On November 17th, we covered a report from France which detailed legal action over Jean Michael Seri’s summer transfer to Fulham.
For a long time the player had a price tag of €40m, and almost moved to Barcelona the summer before. Whilst a discount on that amount may have appeared possible, the amount Fulham are said to have paid (less than €12m) was certainly surprising.
It was alleged, by Seri’s lawyers, that Nice sold the midfielder below his market value, and received the rest by some other means, so Seri wouldn’t receive as big a kickback as what he’d been due.
At the same time, Maxime Le Marchand moved from Nice to Fulham for a €2.9m loan fee and €13.5m for a full transfer.
It would mean Fulham paying €11.2m for Seri, according to the kickback payment received, and €16.4m for Le Marchand, which doesn’t quite add up given the status of each player in France last year.
L’Equipe said at the time: ‘For the two lawyers, the sums do not correspond to the respective value of the two footballers. To support their thesis, they advance in particular their weekly salaries: ‘£66,000 (€74,000) for Seri, £25,000 (€28,000) for Le Marchand.’
It then went quiet, and now L’Equipe have an update in their Wednesday edition.
The lawyers have brought their case in front of the FFF, France’s FA, and are now also representing Centre Cyril Domoraud and ASEC Mimosas, former clubs of Seri whose solidarity payments will have been impacted.
It’s claimed by the French newspaper that the lawyers have contacted the English FA to ask if they’re in a position to investigate Fulham.
L’Equipe add: ‘The two Ivorian clubs believe that, if there was a manipulation of the amount of the transfer fee, it could not be done without the participation of the Cottagers.’