Hatem Ben Arfa Hits Back At Pardew and Newcastle United Via His Lawyer and Adviser
If Mike Ashley and Alan Pardew thought that Hatem Ben Arfa was going to go quietly, they were sadly mistaken.
While the club have managed to force Sylvain Marveaux out of the door on loan to lowly Guingamp, Hatem’s lawyer and his adviser have joined forces to hit back at what they claim is a dirty tricks campaign by Newcastle United to blacken the player’s name to try and get him to leave.
Amongst the tactics claimed are sending Ben Arfa to train with the reserves, manipulating and massively exaggerating the claimed issue of the player’s weight, while more bizarrely – also appearing to claim that the club had stopped paying Hatem’s rent from the money that was already deducted from his wages.
His lawyer and adviser make clear Hatem Ben Arfa does not want to leave and loves the fans, though they also state that Newcastle are asking for far too much money even if he was willing to leave.
Speaking to France Football, this is what Hatem’s adviser and lawyer have both had to say;
Hatem Ben Arfa’s Adviser, Michael Ouazine;
“It is incomprehensible. We do not know what the problem is, in the past Pardew has said that Hatem was extraordinary.
“We are now in a situation where there does not seem to be a solution. Hatem simply does his job and trains well, he is enjoying training with the reserves where he has a great coach in Peter Beardsley.
“It is harassment, humiliation (referring to 10,000 Euros fine for HBA coming back allegedly 1.5 kilos overweight), we will challenge that fine.
“We asked them (Newcastle United) to give us all the players’ physical records. Hatem went on holiday with a personal trainer, he worked to prepare for the season. 1.5 kilos? Yes, but it is a poud of muscle and 500 grammes of fat. He lost 2% of body fat and so we challenge this fine.”
Jean-Jacques Bertrand (French lawyer specialising in Sports Law);
“There are two things. The principle of the punishment and the scale of it.
“What procedure was followed? If we were dealing with a situation that clearly impacts on performance, and it was certified that he was the only one overweight…I do not imagine for one second though that upon returning from leave, out of 25 players only 1 is overweight – and we talk about 1.5kg, not 5kg.
“The nature of the fine for me is abusive, but in addition, the fine is part of a broader context of successive measure to harass the player.
“We have learned the homeowner has not received rent for three months. So we checked his payslips to check that there was always the rent deducted from his salary. The club has now paid the owner the rent collected from the player’s salary.”
Hatem’s advisor Michale Ouazine again;
“Hatem is able to go after his contract ends; 6 months, a year, that’s not a problem.
“In two months Pardew may be far away (from Newcastle United). Hatem loves this club and he is idolised by the fans.
“Hatem can only stay professional, when the events are beyond his control and not his doing.
“The elements are unfavourable at the moment, there is no dialogue, no talking to him. You saw how they treated Marveaux…
Lyon is his first club…but it is very difficult financially because Newcastle want a lot (of cash).”
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