FULHAM ACCUSED OF UNDERVALUING SERI IN TRANSFER
ThE lawyer behind football’s Bosman ruling has called on the Football Association to investigate Jean Michael seri’s transfer from Nice to Fulham last summer, accusing the Premier league club of playing an ‘active role’ in what he claims is a manipulation of the deal.
Jean-louis Dupont, who represented Jean-Marc Bosman in the case that revolutionised the transfer market in 1995, wrote to the FA’s compliance chief yesterday demanding an inquiry into a double transfer that also involved French full back Maxime le Marchand (right).
le Marchand and seri moved to Fulham for a combined fee of £25million, with French reports claiming only £10m was for the Ivorian midfielder who was attracting interest from Barcelona as well as leading Premier league clubs.
Dupont says seri has already begun legal proceedings in France against Nice, on the grounds the French club undervalued him in order to avoid paying a bonus. While Fulham wanted both players, Nice set their respective fees.
Fulham declined to comment last night and Nice deny the claim, having dismissed reports that first emerged last month that seri’s former clubs in the Ivory Coast and Portugal believe they lost out on money due to them in sell-on payments. Dupont is acting for the two clubs in the Ivory Coast, Centre Domoraud Cyrille and AsEC Mimosas, and yesterday he wrote to the FA’s chief investigations officer David Matthews requesting the governing body look into the allegations. ‘Centre Domoraud Cyrille and AsEC Mimosas believe . . . that this manipulation could not have taken place without the active role of Fulham FC. It is Fulham FC that is the debtor of the solidarity fees towards the two African training clubs. ‘Could you let us know if you are in a position to investigate these allegations? Our clients are convinced that your intervention is not only necessary for them but also for the FA, if the FA is serious about complying with its legal commitments.’