Mario Balotelli: Tribunal Postponed Between Striker and Manchester City

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Mario Balotelli of Manchester City listens with team mates to his manager Roberto Mancini during a training session prior to their UEFA Champions League group stage match against Borussia Dortmund, at Carrington Training Ground on December 3, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In a rapid turnaround of events, Mario Balotelli's tribunal against his club, Manchester City, has been delayed until further notice.

The court case was scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. GMT on Wednesday morning but has now been postponed after some fierce negotiations between the two parties the night prior to the tribunal.

Balotelli was taking his own club to a tribunal after being fined two weeks' wages—amounting to £340,000—in relation to missing 11 games across all competitions last season through suspension.

Jamie Jackson of The Guardian was following events and tweeted live updates, confirming the apparent delay at 11:15 a.m. GMT:

Mario Balotelli holds peace talks with Manchester City over tribunal #mcfc

— jamie jackson (@GuardianJamieJ) December 19, 2012

The Italian forward amassed an unenviable tally of three red cards and nine yellow cards, raising the question of his maturity and just how much Balotelli really cares about the club paying his salary.

Gordon Taylor is chief executive of the PFA, the body that has advised Balotelli throughout this debacle, and told BBC Sport that: "We try to avoid situations like this wherever possible, but the player and club have not been able to resolve this."

It's strange for instances like this to be drudged up into the public eye, usually settled within their own house. However, the fact that the 22-year-old was ever so keen to take the case to a tribunal is evidence that a great deal of players these days may have too much weight to throw around.

Manchester City are, at the end of the day, Balotelli's employers and the thought of such an occurrence happening 20 years ago without worse repercussions on the player than just a two-week fine is quite preposterous.

The influx of foreign players in the last few decades has certainly affected club loyalties, and while one can never truly quantify how much a player cares for his club, Balotelli's allegiances would appear to be debatable.

That being said, they say it's better late than never and unless the youngster chooses to turn 180 degrees and begin the tribunal process all over again, it seems the club have managed to simmer the hot-headed starlet down.

For now.

UPDATE: Mario Balotelli has withdrawn his appeal and accepted the £340,000 fine given to him by Manchester City Football Club.