Sala’s fam­ily hit out at Cardiff over trust de­lay

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By Ben Rumsby

The fam­ily of Emil­iano Sala crit­i­cised Cardiff City last night af­ter re­veal­ing that a £2 mil­lion trust fund the club launched in the player’s mem­ory had not been set up al­most seven months on.

Sala’s mother, brother and sis­ter ac­cused the club of try­ing to im­pose “leo­nine clauses” on the Emil­iano Sala Me­mo­rial Trust, which it was an­nounced in Jan­uary had been jointly cre­ated by both par­ties.

They also claimed Cardiff had with­drawn “with no clear ex­pla­na­tion” an ear­lier of­fer of a “do­na­tion” to the fam­ily while they were in the UK in Novem­ber.

Mehmet Dal­man, the Car­iff chair­man, re­sponded last night by say­ing he shared the fam­ily’s frus­tra­tions, blam­ing dis­agree­ments with their Ar­gen­tine lawyers for the im­passe over the trust and say­ing the club had de­cided to fin­ish cre­at­ing it in­de­pen­dently of them.

Dal­man had an­nounced the launch of a trust ahead of Cardiff ’s game against Read­ing in Jan­uary, in which they also paid trib­ute to the £15mil­lion striker, a year on from his death in a plane crash.

In a state­ment re­leased to The Daily Tele­graph, Sala’s mother Mercedes Taf­farel, his brother Dario and sis­ter Romina said: “In 2019, Cardiff of­fered to make a do­na­tion to our fam­ily, which was very wel­come by us as Emil­iano was the main sup­porter of our fam­ily.

“With a great per­sonal ef­fort, in Novem­ber 2019 we trav­elled to the UK in or­der to close the deal with Cardiff to re­ceive the funds as soon as pos­si­ble. At the time, we had the meet­ing with the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the club, we found that, sur­pris­ingly, the of­fer had been with­drawn with no clear ex­pla­na­tion.

“This was com­pletely shock­ing for us as we did not un­der­stand why the club was act­ing in that way. We came back to our coun­try and, in Jan­uary 2020, we re­ceived an of­fer from Cardiff to set up the trust for the ben­e­fit of the fam­ily.

“It has been al­most six months since those ini­tial dis­cus­sions and, to date, we have not been able to reach an agree­ment with Cardiff’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives to set up the trust. It is dif­fi­cult to move for­ward as the club tries to im­pose leo­nine clauses and con­di­tions on such do­na­tion.”

Javier Canosa, the fam­ily’s Ar­gen­tine lawyer, told The Tele­graph that Cardiff were in­sist­ing upon con­trol­ling the trust, say­ing: “They have us by the balls.” He said the fam­ily could no longer af­ford to pay the UK lawyers rep­re­sent­ing them at Sala’s in­quest, the start of which has been de­layed un­til March.

Dal­man said: “We have been work­ing hard to cre­ate a trust to sup­port Emil­iano’s fam­ily and his legacy. We share their frus­tra­tions. The trust will be con­firmed shortly and, in ad­di­tion to our in­vest­ment, we will in­vite do­na­tions from across the foot­balling world.”

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