Sunderland 'suing' former club doctor for staggering £13m over Ricky Alvarez saga - reports

Sunderland are reported to be suing their former club doctor Ishtiaq Rehman for a staggering £13million over the Ricky Alvarez saga.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 11:14 am

The Sun are reporting Sunderland are suing their former head of medicine and club doctor Rehman for £13,182,647.

It relates to the medical of injury-prone midfielder Alvarez when the club signed him on loan from Inter Milan.

The Sun report: "This extraordinary allegation, which is lodged in great detail over 13 pages with the High Court, is for breach of contract and negligence."

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Sunderland agreed to sign the midfielder on loan with an agreement for a permanent deal if the club stayed in the Premier League, which the Black Cats achieved.

The Sun report: "In a series of accusations, the Black Cats claim their former head of medical services “did not oversee the medical appropriately, or act with best practice.

“According to Sunderland, they claim Dr Rehman did not attend Alvarez’s medical because he was with the first team preparing for their Premier League clash at QPR on August 30.

“Instead, he delegated the examination to four specialists, including a consultant with expertise in knee injuries.

“Although various alarms were raised about the condition of Alvarez’s knees during the medical, Rehman emailed CEO Margaret Byrne and sporting director Lee Congerton to say it was “not of any concern”.”

Alvarez suffered from chronic patellar tendinitis in his left knee, had a cruciate ligament operation in 2009 and a further injury three years later on his right knee.

The Sun are reporting that based on Rehman’s email, Sunderland claim they entered an “exemption clause” into the contract with Inter relating to Alvarez’s left knee — but not his right.

Alvarez then suffered a serious injury to his right knee early into the 2014-15 campaign, with the club committed to signing him on a permanent deal after they stayed in the Premier League.

The Black Cats are waiting for a response from Rehman, with the club asking for £13m in damages plus interest and costs.

Earlier this summer, we reported how Stewart Donald had inherited a host of legal issues when he purchased the club from Ellis Short last year, but has managed to banish a large number of the cases lodged against the club.

Now, the only remaining appeal lodged against the club is from Alvarez – who is taking Sunderland to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a wrangle over loss of earnings.

Following a lengthy legal battle with Inter Milan, the Black Cats claimed the agreement to sign Alvarez on a permanent deal was invalid because of Alvarez’s injury issues, but a ruling at the Court of Arbitration for Sport resulted in the club having to pay Inter Milan £9m, plus more than £300,000 in interest.

A further court ruling following a claim brought by Alvarez himself resulted in Sunderland having to pay a further £4.198m.

The former Inter Milan winger was supposed to join the Black Cats in a permanent deal in 2015 following a loan spell, but the club tried to pull out of the arrangement due to an injury sustained by the player.

And Alvarez’s claim relates to the period in which the two clubs were at loggerheads over his future, during which he feels he lost out on wages.

While an agreement over a settlement was reached, Donald has revealed that Alvarez is now looking to secure a higher sum.

Dr Rehman, who joined the club in 2013, left in September 2016.