Cardiff City Take Legal Action Against Willie McKay In Sala Case

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The Trust recently reported on the legal battles between Cardiff City and FC Nantes in the wake of the transfer of Emiliano Sala five years ago this month.

Emiliano Sala tragically died after the light aircraft he was travelling in crashed on its way to Cardiff.

We wanted to make members aware that, according to the French media, Nantes is involved in another significant legal case in its own country (criminal rather than civil) and have been formally accused of using unauthorised players’ agents.

The renowned French newspaper, L’Equipe reported on the issue on November 24, 2023.

1704542271693.png


The translated report said that FC Nantes has been indicted due to its ongoing relationship with unauthorised agents, including Bakari Sanogo, in particular: “that the managers of the Nantes football club have had recourse on a recurring basis, at least since 2015, to the employment of unauthorised sports agents, by establishing sports agent contracts and player employment contracts under the cover of nominees, both in the context of player transfer negotiations and in the context of negotiations of player contracts.”

I understand that Sanogo had involvement in the Sala transfer, alongside Willie McKay and his son, Mark McKay.

Back in June there were arrests in France of Sanogo, another agent Joaquim Batica and the club president Waldemar Kita and his son, Franck as part of an investigation opened by the Rennes’ Specialised Interregional Court.

We’ll keep members posted when we hear more from across the Channel.

Keith Morgan
 

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so not our player then?
wtf
The Welsh FA shit all over us Nuge by declaring he was our player even though the premier league had rejected his registration due to the way the signing on fee was being paid. the FA rules state that a signing on fee must be paid over the duration of the contract so if its a 3 million signing on fee over a three year contract then its 1 million every season. the original contract which was rejected by both premier league and the FA had the signing on fee paid in full on him signing.
 

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The Welsh FA shit all over us Nuge by declaring he was our player even though the premier league had rejected his registration due to the way the signing on fee was being paid. the FA rules state that a signing on fee must be paid over the duration of the contract so if its a 3 million signing on fee over a three year contract then its 1 million every season. the original contract which was rejected by both premier league and the FA had the signing on fee paid in full on him signing.
What's the point of the Welsh FA if they don't back their teams properly?
 

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What's the point of the Welsh FA if they don't back their teams properly?
Perhaps they should have taken a moment to consider the implications before jumping in with both feet.
 

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Perhaps they should have taken a moment to consider the implications before jumping in with both feet.
Absolutely. If nothing else they owned us a fair hearing and should have done their due diligence with the PFA and Premier League
 

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Cardiff City’s Nantes damages claim revealed as figures used to show Emiliano Sala goals would have kept Bluebirds up​


The details of Cardiff City’s damages claim against Nantes over Emiliano Sala can be outlined today on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy that rocked the football world.

The Bluebirds are seeking reimbursement of the £15million transfer fee, plus interest, that Vincent Tan had to pay Nantes to ensure FIFA and the Football League lifted what they felt was an unfair transfer embargo slapped upon Wales’ capital city club.

Cardiff are also seeking damages of £60million plus interest for loss of revenue after being relegated from the Premier League into the Championship.

It is our understanding a respected independent company which specialises in statistics has put together a detailed numbers breakdown based on the balance of probability over whether Sala would have scored enough goals to keep Cardiff in the top flight.

Neil Warnock’s men were relegated by a whisker in 2019, finishing third from bottom and just two points behind Brighton in 17th place. Southampton were a further three points better off and Burnley four.

No-one can say for certain if Sala would have kept Cardiff in the Premier League, but the conclusion from the statistical company is that he is highly likely to have done so. His scoring record of a goal every three games for Nantes in the French League, and a goal every two matches for previous clubs Orleans and Niort, was impressive and the feeling is he would have shone in the English league too.

Cardiff’s case, which is being pursued for them by Capital Law, is to be held in the French civil courts. Intriguingly it will be heard in the city of Nantes itself, rather than France’s capital Paris.

That decision to head straight into the lions’ den, the Nantes Commercial Court, could be viewed as an indication of the growing confidence Cardiff have with their legal action.

Crucially three business people will sit in judgement, rather than traditional judges. Because of their own financial backgrounds, they might be more minded to assess the balance of probabilities, and the potential cost to Cardiff, rather than simply focus upon straight legal arguments.

It could yet be that Cardiff and Nantes opt to settle out of court before the full hearing takes place some time towards the end of the year. However, as things stand, the French club are showing no sign of backing down and say they plan to vigorously contest Cardiff’s action.

Cardiff filed papers to the French court last summer. The case is being run jointly by Capital Law, based in Cardiff, and French legal firm Vigiué Schmidt & Associés. It centres around the involvement of agent Willie McKay in the transfer. He was quizzed at the Sala inquest in Bournemouth about his involvement in organising the doomed flight.

Nantes defended Cardiff’s action in November by responding that McKay was not acting for them as an agent in the Sala deal.

The Bluebirds will in turn respond to that by March and separately are also suing McKay in the Cardiff division of the High Court.

This is not for money, but to explore if there is a footprint of any correspondence the agent may have had with Nantes, including phone records, emails, texts and WhatsApp messages. This is under something called a Norwich Pharmacal Order, in effect a court order for disclosure of documents or information.

Those proceedings were commenced shortly before Christmas and a hearing is due early next month. Cardiff are hoping they can get information which they feel could blow Nantes’ defence out of the water.

It is understood that under French law if an agent is deemed to be working for a club, that club are also deemed liable for any of his/her actions.

Cardiff’s hierarchy have received what many feel to be an unfair kicking, including initially from some of their own supporters, for continuing to pursue the Sala case and after losing previous battles over the transfer fee.

However, there has been a change in mindset from many of the critics who have come round to fully backing the club in their battle with Nantes. That has been helped by posts on a website from Cardiff City Supporters' Trust chairman Keith Morgan, who has offered some updates on the legal action.

Mr Morgan has also pointed out how Cardiff owner Tan “made a very substantial contribution into a Trust fund for the family’s benefit shortly after the accident occurred.”

He continued: “I believe the club has acted honourably in relation to the Sala family.”

The Sala battle has raged on since 2019. Cardiff had previously argued to FIFA that Sala was not their player, and thus they were not liable for the £15million transfer fee, because he wasn’t properly registered at the time of the tragic accident.

As such, they withheld the first instalment due to Nantes of £5million.

However, FIFA eventually ruled that the transfer had been completed and slapped a transfer embargo on the Bluebirds over non-payment. That was lifted from this month’s January window when Tan came up with the money in full to Nantes last July.

Cardiff had also asked the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration of Sport to rule on the matter, but the legal body felt it didn’t have the jurisdiction to overturn FIFA’s decision. Tan then appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, but their judges deemed the Sala case, and who if anybody should compensate Cardiff for events which unfolded, must be dealt with by the civil courts only.

As such Cardiff are heading to the French court and believe they might receive a more sympathetic hearing this time.

FIFA were always going to look at the matter through the prism of football rules and thus penalised Cardiff.

The Bluebirds felt that was unfair, given the truly unique and tragic circumstances of what happened, and reserved the right to take the matter to a court of law in France. Given FIFA’s judgement, they can argue that Sala was indeed a club asset and are thus pursuing damages for what happened.

The worst-case scenario for Cardiff will be losing the case and having to potentially pay two sets of legal fees, Nantes’ as well as their own, with the matter then closed. The best-case scenario will be to win the entire case, which would mean a figure of £75million would suddenly come into the club.

A middle-case scenario would be Cardiff getting some of the transfer fee back, but no damages.

Another middle-case scenario would be an out-of-court settlement, with Nantes agreeing to a compromise figure which they might be able to claim from their own insurers.

However, even those last two would represent victory for Tan and Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman as the club would receive money. The Cardiff hierarchy continue to fight this matter as they feel strongly that the Bluebirds have been wronged throughout this process.

They have already won a legal battle with their own insurers Miller Insurances LLP, landing a substantial sum after saying the broker failed to properly communicate the process for immediately insuring new players.

Whichever way the French case goes, exactly five years after the tragedy the shadow of Emiliano Sala still looms large over Cardiff City and Nantes. The Bluebirds feel it is a matter that is worth pursuing to the very end and, it seems, far more of their own fans are coming round to that way of thinking, too.

Tan previously told French newspaper L’Equipe: "I am very angry. We have no choice, we will not stop.

"We were never able to use the very promising player that we had bought. Emiliano Sala could have scored the few goals that would have saved us from demotion to the Championship. This resulted in a loss of £100million, at least, for the club.

"With Sala, we could have been maintained. He didn't play a single game for us. Why should we pay for his entire transfer? FC Nantes must be punished. He negotiated with an unlicensed agent."
 

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Cardiff City’s Nantes damages claim revealed as figures used to show Emiliano Sala goals would have kept Bluebirds up​


The details of Cardiff City’s damages claim against Nantes over Emiliano Sala can be outlined today on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy that rocked the football world.

The Bluebirds are seeking reimbursement of the £15million transfer fee, plus interest, that Vincent Tan had to pay Nantes to ensure FIFA and the Football League lifted what they felt was an unfair transfer embargo slapped upon Wales’ capital city club.

Cardiff are also seeking damages of £60million plus interest for loss of revenue after being relegated from the Premier League into the Championship.

It is our understanding a respected independent company which specialises in statistics has put together a detailed numbers breakdown based on the balance of probability over whether Sala would have scored enough goals to keep Cardiff in the top flight.

Neil Warnock’s men were relegated by a whisker in 2019, finishing third from bottom and just two points behind Brighton in 17th place. Southampton were a further three points better off and Burnley four.

No-one can say for certain if Sala would have kept Cardiff in the Premier League, but the conclusion from the statistical company is that he is highly likely to have done so. His scoring record of a goal every three games for Nantes in the French League, and a goal every two matches for previous clubs Orleans and Niort, was impressive and the feeling is he would have shone in the English league too.

Cardiff’s case, which is being pursued for them by Capital Law, is to be held in the French civil courts. Intriguingly it will be heard in the city of Nantes itself, rather than France’s capital Paris.

That decision to head straight into the lions’ den, the Nantes Commercial Court, could be viewed as an indication of the growing confidence Cardiff have with their legal action.

Crucially three business people will sit in judgement, rather than traditional judges. Because of their own financial backgrounds, they might be more minded to assess the balance of probabilities, and the potential cost to Cardiff, rather than simply focus upon straight legal arguments.

It could yet be that Cardiff and Nantes opt to settle out of court before the full hearing takes place some time towards the end of the year. However, as things stand, the French club are showing no sign of backing down and say they plan to vigorously contest Cardiff’s action.

Cardiff filed papers to the French court last summer. The case is being run jointly by Capital Law, based in Cardiff, and French legal firm Vigiué Schmidt & Associés. It centres around the involvement of agent Willie McKay in the transfer. He was quizzed at the Sala inquest in Bournemouth about his involvement in organising the doomed flight.

Nantes defended Cardiff’s action in November by responding that McKay was not acting for them as an agent in the Sala deal.

The Bluebirds will in turn respond to that by March and separately are also suing McKay in the Cardiff division of the High Court.

This is not for money, but to explore if there is a footprint of any correspondence the agent may have had with Nantes, including phone records, emails, texts and WhatsApp messages. This is under something called a Norwich Pharmacal Order, in effect a court order for disclosure of documents or information.

Those proceedings were commenced shortly before Christmas and a hearing is due early next month. Cardiff are hoping they can get information which they feel could blow Nantes’ defence out of the water.

It is understood that under French law if an agent is deemed to be working for a club, that club are also deemed liable for any of his/her actions.

Cardiff’s hierarchy have received what many feel to be an unfair kicking, including initially from some of their own supporters, for continuing to pursue the Sala case and after losing previous battles over the transfer fee.

However, there has been a change in mindset from many of the critics who have come round to fully backing the club in their battle with Nantes. That has been helped by posts on a website from Cardiff City Supporters' Trust chairman Keith Morgan, who has offered some updates on the legal action.

Mr Morgan has also pointed out how Cardiff owner Tan “made a very substantial contribution into a Trust fund for the family’s benefit shortly after the accident occurred.”

He continued: “I believe the club has acted honourably in relation to the Sala family.”

The Sala battle has raged on since 2019. Cardiff had previously argued to FIFA that Sala was not their player, and thus they were not liable for the £15million transfer fee, because he wasn’t properly registered at the time of the tragic accident.

As such, they withheld the first instalment due to Nantes of £5million.

However, FIFA eventually ruled that the transfer had been completed and slapped a transfer embargo on the Bluebirds over non-payment. That was lifted from this month’s January window when Tan came up with the money in full to Nantes last July.

Cardiff had also asked the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration of Sport to rule on the matter, but the legal body felt it didn’t have the jurisdiction to overturn FIFA’s decision. Tan then appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, but their judges deemed the Sala case, and who if anybody should compensate Cardiff for events which unfolded, must be dealt with by the civil courts only.

As such Cardiff are heading to the French court and believe they might receive a more sympathetic hearing this time.

FIFA were always going to look at the matter through the prism of football rules and thus penalised Cardiff.

The Bluebirds felt that was unfair, given the truly unique and tragic circumstances of what happened, and reserved the right to take the matter to a court of law in France. Given FIFA’s judgement, they can argue that Sala was indeed a club asset and are thus pursuing damages for what happened.

The worst-case scenario for Cardiff will be losing the case and having to potentially pay two sets of legal fees, Nantes’ as well as their own, with the matter then closed. The best-case scenario will be to win the entire case, which would mean a figure of £75million would suddenly come into the club.

A middle-case scenario would be Cardiff getting some of the transfer fee back, but no damages.

Another middle-case scenario would be an out-of-court settlement, with Nantes agreeing to a compromise figure which they might be able to claim from their own insurers.

However, even those last two would represent victory for Tan and Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman as the club would receive money. The Cardiff hierarchy continue to fight this matter as they feel strongly that the Bluebirds have been wronged throughout this process.

They have already won a legal battle with their own insurers Miller Insurances LLP, landing a substantial sum after saying the broker failed to properly communicate the process for immediately insuring new players.

Whichever way the French case goes, exactly five years after the tragedy the shadow of Emiliano Sala still looms large over Cardiff City and Nantes. The Bluebirds feel it is a matter that is worth pursuing to the very end and, it seems, far more of their own fans are coming round to that way of thinking, too.

Tan previously told French newspaper L’Equipe: "I am very angry. We have no choice, we will not stop.

"We were never able to use the very promising player that we had bought. Emiliano Sala could have scored the few goals that would have saved us from demotion to the Championship. This resulted in a loss of £100million, at least, for the club.

"With Sala, we could have been maintained. He didn't play a single game for us. Why should we pay for his entire transfer? FC Nantes must be punished. He negotiated with an unlicensed agent."
Any chance of a longer read? Want more detail
 

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Cardiff City’s Nantes damages claim revealed as figures used to show Emiliano Sala goals would have kept Bluebirds up​


The details of Cardiff City’s damages claim against Nantes over Emiliano Sala can be outlined today on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy that rocked the football world.

The Bluebirds are seeking reimbursement of the £15million transfer fee, plus interest, that Vincent Tan had to pay Nantes to ensure FIFA and the Football League lifted what they felt was an unfair transfer embargo slapped upon Wales’ capital city club.

Cardiff are also seeking damages of £60million plus interest for loss of revenue after being relegated from the Premier League into the Championship.

It is our understanding a respected independent company which specialises in statistics has put together a detailed numbers breakdown based on the balance of probability over whether Sala would have scored enough goals to keep Cardiff in the top flight.

Neil Warnock’s men were relegated by a whisker in 2019, finishing third from bottom and just two points behind Brighton in 17th place. Southampton were a further three points better off and Burnley four.

No-one can say for certain if Sala would have kept Cardiff in the Premier League, but the conclusion from the statistical company is that he is highly likely to have done so. His scoring record of a goal every three games for Nantes in the French League, and a goal every two matches for previous clubs Orleans and Niort, was impressive and the feeling is he would have shone in the English league too.

Cardiff’s case, which is being pursued for them by Capital Law, is to be held in the French civil courts. Intriguingly it will be heard in the city of Nantes itself, rather than France’s capital Paris.

That decision to head straight into the lions’ den, the Nantes Commercial Court, could be viewed as an indication of the growing confidence Cardiff have with their legal action.

Crucially three business people will sit in judgement, rather than traditional judges. Because of their own financial backgrounds, they might be more minded to assess the balance of probabilities, and the potential cost to Cardiff, rather than simply focus upon straight legal arguments.

It could yet be that Cardiff and Nantes opt to settle out of court before the full hearing takes place some time towards the end of the year. However, as things stand, the French club are showing no sign of backing down and say they plan to vigorously contest Cardiff’s action.

Cardiff filed papers to the French court last summer. The case is being run jointly by Capital Law, based in Cardiff, and French legal firm Vigiué Schmidt & Associés. It centres around the involvement of agent Willie McKay in the transfer. He was quizzed at the Sala inquest in Bournemouth about his involvement in organising the doomed flight.

Nantes defended Cardiff’s action in November by responding that McKay was not acting for them as an agent in the Sala deal.

The Bluebirds will in turn respond to that by March and separately are also suing McKay in the Cardiff division of the High Court.

This is not for money, but to explore if there is a footprint of any correspondence the agent may have had with Nantes, including phone records, emails, texts and WhatsApp messages. This is under something called a Norwich Pharmacal Order, in effect a court order for disclosure of documents or information.

Those proceedings were commenced shortly before Christmas and a hearing is due early next month. Cardiff are hoping they can get information which they feel could blow Nantes’ defence out of the water.

It is understood that under French law if an agent is deemed to be working for a club, that club are also deemed liable for any of his/her actions.

Cardiff’s hierarchy have received what many feel to be an unfair kicking, including initially from some of their own supporters, for continuing to pursue the Sala case and after losing previous battles over the transfer fee.

However, there has been a change in mindset from many of the critics who have come round to fully backing the club in their battle with Nantes. That has been helped by posts on a website from Cardiff City Supporters' Trust chairman Keith Morgan, who has offered some updates on the legal action.

Mr Morgan has also pointed out how Cardiff owner Tan “made a very substantial contribution into a Trust fund for the family’s benefit shortly after the accident occurred.”

He continued: “I believe the club has acted honourably in relation to the Sala family.”

The Sala battle has raged on since 2019. Cardiff had previously argued to FIFA that Sala was not their player, and thus they were not liable for the £15million transfer fee, because he wasn’t properly registered at the time of the tragic accident.

As such, they withheld the first instalment due to Nantes of £5million.

However, FIFA eventually ruled that the transfer had been completed and slapped a transfer embargo on the Bluebirds over non-payment. That was lifted from this month’s January window when Tan came up with the money in full to Nantes last July.

Cardiff had also asked the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration of Sport to rule on the matter, but the legal body felt it didn’t have the jurisdiction to overturn FIFA’s decision. Tan then appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, but their judges deemed the Sala case, and who if anybody should compensate Cardiff for events which unfolded, must be dealt with by the civil courts only.

As such Cardiff are heading to the French court and believe they might receive a more sympathetic hearing this time.

FIFA were always going to look at the matter through the prism of football rules and thus penalised Cardiff.

The Bluebirds felt that was unfair, given the truly unique and tragic circumstances of what happened, and reserved the right to take the matter to a court of law in France. Given FIFA’s judgement, they can argue that Sala was indeed a club asset and are thus pursuing damages for what happened.

The worst-case scenario for Cardiff will be losing the case and having to potentially pay two sets of legal fees, Nantes’ as well as their own, with the matter then closed. The best-case scenario will be to win the entire case, which would mean a figure of £75million would suddenly come into the club.

A middle-case scenario would be Cardiff getting some of the transfer fee back, but no damages.

Another middle-case scenario would be an out-of-court settlement, with Nantes agreeing to a compromise figure which they might be able to claim from their own insurers.

However, even those last two would represent victory for Tan and Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman as the club would receive money. The Cardiff hierarchy continue to fight this matter as they feel strongly that the Bluebirds have been wronged throughout this process.

They have already won a legal battle with their own insurers Miller Insurances LLP, landing a substantial sum after saying the broker failed to properly communicate the process for immediately insuring new players.

Whichever way the French case goes, exactly five years after the tragedy the shadow of Emiliano Sala still looms large over Cardiff City and Nantes. The Bluebirds feel it is a matter that is worth pursuing to the very end and, it seems, far more of their own fans are coming round to that way of thinking, too.

Tan previously told French newspaper L’Equipe: "I am very angry. We have no choice, we will not stop.

"We were never able to use the very promising player that we had bought. Emiliano Sala could have scored the few goals that would have saved us from demotion to the Championship. This resulted in a loss of £100million, at least, for the club.

"With Sala, we could have been maintained. He didn't play a single game for us. Why should we pay for his entire transfer? FC Nantes must be punished. He negotiated with an unlicensed agent."
Yeah you can't fault the logic. Cardiff City suffered the loss of a new record signing player, dropping out of the Premier League, got its name dragged through the mud by the press, football fans in general and our own fans, and then to add insult to injury had a transfer embargo imposed on us.

So if FIFA's position is that Sala was our player, then we very much deserve to be compensated for the way an agent, acting on behalf of Nantes, arranged dangerously inadequate travel and considering all the above Cardiff have gone through, the compensatory figure needs to be a high one.
 

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It's disclosure of the documents we're after

We will be lucky, I'd imagine every trace of contact has been deleted and shredded long ago. I wish Tan would be just as enthusiastic about chucking money at signings as he is in court cases. Anyway that con man should be in jail.
 
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