Jose Mourinho's freezing out of Bastian Schweinsteiger from the Manchester United first team has been described as criminal by a member of world player's union FifPro yet sports law experts in the UK believe there is no legal case against the manager.
Slovenia FifPro member Dejan Stefanovic made headlines yesterday by telling the BBC that Schweinsteiger should "file a complaint" and "seek a penalty" against Mourinho for "bullying" that deserved to land the manager in jail.
The 32-year-old German has been banished from first team training and pre-season fixtures by Mourinho who considers the veteran midfielder surplus to requirements.
Yet claims that Schweinsteiger could bring a case against Mourinho over his treatment have been dismissed as highly unlikely by leading UK sports lawyers.
"In general, it is not uncommon that players are asked to train with the reserves," Richard Berry, a sports lawyer at Lewis Silkin told City A.M.
"Even if you're an established first team regular, there's no right under your contract that you train with the first team.
"There's international case law at Fifa and Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) level that says the club can organise and train its team any way it wants."
Only if Schweinsteiger had been abused to such an extent that he could claim constructive dismissal could he potentially bring any sort of legal case against club or manager.
"If a player's done nothing wrong but you bully and harass him, talk to the media about how his attitude stinks and there's nothing in it then a player might be able to say 'Well you're treating so unreasonably it's a breach of the implied trust and confidence in my employment contract, so I'll resign, claim constructive dismissal and breach of contract.'," says Berry.
"But I don't for one second claim that what's happened constitutes that."
Even if Stefanovic's claim that Mourinho is bullying Schweinsteiger is correct, there is no law in the UK that could send him to prison.
"In terms of employment law, it's very difficult to succeed in a legal claim because there's no statutory right not to be bullied," Patricia Leonard, a barrister and member of the 7BR sports law team, told City A.M.