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Peter Nowak’s case against the Union is heating up (slowly)

2012 MLS All-Star Game Press Conference

CHESTER, PA - APRIL 11: Manager Peter Nowak of the Philadelphia Union speaks during the MLS All-Star Game Press Conference at PPL Park on April 11, 2012 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

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With both sides digging in for a long fight, this might be the first of many salacious details we hear from former Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak’s lawsuit against the club. Whether this allegation has any merit, well, that’s an entirely different issue. The point here is that the salvos are flying.

At least, that’s what we can gather from Jonathan Tannenwald’s latest offering at He has the unenviable task of sifting through the miles of legal minutia, though it this case, it uncovered an email exchange between lawyers from both sides where it was alleged Nowak inappropriately profited from the signing of South American players.

What does that mean? Unfortunately, the emails don’t elaborate. The best we get are from Tannenwald’s snippets from three emails.

From Nowak’s lawyers to the Union’s, on July 18:

In order to advise my client properly, I need to know the specifics of “criminal and fraudulent” acts you told me your client had uncovered regarding Piotr Nowak. Despite the incendiary nature of the claim, we need to know precisely what your client says our client did.

You have alluded to some involvement on Piotr’s part in negotiating contracts for players in South America. I have no idea what is “criminal” or “fraudulent” about that.

The response, one day later:

With regard to the potentially fraudulent activity referenced in your email, investigation continues. The Company has reason to believe that Mr. Nowak may have improperly profited from player transactions over the past 12-18 months.

The Company is continuing to gather evidence on the extent and import of this conduct ...

There is also the insinuation that the Union’s accusation is part of a bigger negotiating scheme. From Nowak’s lawyers:
The allegations of criminal conduct - and I note you leave out of you (sic) e-mail that word we specifically made to me and were used in conjunction with having Piotr sign your proposed settlement agreement. I was further told those allegations would somehow disappear if Piotr signed the agreement.

So it’s: Hey! Your guy did something really bad. Oh, what, you ask? Well, we’re still looking into it, but you may want to reconsider this settlement offer.

At least, that’s one reading of it. You’ll want to check it out for yourself.

Unless that settlement agreement is signed, we’re likely to hear more from Nowak v. Philadelphia Union. That’s assuming the case even ends up in court (a judge still has to decide). The former boss seems intent on doing some damage, so even if case fizzles out, we’re likely to hear ... “leaks.”