Trust Chair Keith Morgan reports to members on the latest with the Emiliano Sala transfer fee saga and investigations at FC Nantes, the sellers of Sala.
The club has announced that the CEO of FC Nantes, Franck Kita, was placed into police custody along with Bakari Sanogo and Joaquim Batica, who are both agents.
This move was instigated by the JIRS (Juridictions Interrégionales Spécialiséés) – an organisation that specialises in investigation of serious organised and financial crime
A judicial investigation was opened in June 2022 on the counts of “illegal exercise of sports agent activity, forgery and use of forgery, misuse of corporate assets, laundering of aggravated tax evasion and organised money laundering”.
The club stated in their announcement that their Club’s negligence claim in France against FC Nantes exhibits direct exchanges showing Mr Kita was informing Mr Sanogo of the proposed transfer fee for Emiliano Sala. It is not clear why.
FIFA has also ordered Cardiff City FC to pay the 2nd and 3rd installments of the Emiliano Sala transfer fee.
Understandably, the Club considers that it would have been fairer if the requirement to pay FC Nantes had been deferred until the conclusion of the French police investigations and the club’s claim against FC Nantes in the French courts. At least some sort of Escrow arrangement should be in place to protect the integrity of what is a disputed transfer fee subject to litigation.
The club has prepared for the eventuality of having to pay the transfer fee but I do not imagine that payment of the balance was expected in these particular circumstances.
We will monitor the situation and keep you informed.