Fulham are in hot water with FIFA again after refusing to pay Juventus the final instalment of Edwin van der Sar’s transfer fee.
Mohamed Al-Fayed is unhappy with aspects of the £7m deal that brought the Dutch international goalkeeper to Craven Cottage in 2001 and is refusing to pay the Italian giants the last £2m that they are owed. Press reports suggested that Fulham have withheld payment until a club investigation into the transfer is concluded.
The latest dispute has echoes of the Steve Marlet case that saw Fulham ordered to stump up the final £2.3m owing to Lyon following the French international’s £11.5m move in 2001. Concerns around that deal saw Al-Fayed and then manager Jean Tigana embroiled in a protracted legal case and the Court of Arbitration for Sport delivered a final ruling a fortnight ago demanding the London club settle their debts.
Fulham have appealed Fifa’s decision in the van der Sar dispute as they want to be able to establish for themselves that there were no irregularities during the original negotiations. Fifa’s executive committee will discuss the matter on February 29 in London. “The Fifa players’ status committee took the decision that Fulham had no legitimate reason for not complying with its obligations to Juventus,” Fifa said. Juventus have said that they would seek to bring van der Sar back to Turin should they not be paid in full immediately.