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Emiliano Sala transfer saga ends: Cardiff City and McKay settle privately

Cardiff City Football Club and football agent Willie McKay have reached an out-of-court agreement concerning the controversial 2019 transfer of Argentine striker Emiliano Sala.

Emiliano Sala was on the brink of completing a club-record transfer from Nantes to Cardiff City during the January transfer window in 2019.

However, the promising player tragically lost his life when his private plane crashed over the English Channel.

The sources involved in the case also suggest that Cardiff City contends Sala’s potential impact on the team’s performance, claiming they could have avoided relegation had he played for the club.

As a result, Cardiff sought damages for losses in revenue associated with their relegation.

Amidst the legal proceedings in France, Nantes has countered Cardiff’s claims, asserting that Willie McKay had no involvement in the transfer—an assertion Cardiff vehemently disputes.

Originally scheduled for February 8, the hearing was unexpectedly canceled as the involved parties reached an agreement outside of the courtroom. The terms of this agreement remain confidential.

A preliminary hearing took place the previous week, during which McKay’s attempt to delay the proceedings was unsuccessful.

Willie McKay later issued a statement emphasising the resolution reached with Cardiff City FC. He stated, “Out of respect for the family of Emiliano Sala, I felt it was necessary to confirm that Cardiff City FC have reached an agreement with me regarding their claim against Nantes FC.”

Emiliano Sala on a plane
Tributes poured in for the late Emiliano Sala (Instagram / BBC)

McKay went on to highlight his cooperation with various investigative bodies, including the Dorset Coroner, Dorset Police, Civil Aviation Authority, and the Air Accidents Investigation Board.

He maintained that he and his family have endured baseless allegations throughout the process but have consistently been found innocent of any wrongdoing related to the tragic events of January 21, 2019.

Responding to the resolution, Capital Law, representing Cardiff City, expressed satisfaction with the outcome and reaffirmed the club’s commitment to recovering losses incurred due to what they described as FC Nantes’ negligence.

The specifics of the settlement, however, remain confidential, leaving the football community curious about the terms agreed upon between Cardiff City and Willie McKay.