Crystal Palace Baltimore is being sued by its youth academy coaches for unpaid wages
Seven former youth academy coaches for Crystal Palace Baltimore have filed suit against the financially beleaguered second-division club for breach of contract.
According to a complaint filed in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore County, the group is seeking more than $20,000 collectively in unpaid wages between 2008 and 2010.
"Towards the end of the two-year contract period, Crystal Palace began to avoid paying the coaches their respective and earned compensation for handling its developmental soccer academy duties," the court document states. "All communications and demands with Crystal Palace have not led to full payment. Moreover, Crystal Palace has attempted to avoid its financial responsibilities with inaction, thereby seriously and adversely affecting the coaches' financial interests."
The plaintiffs are Matt Smith, former head coach of Johns Hopkins University and the Crystal Palace academy director; Keith Tabatznik, former head coach at Georgetown; Curtis Landy, a former Howard assistant; Washington College Coach Drew Hoffman; American University Coach Todd West; former Navy assistant Patrick Kennedy; and Phil Wellington, an ex-Georgetown goalkeeper. Smith and Tabatznik are seeking the largest amounts ($4,374.99 apiece).
Crystal Palace Baltimore spent three seasons in USL-2, the third tier of the American soccer system, before moving to the second-division North American Soccer League last year. After shuttling between five venues for home games witnessed by small crowds, the club announced last month that it would not field a team in 2011 and hopes to reorganize for 2012.
The organization also parted ways with its famed namesake, Crystal Palace, which is having its own financial problems. The London-based club funneled a small annual payment to the U.S. affiliate.
CP Baltimore is owned by Randall Medd, a real estate investor and options trader; his son, Pete Medd; and Jim Cherneski. Pete Medd and Cherneski were co-coaches.
During the season, players complained of late payments and inadequate meal per diems.
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