KP and the Workplace Mediation

KP and the Workplace Mediation

By Legal Weasel, a sometimes controversial contributor to matters of law and morality.

Workplace Mediation -Sports MediationWorkplace mediation is increasingly being considered as the preferred method of dispute resolution by employers, and those in the sporting industry ought to be no different.

The Legal Weasel has today been considering the Kevin Pietersen affair in that context the ECB has announced that Kevin Pietersen is to be permitted to rejoin the England cricket team.

The timing of the announcement the day after a KP-less England exited ingloriously from the T20 World Cup was, obviously, a mere co-incidence.

Universal sweetness and light between KP and his prospective team mates seems a little way off however. The batsman is to undergo a “period of re-integration” into the team, which sounds something less than an open armed welcome. “I’m fairly happy” declared the man himself, with a notable lack of enthusiasm.

Feuds between team mates are nothing new, of course. “I’d rather sit down and have a cuppa with Neil Ruddock, who broke my leg in two places, than I would with Teddy Sheringham, whom I’ve pretty much detested for the last fifteen years” Andy Cole said affectionately of his Manchester United team mate and strike partner Teddy Sheringham. Aston Villa team mates Olof Mellberg and Freddie Ljungberg got on so badly that they came to blows both at Villa and when playing for Sweden. And you can say what you like about former England skipper John Terry, but it’s clear that he doesn’t discriminate on the grounds of skin colour: he’s just as capable of falling out with former England team mate Wayne Bridge as he is with former England team mate Rio Ferdinand.

Do these internecine feuds harm a team’s fortune on the field of play? Probably. If there were a trophy for having the highest number of “best sides in the tournament who never the less failed to win the tournament”, it would surely go to the Netherlands, who have made an art form of producing great non-winning teams ever since Johann Cruyff’s brilliant total footballers were beaten by Franz Beckenbauer’s more functional Germans in 1974. Except that they’d probably be too busy squabbling to pick the trophy up. The feuds that split the Oranje over the years have been well documented; it has even been suggested that in the 1996 team the two cliques wouldn’t pass to each other on the field of play (which may provide a sobering explanation of why England’s greatest win since 1966 came in that tournament against the men in orange).

All of which would suggest that amongst the specialist coaches, physios and kitmen a sports team ought to have a specialist sporting mediator, like Full Contact’s own Martin Plowman on hand, or at least on call, to help smooth away these issues. “So, why don’t they?”, I hear you ask, since you’ve probably never read about a feud between team mates being sorted out with the help of a mediator on the back pages. Ah, but that’s just it: they often do. Workplace Mediation is quick, effective, and confidential. The sporting disputes that are referred to workplace mediation are the ones you don’t hear about.

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About Legal Weasel
A sometimes controversial contributor to matters of law and morality.

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