County News September 12, 2003

Burns and Crowe reach settlement with Leicestershire

Wisden CricInfo staff

Neil Burns and Carl Crowe have agreed an undisclosed settlement with their former county Leicestershire, following an employment tribunal which cited unfair and wrongful dismissal.

On the scheduled fifth day of the hearing, Leicestershire chief executive Kevin Hill announced: "I am extremely pleased to confirm that Neil Burns and Carl Crowe have agreed to settle their claims after reaching agreement with the club. This settlement means all parties can now draw a line under this matter and devote all their energies to their respective futures."

Burns and Crowe decided to take the issue to the employment tribunal when they were not offered new contracts by Leicestershire at the end of last season. In the course of the hearing, Leicestershire were described as a "complete shambles" by Burns's lawyer, Tim Kevans.

Details of Crowe's case are not yet clear, but Burns claims that he was verbally offered a new contract by James Whitaker, at the time the county's general manager, but that no deal ever emerged. Burns was subsequently replaced by Paul Nixon, Whitaker's former team-mate and a personal friend. Whitaker denied Burns's claim. "We did not offer a contract," he said. "Things were left very open and there was no firm offer."

Tim Kevans, representing Burns, told the hearing that Leicestershire were in disarray in 2002. "The left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing," he said. "Contracts were being offered without others knowing. Such was the level of concern that members held a public meeting and an independent review board was called in. David Graveney [the chairman of Professional Cricketers' Association] even spoke of his concern after meeting some of those players who had left the county."