Fulham ready for court battle over £11.5m Marlet fee

Fulham are investigating a number of transfer deals involving players they have bought from French clubs in the wake of the controversy over the signing of Steve Marlet.

The dispute over the £11.5m transfer of Marlet from Olympique Lyon to the west London club in August 2001 is likely to end up in court. Fulham are refusing to pay more than £500,000 which, it is claimed, they owe to two agents involved in the deal and want to recover a further £500,000. Both sides are now threatening to sue each other. Fulham are also set to withhold £2m owed to Lyon and are questioning the transfer fee.

The Cottagers believe the agents, BMB Conseils, run by the brothers Sébastien and Pascal Boisseau, may have acted for both clubs in brokering the deal. This would be a clear violation of Uefa regulations, they say.

The row is likely to put a strain on relations between Tigana and the Fulham chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed. The future of the former French international is in doubt as his three-year contract with Fulham ends in the summer. There is an option on both sides for a further two years but, so far, this has not been exercised.

It is understood that Al Fayed believes he has seen a poor return for the £50m he has invested in players at Fulham, with Marlet, in particular, failing to make an impact in the Premiership. There was some surprise in France at the size of the fee as the 28-year-old striker is not an established international.

Other players bought from France include the Moroccan defender Abdeslam Ouaddou, for £2.2m from Marseilles, Sylvain Legwinski (£3.3m from Bordeaux), and Steed Malbranque (£5m also from Lyon).

Fulham have been at pains to stress that they do not believed Tigana is guilty of any wrongdoing, although there are question marks over his judgement. While they are examining the other deals, it is only the Marlet transfer that has caused concern.

Yesterday, prior to tonight's crucial Uefa Cup third round second leg against Hertha Berlin at Loftus Road, Tigana spoke of his anger over the affair and insisted it was damaging his "honour". "I'm a right man and don't like these allegations against me," he said. "I have a big, very strict reputation in France and can speak to clubs like Bordeaux, Monaco and Lyon."

Fulham have not contacted the Football Association's Compliance Unit, which investigates the probity of transfer deals. However, they did employ a lawyer to examine the Marlet transfer and he, it is claimed, said they would have a case if they wanted to contact the FA.

One of the agent's involved in the deal, Pascal Boisseau, said last night that he and his brother had started legal proceedings. "We have been paid one part of our fee and not the other, so we're taking the club to court. We're also going to go to the FA," he said.

Elsewhere, the Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson has moved to dispel fears that Kevin Phillips is about to quit the Wearside club.

The 29-year-old England international made a gesture as he left the pitch after being substituted during Monday's 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City which had been seen by some as a parting shot. But Wilkinson said yesterday that Phillips saw him immediately after the game to explain his actions.

"Kevin came to see me and said it was just a shrug of disappointment and said he wished he had not done it," Wilkinson said. "He said it was directed at his wife in the stand and that he was just showing his disappointment at the way the game had gone. We spoke about it after the game and again in training and he said what he said. That is it."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese and DiCaprio, at an awards show in 2010
filmsDe Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
News
i100
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Sport
England captain Wayne Rooney during training
FOOTBALLNew captain vows side will deliver against Norway for small crowd
Life and Style
Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
health
News
peopleJustin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving after crashing quad bike into a minivan
News
peopleHis band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Radamel Falcao poses with his United shirt
FOOTBALLRadamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant in Colombia to Manchester United's star signing
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

Stolen youth

Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

Made by Versace, designed by her children

Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Anyone for pulled chicken?

Pulling chicks

Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
9 best steam generator irons

9 best steam generator irons

To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

‘We knew he was something special’

Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York