Cardiff argue Sala deal was 'null and void' when he died
Cardiff City will tell FIFA in a response to a complaint from Nantes that the deal they struck to pay the French club £15 million for Emiliano Sala became "null and void" after he died.
Details are emerging of the case Cardiff plan to submit to the world governing body to explain their withholding of the first instalment of the fee amid a row over who owned Sala when he was killed in a plane crash two months ago.
Their response will include the refusal of the Premier League to allow the striker to play in the competition over what can now be disclosed was a signing-on fee that was non-compliant with its rules.
It will also include what Cardiff will argue is the non-fulfilment of legally-binding clauses in the agreement struck with Nantes.
Sala signed a contract with Cardiff that was rejected by the Premier League. He died before a revised one could be signed. It can now be disclosed that the contract was rejected because the club had front-loaded his signing-on fee in contravention of rules demanding equal instalments over the duration of a player's contract.
There is a dispute about whether Sala had agreed to sign a revised contract before he died. Cardiff also plan to argue that a clause in the transfer agreement - which, they say, Nantes had even proposed - was not fulfilled.
A source indicated the agreement stipulated Wales FA and France's Ligue de Football Professionnel had to confirm to both clubs that Sala "has been registered as a Cardiff City FC player and that the player's International Transfer Certificate has been released".
The source said this had not happened before Sala died on January 21, despite another clause stating that both parties had to make "reasonable endeavours" to ensure all conditions were met by the following day.
"The transfer agreement between Cardiff and Nantes was subject to several conditions," the source said. "If any were not satisfied, the contract would be deemed null and void, with no payment due.
"Nantes proposed that clause. They asked for the strict notification requirements. The transfer deadline was just over a week after that, so if the transfer didn't complete on January 22, Nantes had time to find an alternative buyer. Cardiff agreed to the condition for much the same reason - it allowed them another week to find an alternative striker." (© Daily Telegraph, London)