Ferguson happy to be back at Everton

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The Independent Online

Duncan Ferguson's return from Newcastle United to Everton finally went through yesterday. "I'm delighted to be back," said the 28-year-old striker, who cost £3.75m and has signed a five-year contract.

Duncan Ferguson's return from Newcastle United to Everton finally went through yesterday. "I'm delighted to be back," said the 28-year-old striker, who cost £3.75m and has signed a five-year contract.

The move appeared to have broken down on Wednesday after the former Scotland striker was unable to agree a severance package with Newcastle. Ferguson is taking a pay cut, although he will still pick up close to £30,000 a week. He was sold to the Magpies for £7m two seasons ago, but appears to have retained fond feelings for Everton - he has the club badge tattooed on his arm.

"I had a good time at Newcastle but when the chairman says 'you can go' it's time to leave," he said. "I always knew I would come back to Everton."

Ferguson scored 12 goals in 32 appearances during an injury-plagued spell on Tyneside. He scored 42 times in 126 starts for Everton.

The Scot washed his hands of the politics of his transfer, saying: "I don't want to get dragged into that situation. I never asked for a transfer."

Everton's Portuguese international defender Abel Xavier is to appeal to Europe's Court of Arbitration for Sport against the nine-month ban imposed by Uefa for his protests after he gave away the semi-final penalty against France that put his country out of Euro 2000.

The transfer market still faces an uncertain future despite yesterday's collapse of the "Perugia case", which centred around a complaint by the Italian club into the legality of paying a fee for a player under contract to another team.

An out-of-court agreement was reached between Perugia and the Swiss selling club, Grasshoppers.

However, the European Commission maintain that changes need to be made because the regulations contravene EU employment law. They say that exemption should not be made for sports participants under the freedom of movement laws within the Treaty of Rome.

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