Fulham fail in transfer court bid

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The Independent Football

A leading soccer club today failed in a renewed bid to oust Premier League chairman Sir David Richards after a dispute over the part he played in England striker Peter Crouch's £9 million move to Tottenham two years ago.

Fulham appealed after a High Court judge ruled that its dispute with Sir David, a former chairman of Sheffield Wednesday, should be settled by arbitration.

But three Court of Appeal judges today dismissed the Premier League club's appeal after a hearing in London.

Fulham had complained that Sir David helped "facilitate" Crouch's transfer from Portsmouth to Tottenham.

Club bosses, who had also bid £9 million for Crouch, alleged that Sir David had acted as an "unauthorised agent" in breach of the game's regulations.

Last year they asked Mr Justice Vos to restrain Sir David from participating in transfer negotiations or to order that he should "cease to be chairman" of the Premier League.

The judge refused, following a High Court hearing, and said the dispute should go to arbitration.

Fulham tried to persuade the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

But Lord Justice Rix, Lord Justice Longmore and Lord Justice Patten today upheld Mr Justice Vos's decision and unanimously dismissed the appeal.

Judges heard that the Premier League had concluded that Sir David's role in the Crouch transfer was "legitimate".

A league inquiry had found that he "played a part in 'mediating"' between Portsmouth and Tottenham but did not "broker the transfer".