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Sunday 4 December 2016

Dispute over Shane Long's £5.1m transfer from Reading to West Brom being heard in High Court

Aodhan O'Faolain

Published 19/11/2015 | 17:38

Shane Long moved from Cork City to Reading in 2005 for £40,000.
Shane Long moved from Cork City to Reading in 2005 for £40,000.

A DISPUTE has arisen out of Irish international footballer Shane Long's transfer from Reading FC to West Bromwich Albion.

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A High Court action has been brought by Alan O'Mahony who says he acquired the interest in an earlier transfer deal involving Mr Long going from Cork City FC to Reading FC in 2005.

Mr O'Mahony says that interest entitles him to 10pc of the reported subsequent £5.1m transfer to the Baggies in 2011.

Mr O'Mahony claims he did not receive the benefit of his interest in the contract because Carl Dillon, the liquidator of Cork City Investments FC Ltd, the then holding company of Cork City,  allegedly sold the benefit of Shane Long's contract to Reading prior to the player's move to WBA.

The disputes involves a clause in the 2005 transfer that brought Long from Cork to Reading for €40,000.

As part of the deal, a clause was agreed between the clubs that Cork City would receive 10 per cent of any initial transfer fee should the player move on from Reading.

In 2008, Cork City went into examinership and Tom Coughlan later acquired the club.

It is claimed as part of the financial arrangements that arose out of Mr Coughlan's takeover, the benefit of Mr Long's contract was subsequently assigned to Mr Coughlan and another party, Aoife Traynor.

Mr O'Mahony of Woodstown Gardens, Knocklyon, Dublin, says in October 2010 Mr Coughlan and Ms. Traynor assigned the benefit of the Shane Long contract to him for some €50,000.

In February 2010, Cork City Investments FC Ltd was wound up and Mr Dillon, a chartered accountant, was appointed liquidator.

Mr O'Mahony claims in May 2010 Mr Dillon wrongfully sold the benefit of the contract to Reading for £47,000.

This transaction discharged Reading FC from any further obligation under the Shane Long contract.

This, it is claimed, deprived the assignees at the time, Mr Coughlan and Ms Traynor, and subsequently Mr O'Mahony, of the benefits of the contract.

Mr O'Mahony seeks damages for alleged negligence, breach of duty and breach of contract.

He also seeks declarations he is entitled to the benefit of the Shane Long contract, and that the sale of the contract by Mr Dillon to Reading FC is void.

The claims are denied.

Shane Long, who currently plays for Southampton FC, is not a party to the action.

A pre-trial application in the action came before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan today.

Mr O'Mahony's lawyers sought to amend parts of his action in order to clarify issues in controversy between the parties and the amendments had been agreed.

The judge adjourned the case to allow the parties exchange documents in the case.

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