BOLTON Wanderers have been unable to explain how they bought player Gavin McCann from Aston Villa in 2006, according to a lawyer opposing them.
Agent Tony McGill is pursuing Wanderers and the Sport and Entertainment Media Group (SEM) for allegedly cutting him out of the McCann deal.
Mr McGill’s lawyer Martin Budworth said the situation was ‘remarkable’ in his closing submissions at the Manchester Civil Justice Centre yesterday.
Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside, ex-manager Sammy Lee, club secretary Simon Marland and former director of football Frank McParland are being sued along with SEM, its CEO Jerome Anderson, Jeffrey Weston and Dave Sheron.
Mr Budworth said all the defendants had come to court to try to “derail” his client’s case by claiming the deal was brokered by another of SEM’s agents, Steven Horner.
He added: “Instead of piecing over the individual ingredients, the approach is from a completely different angle.
“None of this matters because it was all done by Mr Horner.
“This is an attempt to derail the claim. It’s false evidence and we know it is because the accounts of Mr Horner’s role are in complete disarray.”
Mr Budworth told the court Wanderers disagree with Mr Lee and Mr McParland over who initially suggested Mr McCann’s name, while SEM’s position on the matter is the “polar” opposite to the evidence of Mr Weston, who completed the deal.
Mr Weston maintained SEM suggested Mr McCann as it was the only justification for it receiving a £300,000 fee for the deal, according to Mr Budworth.
Mr Budworth said: “If the court looks to the defendants the court simply does not get an explanation from their evidence as to how this transfer happened.
“We saw from the defendants’ accounts and their witnesses’, that they can’t piece it together.”
He added: “They can’t get the claimant out of the picture.
“Even now they cannot dispel the clear picture from the evidence as a whole that the claimant did the deal and SEM were allowed to jump in, hijack the deal and collect the fee.
"The fact that they cannot do that is remarkable given the very full way that the claimant sets his case out.”
The counsel representing SEM and Wanderers have supplied their closing submissions. Judge David Waksman will now consider his verdict in the case, which he is expected to deliver in writing in the coming weeks.