Cardiff City suing Willie McKay over Emiliano Sala death

Hamish Woodward

Cardiff City has initiated legal action against football agent Willie McKay with the intent of obtaining information regarding his role in the 2019 transfer of Emiliano Sala.

The late Sala was set to finalize a historic move from Nantes to Cardiff during the January transfer window of that year but met a tragic end when his private aircraft crashed over the English Channel.

Previous reports by Sky Sports News indicated that McKay and his son were instrumental in arranging the private plane for Sala.

In June 2023, Cardiff City commenced legal proceedings against Nantes in the French jurisdiction, aiming to pursue damages related to the aforementioned transfer.

Based on information from a source closely associated with the legal proceedings, Cardiff City contends that the inclusion of Emiliano Sala in their team would have likely avoided relegation from the Premier League in 2019.

Consequently, the club is pursuing damages to account for the financial losses incurred due to relegation, which includes fees of over £60 million, plus the £15 million transfer fee for the player.

Within the context of the legal proceedings taking place in France, Nantes asserts that Willie McKay played no part in the transfer. This assertion is disputed by Cardiff City.

Cardiff released a statement regarding the legal action

Cardiff City said in a statement to Sky Sports News: “To date, FC Nantes and Willie McKay have not been ordered to disclose any information regarding the transfer.

“FC Nantes’ defence in France denies any links with Willie McKay, yet the small number of documents the club has seen shows him discussing strictly confidential information about the transfer with FC Nantes’ owner, Waldemar Kita, directly, including the transfer fee.

“CCFC considers it just in the circumstances to seek information surrounding Willie McKay’s involvement with FC Nantes in relation to the transfer. CCFC’s claim will be heard in Cardiff Civil Court on Thursday February 8.

“In parallel, the club follows with interest FC Nantes’ indictment by the French police for its recurrent recourse, at least since 2015, to the employment of unauthorised sports agents by drawing up sports agent contracts and player employment contracts under the cover of nominees, given this aligns with the allegations raised by CCFC in its civil claim against FC Nantes.”

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