The former Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy has launched legal action against the club in an attempt to reclaim lost earnings of up to £10m.
Mendy was suspended by the club in August 2021 after being charged with four counts of rape and he did not play for City again before he left the Etihad Stadium in June 2023. From September 2021 until the expiration of his contract City did not pay the former France defender any wages because they deemed him unavailable for work throughout his bail and trials.
Prior to being freed on bail in January 2022, Mendy spent more than four months in custody. His bail conditions stipulated he could not enter the county of Greater Manchester, where City train and play, and he was required to surrender his passport. City believed that throughout the period Mendy was not paid he was unavailable to work, which is why they say they withdrew the defender’s wages and are understood to be surprised their former employee is taking action.
The 29-year-old was found not guilty in January of raping four women and sexually assaulting another at Chester crown court. He had to face a retrial over two outstanding charges of rape and attempted rape but was acquitted in July.
“Nick De Marco KC (instructed by Laffer Abogados, Madrid) is acting for the former Manchester City player Benjamin Mendy in a multimillion-pound claim for unauthorised deductions from wages,” read a statement that was sent to the Guardian.
“Manchester City FC failed to pay Mr Mendy any wages at all from September 2021, following Mr Mendy being charged with various offence 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.”
Since his second trial Mendy, who signed for Ligue 1 side Lorient in July, and his agent have made contact with City over recouping lost earnings, believed to be between £9m and £10m gross. As no agreement has been reached between City and Mendy the matter is set to go before an employment tribunal.
HM Revenue and Customs have sought a bankruptcy order against the France international over a tax debt of nearly £800,000. During a high court hearing over the debt, Louis Doyle KC, representing Mendy, said: “He is embarrassed about the fact that he is not able to discharge it quicker than he is able to. He is saying ‘I want to pay as quickly as I can, I realise that I am in difficulty’.”
The barrister added: “This is perhaps, if not the last chance saloon, it is close to last orders at the last chance saloon.”
The case was adjourned in October for four months, with the aim it would allow time for Mendy to settle the dispute with City.
When Mendy joined City from Monaco in 2017 he became the most expensive full-back in world football by commanding a £53m fee and signing a lucrative six-year contract, estimated to be worth £28m. He went on to win three Premier League titles and two League Cups under Pep Guardiola. The left-back has won 10 caps for France and was part of the squad that won the 2018 World Cup.