Hello Annette, many thanks for your patience. There are a couple of options he can pursue here, although neither would necessarily be that easy. First of all if he can try and argue that he has been continuously employed by them for more than 2 years as an employee, rather than a volunteer then he may be entitled to redundancy. The issue here is that he may not have actually been classified as an employee and he may not also have the required 2 years unbroken service to qualify.
So I would say that in the circumstances he is better off pursuing a simple breach of contract action for their failure to proceed with the verbal contract he was offered. A legally binding contract is created when there is an offer, an acceptance and consideration. The offer was clearly there, the acceptance followed and the consideration could be that he fully relied on this agreement to refuse any other potential offers and concentrate his efforts on this one. So by them reneging on the agreement they may be acting in breach of contract. This would not be the case if for example the offer was made conditional on anything and he did not satisfy these conditions. However, if there were no conditions with the offer and they simply refused to honour the contract, then that would be a breach of contract.
In terms of compensation, that is where he may be slightly disappointed. A breach of contract claim would try and place him in the position he would have been had the breach not occurred. You must also consider any ability the club would have had to terminate the contract early. So for example if they could have ended the contact early even if they took him on, then he would only really be entitled to the notice period due on termination. If no early termination provision existed then he could potentially look for damages for the full season, i.e. £50pw until the time when they could have terminated him anyway, such as the end of the season next year. He cannot force them to take him on and progress his career unfortunately. Financial damages for the current agreement is all he can realistically pursue. It is unfortunately a very, very competitive industry and hundreds of players are eft disappointed at some stage in their careers. So he does have rights, although not necessarily as robust as he would have hoped for.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow if you wanted to take this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you