Football agent sues Bolton Wanderers and agency for six figure sum over Aston Villa transfer row
BOLTON Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside and three other club representatives are due to appear in court next year to settle a dispute over a £1 million transfer made six years ago.
Current club secretary Simon Marland, former manager Sammy Lee and director of football Frank McParland will also be called to a High Court case in Manchester on April 4 to answer claims against them from football agent Tony McGill that he was cut out of a deal to sign midfielder Gavin McCann from Aston Villa at the last minute in favour of rival agency Sports Entertainment Management (SEM).
McGill, a licensed agent since 2001, claims that, “but for the unlawful acts complained of” he would have “received a fee of up to £390,000 being 10 per cent of the value of the guaranteed basic earnings under the playing contract with Bolton.”
After settling a representation dispute with the player, he is now pursuing damages and interest from Wanderers and its four senior executives, as well as SEM and three SEM staff members Jerome Anderson, Jeffrey Weston and David Sheron.
The club, SEM and all seven named defendants deny the allegations.
McCann, a once-capped England international, signed a five-year deal with Wanderers in June 2007 and would go on to make 88 appearances for the club, scoring three goals, before his retirement because of a knee injury in early 2011.
It is claimed by McGill that the Blackpool-born midfielder had previously used SEM to negotiate moves between Everton and Sunderland in 1998 and Sunderland to Villa in 2003.
But McGill alleges that he had severed ties with the agency before he began negotiating his transfer to the Reebok in March, 2007.
Wanderers claim the transfer was only discussed in May of that year and that negotiations were above board and conducted between the club, SEM and then-Villa chief executive Richard Fitzgerald — and had nothing to do with McGill.
SEM denies the allegation and claims that McGill was not acting on McCann’s behalf at the time and that the transfer was conducted in accordance with the FA’s rules and regulations.
Bolton Wanderers declined to comment and no one from SEM was available to comment.