle KC, for Mendy, was granted an adjournment for the settling of the sum. Doyle said discussions with the club were ongoing and “one senses that there is going to be a positive end to the dispute”. The barrister added: “This is perhaps, if not the last chance saloon, close to last orders at the last chance saloon.” The court was told that £277,000 had been paid to HMRC, though the department’s lawyer, Megan Vanderhook, said it had not yet been received. Doyle later told the court Mendy was prepared to pay £20,000 a month to HMRC from his salary from his new employer. Judge Mark Mullen adjourned the hearing for four months, describing the delay as “final”. “It is clear the debtor is a man of substantial means and the question is really one of realising his assets and particularly resolving a dispute with his former employer,” he said. City declined to comment but are understood to have reacted with bemusement to Mendy’s claim, having rebuffed his approaches to settle out of court.