Black Stars striker Asamoah Gyan missed a glorious opportunity of becoming the first Ghanaian player to win the Caf Player of the Year award in 17 years after losing the crown to Cameroon attacker Samuel Eto’o Fils.Gyan was expected to pick the award after inspiring the Black Stars to a successful campaign at both the 2010 African Cup of Nations in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa.The award which is Eto’o’s fourth was decided by votes from the Head Coaches of senior national teams of the 53 National Associations affiliated to Caf.Despite the disappointment, Asamoah Gyan believes the future is bright.He said it was encouraging to be recognized and noted he still had many years ahead of him.Ex-Black Stars player and Board Member of the Professional Players Association of Ghana, Augustine Arhinful believes Eto’o is a deserved winner of the award. Meanwhile, The Black Stars won the National Team of the Year award, while midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah was named the Young Player of the Year. And, ex-Black Stars coach Milovan Rajevac was handed the Coach of the Year award.Source: Joy Sports/Ghana
- Tribunal claims: The basics explained by Howard Kennedy
The way workplace disputes are being pursued is changing. Sam Murray-Hinde of law firm Howard Kennedy lays out how a Tribunal can affect small operatorsWith Employment Tribunal fees having been quashed by the Supreme Court in July, some larger operators are noticing a change in the way workplace disputes are being pursued by both employees and unions.For some, there has already been a noticeable increase in claims, meritorious or otherwise. For smaller operators, being faced with a legal claim can be daunting.Before a claim can be presented, employees have to go through mandatory early conciliation via ACAS. They notify ACAS of their potential claim and you are contacted to see if settlement can be reached. The conciliation period normally lasts up to one month.If settlement fails, a certificate is issued. Employees need this in order to present a claim to the Tribunal, via an ET1 form.Sadly, where employees have unrealistic views on compensation, some claims are cheaper to defend than settle. Others may need to be defended to send a tactical message to the workforce. Witness statementsClaims for unlawful deductions from wages and unfair dismissal are normally listed for full hearing by the Tribunal upon receipt. Discrimination claims are listed for a preliminary hearing so that the legal issues can first be clarified. The ET1 form is then copied to you by the Tribunal, along with any notices of hearing and/or orders. Your response has to be submitted on an ET3 form within 28 days. The response should be kept as short as possible, setting out the factual chronology and whether or not the allegations are admitted or denied. Further detail should be saved for the witness statements.Identify your witnesses early on so that you can speak to them and fully understand the background to the allegations and the merits of the claim. If they have not given evidence before, it is worth them attending a Tribunal hearing so that they know what to expect (most hearings are held in public, and you can sit in as an observer).A judge reviews the ET1 and ET3 forms and can list the matter for hearing, and/or issue orders. The orders will set a timetable for:The employee to serve a schedule of lossThe parties to disclose relevant documentsThe exchange of witness statementsAgreeing an indexed and paginated bundle.Less formalTribunals are less formal than the courts, and hearings are normally before a judge sitting alone, unless they involve discrimination allegations, where the judge will have two side members. Judgment can be given on the day, or reserved.If you lose, you should request written reasons within 14 days, as these are needed in order to lodge any appeal, should there be grounds.Tribunals will only make costs awards in limited circumstances. Therefore, if the claim is manifestly unmeritorious, it is advisable to put the employee on notice of costs from the outset and then use this as the basis for a costs application on conclusion of the matter.As ever, prevention is better than cure. It is important to have in place, and keep updated, core policies and procedures and ensure management apply these consistently. Training is also invaluable in helping managers to spot potential issues and know how to deal with them, including how to effect a procedurally and substantively fair dismissal.
- The media moguls to watch in Europe in 2016
At a time of dazzling change in the media landscape, it’s never been more important to keep track of the powerful figures who pull the strings, providing the information that shapes our politics and culture or controlling the routes through which we access it.Here are some of the media titans in Europe that we’ll be keeping an eye on in 2016:David and Frederick BarclayDavid (left) and Frederick Barclay | MICHAEL STEPHENS/AFP/Getty ImagesThe publicity-shy octogenarian billionaires bought the Telegraph, the U.K.’s top-selling broadsheet newspaper, for £665 million (€905 million) in 2004. Are they now getting restless? The paper, a staunch supporter of the Conservative government, remains more profitable than its peers but had a difficult 2015: it was accused by a departing columnist, Peter Oborne, of avoiding negative coverage of a major advertiser; rebuked by the Information Commissioner for sending unsolicited emails to readers urging them to vote for the Tories; and lost its star football writer to the Times. Rupert Murdoch’s rival broadsheet has been closing the gap on print sales, holding circulation steady while that of the Telegraph continues to fall. The market has been rife with rumors that the brothers are eager to sell. The Barclays’ spokesman denied they’re looking to offload the paper, but industry observers believe they’ll sell if they can get a good price; one analyst says it could be worth £350 million to £400 million, based on a multiple of operating profits. The big question: who would buy it?Silvio BerlusconiEPA/GIORGIO ONORATIHe may be a spent force in Italian politics, but Berlusconi remains one of the country’s richest and most powerful businessmen, with vast influence over the media in southern Europe. His family holdings — worth €6.4 billion, according to Forbes — include Mediaset, the commercial broadcaster, which operates popular TV channels in Italy and Spain, and Mondadori, Italy’s biggest publisher. Mediaset, battered by the troubled Italian economy and a costly battle with Murdoch’s Sky for pay-TV subscribers, could face tougher competition from Rai, the state broadcaster, which is being strengthened by Matteo Renzi’s government. Nevertheless, it remains one of the top broadcasters in Europe. This may be the year Berlusconi decides to cash in and sell his stake, says François Godard, a media analyst at Enders Analysis.Vincent BolloréERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty ImagesThe hard-headed French corporate raider inherited a family fortune built on cigarette paper and freight-handling. Bolloré elbowed his way into the European media sector by taking control of Vivendi, whose assets include the film and TV group Canal Plus, Universal Music, and a stake in Telecom Italia; he also owns Havas, the French advertising group. Bolloré ruffled feathers in French media last year by shaking up Canal Plus, bringing in new management and allegedly trying to tone down Les Guignols, its satirical puppet show known for skewering French politicians. This year, media experts are watching for him to make even bigger moves. Vivendi has a war-chest of about €9 billion to spend. “Bolloré is definitely one [to watch],” Claudio Aspesi, an analyst at Bernstein, said.Adam CrozierEPA/EVERETT KENNEDY BROWNIn five years, the quietly-spoken Scottish executive has transformed Britain’s ITV from a basket case into one of Europe’s most valuable free-to-air broadcasters. Although audiences are increasingly moving online, the network remains a darling of London’s financial market: the share price has increased nearly fivefold since Crozier took over in 2010, to a market value of £11 billion. ITV accounts for about 36 percent of the advertising revenue generated by TV channels in the U.K. and, through a series of acquisitions, has become a major player in production of TV programs on both sides of the Atlantic. In London media circles, there are many who believe it’s only a matter of time before ITV is swallowed by a foreign entertainment, telecoms or technology giant eager for a foothold in the European TV market. Crozier, they suspect, may try to engineer a blockbuster sale before moving on to a bigger job in corporate Britain. “The turnaround story has been a big success,” Alex DeGroote, a media analyst at Peel Hunt, says. “But what is left to achieve?”Mathias DöpfnerSean Gallup/Getty ImagesDöpfner is a former music journalist who runs Axel Springer, the German media giant with assets including the newspapers Bild and Die Welt. In a push away from its legacy newspaper business into digital and English-language media, Axel Springer was at the heart of some of the most interesting moves in the news business in 2015, with mixed success. The Financial Times was agonizingly snatched away at the eleventh-hour by Nikkei, but Axel Springer promptly spun around and snapped up Business Insider in a €395 million deal. Other investments included a stake in POLITICO’s Europe edition. Döpfner has been leading the charge among European publishers against alleged copyright infringement by Google and the makers of ad-blocking software. And Axel Springer is launching its own Internet news aggregator, Upday. “[Axel] Springer [is] becoming a true global player,” says Ken Doctor, a media analyst and contributing writer to POLITICO Media in New York. Expect another active year.Patrick DrahiMIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty ImagesIn less than two years, Drahi, a French-Israeli billionaire, has become one of the most powerful gatekeepers controlling the routes through which people access media services on both sides of the Atlantic. His telecoms company Altice, based in the Netherlands, has spent more than €40 billion buying mobile, internet and TV providers including SFR in France and Cablevision in the U.S. Drahi, born in Morocco to a pair of Jewish maths teachers, has amassed a fortune estimated by Bloomberg at €6.8 billion. He has also become a significant force in the news media in France, with assets including Liberation, the left-wing newspaper founded by Jean-Paul Sartre, and the magazine L’Express. He has an option to buy BFMTV, the country’s leading news channel.Maurice LevySpencer Platt/Getty ImagesPublicis, based in Paris, is one of a handful of advertising conglomerates that wield massive influence over the media industry by acting as the middleman between big brands and the TV channels, publishers and websites that depend on their advertisements. Publicis has had a torrid 18 months since a planned mega-merger with American rival Omnicom fell apart. Growth last year lagged behind that of its competitors such as Britain’s WPP, and the loss of business for major clients Procter & Gamble and L’Oréal in North America added to investors’ concerns. Levy, the 73-year-old éminence grise of French media, built Publicis from a regional advertising agency into a global powerhouse; this is expected to be his last year as chief executive before handing over to a younger generation. Analysts are backing him to turn it around before he retires.Rupert MurdochJason Reed – Pool/Getty ImagesFour-and-a-half years after revelations that journalists on the tabloid News of the World hacked the voicemails of a murdered schoolgirl rocked the British media-political establishment and cleaved Murdoch’s global media empire in half, the Australian tycoon appears to have finally put the scandal behind him. He remains hugely influential in the U.K., with the ear of senior figures in David Cameron’s government. Yet News Corp’s British newspaper business is struggling to overcome the headwinds battering the publishing industry. All eyes will be on Rebekah Brooks, reinstalled as chief executive after being cleared of phone hacking charges, to see if she can find a sustainable digital business model for the Sun after scrapping the tabloid’s Internet paywall. Media insiders are also wondering whether Murdoch’s entertainment company, 21st Century Fox, will resurrect a bid for full control of the satellite TV group Sky, which he abandoned in 2011 at the height of the phone hacking scandal. Murdoch will be 85 this year: has he got one last transformational deal in Europe up his sleeve?Larry Page and Mark ZuckerbergKimberly White/Getty Images for Fortune | Money Sharma/AFP/Getty ImagesEuropeans may still look to their trusted domestic news brands to tell them what’s going on in their communities, but they’re increasingly doing so through Google and Facebook. The Silicon Valley heavyweights have hoovered up a huge proportion of the advertising revenues that established media companies once commanded, and also increasingly dictate where readers and viewers spend their time online. Nobody will have more influence on the way technology will impact journalism, politics and civil society than Page and Zuckerberg. “Their decisions, because of their distributional power, will influence major issues in privacy, surveillance, the quality of news, and indeed the quality of debate in the public space in European nations,” says George Brock, professor of journalism at City University in London. Several European publishers are experimenting with Facebook’s new fast-loading “instant articles” format, in the hope that they’ll get more traffic for their stories — although there are also fears that it’s a deal with the devil. Google is working to develop products through its Digital News Initiative, a €150 million olive branch to European publishers who were worried about the search giant’s growing influence. The first projects are due to be announced in February.David Pemsel and Katharine VinerMonica Schipper/Getty Images for AWXI | The GuardianIt falls to the new chief executive and editor of the Guardian to figure out the next phase in the evolution of the world’s most-read left-wing news provider — including finding new ways to keep paying for it. The shadow of the last editor, Alan Rusbridger, who stood down in the summer, still looms over the building. One of the two outstanding British newspaper editors of his generation (with Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail), he transformed the Guardian over two decades from a relatively small British newspaper into a global online publication with a string of big award-winning scoops to its credit, from phone hacking to the Snowden leaks. The sale of the Guardian’s classified advertising businesses left the new leadership team with the comfort of nearly £1 billion in the bank. But losses are still in the tens of millions of pounds a year, revenues from digital operations are still dwarfed by those of its shrinking print edition, and Pemsel and Viner will have to run a tighter ship to safeguard the publication’s future. A strategic review, known internally as “Project 2021,” will be closely watched by other media companies facing the same challenges.