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."

Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday


Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Arts and Entertainment
A top literary agent has compared online giant Amazon to Isis
arts + entsAndrew Wylie has pulled no punches in criticism of Amazon
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities