Fulham launch appeal against Premier League chairman Sir David Richards

Fulham have lodged an appeal in a bid to have their case against Premier League chairman Sir David Richards heard in open court, it was announced today.

The dispute centres around the role which Fulham claim Richards played in England striker Peter Crouch's £9million move from Portsmouth to Tottenham two years ago.

Fulham refused to accept a High Court judgment that the dispute with Richards should be settled by arbitration, and three Court of Appeal judges subsequently dismissed the Premier League club's appeal against the High Court judgment after a hearing in London.

However, Fulham have decided to pursue the case and Ben Wilson, the deputy head of communications for the Supreme Court, said today: "I can confirm we have just received papers from Fulham FC formally seeking permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision (21 July 2011) to dismiss the club's appeal against the High Court ruling that their dispute with Sir David Richards should be resolved through arbitration.

"The club's application will now be considered by a panel of three Supreme Court Justices when they return from the summer recess.

"The application joins the queue of other such applications but we can expect it will be reviewed on the basis of the written submissions by December 2011, and I will drop you a line with the outcome of whether or not it will proceed to a full appeal hearing as soon as the Justices reach their decision.

"Essentially the Justices will consider whether a significant point of law of general public importance is raised by the appeal in order to warrant a Supreme Court hearing, rather than reviewing the specific facts of the case."

The club released a statement in July confirming their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court.

"Fulham will be seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal this decision since it considers that a point of law of general importance is involved and that it has a good prospect of success," the club said in a statement.

"The decision by the Court of Appeal affects not only the world of football but potentially every company in the land which has a shareholders' agreement or set of articles of association with an arbitration clause."

Fulham complained that Richards helped "facilitate" Crouch's transfer to Tottenham, but the Premier League chairman denies any impropriety.

Fulham, who had also bid £9million for Crouch, claimed Richards acted as an "unauthorised agent", in breach of the game's regulations.

Last year the club asked Mr Justice Vos to restrain Richards 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.

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