Cardiff City announce they are under a transfer embargo after failing to pay first instalment of £15m fee for Emiliano Sala before his death – but chairman Mehmet Dalman is ‘confident’ it will be lifted before the January window
Cardiff City have been hit with a transfer embargo over their failure to pay up for Emiliano Sala, the Argentinian striker who died in a plane crash on his way to sign for the Welsh club in 2019.
FIFA had ordered Cardiff to pay the first £5.3million of the £15m transfer fee for Sala agreed between them and the striker’s French club, Nantes.
Sala never made it to Wales, as he and pilot David Ibbotson died when their plane crashed and sank in the English Channel on January 21, 2019 on the journey from France.
Cardiff City have confirmed that they are under a transfer embargo after failing to pay the first instalment of the £15m fee for Emiliano Sala
Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman confirmed that Cardiff have received their first invoice from Nantes but legal discussions continue to carry on
Cardiff insist Sala was never legally their player despite rulings by FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport that they should pay Nantes.
Club chairman Mehmet Dalman says he is ‘confident’ Cardiff will be able to lift the embargo before the transfer window opens next month.
‘We haven’t paid and at this stage have no intention of paying until certain negotiations come to fruition,’ he said.
Cardiff appealed the CAS ruling, with a verdict expected in February.
The death of the Argentine striker in January 2019 sent shock waves through the football world
The club are in the middle of conversations with both the EFL and FIFA as they seek to resolve the ongoing situation.
‘I wish I had the power to lift the shadow of this situation from the club. People at this club want this resolved,’ Dalman told BBC Radio Wales Sport.
‘People should not forget that a 29-year old man was killed when he there was no need for that accident to happen. There is a human side to this story, it is not just a financial one.’
In August, Cardiff lost their appeal against a ruling by FIFA to pay the first instalment of the transfer – which was due to be £5.3m.
Despite the decision being made, Cardiff continue to dispute the money owed and have further appealed the decision to a Swiss Federal Court.
Sala, signed from French club Nantes for a £15m fee, died on his way to sign for Cardiff City FC
The next decision is due to be made in late January or early February next year. Dalman revealed that Cardiff have received their first invoice from Nantes but that legal discussions continue to carry on.
‘We haven’t paid it and at this stage have no intention of paying it, until certain negotiations come to fruition,’ he added.
‘This puts the EFL in a position where they automatically put us under transfer embargo, but until January that is pretty meaningless anyway.’
‘Until January I am sure there will be other developments. We are working hard to ensure we can do business then.’
Cardiff had a prolific summer transfer window, bringing in 17 new names, but the Bluebirds have failed to take off and find themselves one point off the relegation zone.
Dalman confessed that he could not say for sure whether the embargo will be lifted in January – and admitted that manager Mark Hudson was ‘understanding but not happy’ when told about the embargo.
I don’t know Mark dreadfully well, but he’s a professional, he understood our position,’ he said. ‘He didn’t necessarily like it. But we have told him to get his targets in place.’