Fulham Football Club has demanded that Sir Dave Richards, the Premier League chairman, to be denied involvement in any future transfers or be removed from his position due to the failed transfer of Peter Crouch to Craven Cottage.
The Whites have taken Richards to court as they accuse him of scuppering Crouch’s move from Portsmouth to West London in favor of a move to Tottenham Hotspur last summer. Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore emailed all other nineteen members of England’s top flight confirming Fulham’s stance on the situation.
“Fulham are asking the court to order an injunction restraining the chairman (Richards) from taking any role in the transfer of players or, alternatively, that the court remove the chairman from the board of the Premier League.”
Fulham are outraged at Richards’s involvement over the Crouch transfer. Despite the chairman working as a mutual colleague of all Premier League clubs in order to keep their best interests at heart, Mohammed Al Fayed’s club are adamant that he orchestrated the England man’s move to Tottenham – due to his friendship with the then Pompey chief executive Peter Storrie.
Continuing with Scudamore’s email he confirmed that Sir Dave’s involvement is not in dispute as the Premier League ordered an inquiry which found no detrimental actions against him:
“The inquiry concluded the chairman’s actions had not been detrimental to Fulham, and that it was not inappropriate for the chairman to assist in such matters when requested to do so by a club.”
The inquiry has spurred Fulham on to take higher action as they submitted a petition to the companies court. Peter Crouch had been all but ready to put pen to paper on a contract at Fulham only to make a u-turn and sign for Spurs a few days later.
The chairman’s friendship with Peter Storrie has certainly casted a shadow over this case as Fulham are convinced he dictated the collapse of the deal. Scudamore however believes that these accusations are unfair:
“The claim is that Fulham have been unfairly prejudiced in their capacity as a member of the Premier League, as a result of alleged assistance provided by the chairman to Portsmouth in securing the transfer of Peter Crouch to Tottenham Hotspur in August 2009.”
Portsmouth’s cash crisis had dominated Premier League headlines for ten months as they had no choice but to sell their star assets in order to ease their crippling debts. It is believed they wanted a lump sum for the sale of Crouch instead of monthly payments and additional add-ons. Crouch’s £9million deal was indeed paid in full despite Fulham offering £2million more in their negotiations.
It is an intriguing story as a Premier League club has seemingly lost trust in the hierarchy of their league. The 66 year old begins to nervously await the court’s decision over his position.