Sala: Cardiff cancel payment as Bordeaux seek their cut
The Premier League club are considering their options after the striker's disappearance while the Ligue 1 side have requested their sell-on fee.
While the family of Emiliano Sala continue raising funds in their attempts to hire a private company to resume the search for the 28-year-old striker, who went missing last Monday when the aircraft he was travelling in disappeared in rough weather over the Channel Islands, the unpleasant business of unravelling his transfer fee has begun in earnest.
Sala was travelling from Nantes to Cardiff after agreeing to join the Bluebirds for a club record £15 million and the loss of the aircraft he was in with pilot Dave Ibbotson sparked an immediate search and rescue operation by Guernsey Police.
However, the search for Sala and Ibbotson was called off three days later with the authorities stating that any chance of survival after that timescale was “extremely remote.”
Sala’s family subsequently started a crowd-funding page to secure a private company to continue the operation, and reached their target of €300,000 on Sunday.
Nantes president focused on search for Sala
Behind the scenes, the two clubs involved in the financial fallout from the tragedy have started wrangling over who owes who what. According to reports in the UK, Cardiff have decided to cancel the first installment of the transfer fee to Nantes of six million euros while the Premier League club considers its legal position over a possible lawsuit for negligence.
Meanwhile, Bordeaux have also demanded the payment of their share of the transfer proceeds, according to local media. The Ligue 1 side are entitled to half of Sala’s fee as a result of a sell-on clause after transferring the striker to Nantes in 2015 and Presse Océan, a daily based in the city, has reported that Bordeaux have requested their cut of the initial £6m payment from Cardiff.
Nantes president Waldemar Kita, who made a personal donation of €6,000 towards the Sala family’s fund, said that he and the club were focused on the search for Sala and Ibbotson. “I do not want to talk about money while this dramatic situation is ongoing,” he said. “At the moment we are not looking into any kind of claim. We’ll see at a later date.”
The legal situation surrounding Sala’s disappearance depends on whether the contract had been signed by all three parties, according to sports law expert Thierry Granturco: “For the contract to be considered valid, the transfer must be recorded in FIFA’s Transfer Matching System.”