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The Chelsea, Lens, Kakuta case must be a fix

By Gf60

The recent finding by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that Chel$ki were not guilty of inducing a breach of contract by Kakuta was a surprise.

More of a surprise was the noting that the original contract between Kakuta and Lens was invalid. This raises more questions than it answers.

A few hours before this finding was released, Tony and I had this correspondence…

Gf60 to Sir T. “Surprising thing about this January transfer list is Chel$ki not taking advantage of the suspension until the court hearing on their transfer shenanigans. I was expecting 50 mill spend or so. Times must be tough! And they’re all getting older.  There’s a complete review of all the transfers at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/football-transfers/5487742/Premier-League-Transfers-January-2010.html

Sir T to Gf60 “Yes I was surprised too.  It begins to look as if Abramovich has said to the organisation at Chel$ki , me buying out the debt as shares is the end.  You have had £700m, that’s it.  Now make it work.”

I think we both agree that Chel$ki won’t stay out of the transfer market for ever, and that means they must have known the transfer ban would be lifted is the only one that stands up to examination.

Now far be it for me to cast nasturtiums but can we believe that

* FIFA is so totally incompetent that they cannot recognise a valid/invalid contract? (Given some other FIFA decisions, OK it’s just possible)

* Lens and Chel$ki ‘discovered’ information not available to FIFA at the time of the ban?

* Lens and Chel$ki are now bosom buddies?

Let’s try this step by step.

Lens made the original complaint, and while it is true that some companies do start legal proceedings just for show or just to slow things down (Robert Maxwell was a great one at doing this, and in his day Henry Norris at Arsenal would claim black was white and go to court and bully the other side into submission) it is difficult if not impossible to see what benefit Lens would have from deliberately running a legal case like this, if they knew their contract was invalid.

There was nothing to be gained over time, there was no chance of simply frightening Chel$ki  into giving the player back – so what on earth was the point?

The conclusion has to be that Lens believed they had a case, and that they thought the contract valid.

Now we come to FIFA who investigated the original complaint by Lens.  The first thing they would have done is called for the paperwork.   If you have ever been to court over any business matter you will know that the first thing called for are the contracts etc and the first thing the judges would have looked at would have been the contract.

We must remember this is not the usual bunch of crooks and thieves that run FIFA, this would be their legal team and we will take it for the moment that they acted properly and were not already bought off by one of the parties.

They would have looked at the contract thoroughly and either side,

This is a valid contract so Chel$ki  are guilty

This is not a valid contract, Lens have no case.

Given the way the final decision came out this is not a matter of fine legal judgment and technical points of law.  It is a case of “is there a simple contract between player and club which does not fall down on an obvious point of law?”

To give a simple example – if the law in a country says, “a person cannot sign an employment contract before the age of 18 which ties that person to the employer beyond the age of 18” and the contract did say that, it is totally obvious, and that’s that.

So I think we can take it that Lens thought they had a legal contract, and FIFA agreed.

How on earth could both parties be so wrong and lose the appeal?  The possible answers can only be

1.  The legal team at FIFA are so utterly inept and pathetically stupid that they need to be shot.

2.  The contract was real and valid, and during the build up to the appeal Lens said to Chel$ki , we’ll slip in a fake contract which is full of holes and you give us 30 million Euros.

3.  The contract was real and valid, and during the build up to the appeal Chel$ki  said to the Court of Arbitration in Sport, if you find against us, we will, within one day, start legal proceedings against the court which will tie you up in knots for the next 20 years.

4.  The contract was not real and valid, and Lens bribed FIFA to accept it as a valid document in the vague hope that Chel$ki  would not appeal.

5.  The contract was real and valid and Chel$ki  went to Lens, offering them money to change the contract.

6.  Any combination of the above involving corruption at three of the four players (Chel$ki , Lens, Court of Arbitration in Sport, FIFA).

I have no idea what happened, and obviously can’t allege that any particular was responsible, but it doesn’t look right.

More on the case http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/Chel$ki -win-kakuta-case-to-overturn-transfer-ban-1889990.html

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15 comments to The Chelsea, Lens, Kakuta case must be a fix

  • tim

    What do you expect from a club owned by a billionaire who has been repeatedly accused of theft, blackmail, bribery, gang-violence loan-fraud, and anti-trust violation? (From Wikipedia. The list of his “alleged crimes and wrongdoing” is stunning.)

    What do you expect from a club captained by John Terry?

    Arsenal vs. Chelsea is a bit of a morality play. Let’s hope the good guys win.

    Go Gunners!

  • J Thomkins

    What else have we come to expect. The Champions League draw is fixed. There is no ability to right a poor refereeing decision. The entire game and its structure is made dfor manipulation. I think the sooner a break away european league is established all the better. Then the big whigs in fifa might take notice of how they’ve driven the game into the ground.

  • Pete The First

    Are we surprised?

    Money talks with UEFA. Lens have accepted a bung to make this go away.

  • AGS

    Excellent article. I have been thinking this myself since I heard about the verdict yesterday – how could FIFA have got it so completely wrong, not to spot an invalid contract from the start? I doubt we’ll ever know. Maybe we need to get Moulder and Scully on the case.

  • AGS – that is it. The X Files. In fact all of football can be described in terms of the X Files. The evil slimy creepy monster scuttling around in the shadows (guess who), the big greasy slug that knocks others out of the way (ditto). Yes it fits.

  • Marc

    It’s a terrible thing and I’m a little ashamed to even think it but what did everyone expect? That corruption is rife in football is well known, at least to anyone who reads this site on a regular basis. Would Chelsea be willing to offer bribes or operate outside of the laws governing football? Well it’s hardly their first offence. We have the cases of Ashley Cole and Frank Arnesen, and I’m pretty sure that other readers will be able to bring up other occasions where Chelsea have not even attempted to operate within the spirit of the law let alone actually within it.

    Part of the problem is demonstrated by the cases of Cole and Arnesen. Cole was clearly tapped up and Arsenal did all they could to have Chelsea punished, Tottenham dropped their trousers bent over and took a bribe (£9 million or so as it was reported) and thus Chelsea got away with it, the irony of Arensen being the guy who brokered the deal for Kakuta seems to have been missed by much of the media. The ruling bodies should have stepped in and docked Chelsea points and fined Tottenham for “attempting to pervert the course of justice” or what ever the term is under sporting law.

  • Fifa, and Uefa under Platini have committed more goof-ups than JT himself! Btw we must cash-in (pun intended) on the captaincy ‘Blues’ at the Bridge & try to upset them with a resounding victory. We did it last season remember? One more time. ROAR ARSENAL..

    http://11gunners.com/opinion/6-must-do%E2%80%99s-as-arsenal-await-another-6-pointer/3063/

  • walter

    When I read that the ban had been lifted my first thought was: who has been bribed for this ?

    I think Lens got some money (under the table ???) as they are now suddenly saying : “there was never a problem in the first place”.
    This is to make one laugh because this means Lens are incompetent all over or…. money has been exchanged to change their point of view.

    This has the smell of the sewer all over it and I can smell it all the way to here.

  • lordgunner

    it simple lens are in financial deep sh*t and need money to survive because in France the law are more strict about debit than in England, they could find themself relegate or worst bankrupt if they are not starting repay their loan and late payment .The ch av have some and show some cash.Lens are happy,Chelsea are happy so it s like a normal transfer and Lens take the complain away. case close

  • walter

    Except that Chelsea has broken the rules, by tapping up the player, and gets away unpunished.

  • lordgunner

    but lens,kalkuta agent and the court agree the pre contract paper were non binding by law so the player could talk to Chelsea.Chelsea will pay a fee that lens that them and Chelsea have agree to be fair.the tapping up rule were done when the player when not under any contract.it s different that A.Cole who was under.
    the problem is not Chelsea but that other nation play by different rule for contract offer to young player

  • walter

    I’m no lawyer Lordgunner, but I was thinking that it the offence Chelsea did was against Fifa regulations and so were punished according Fifa regulations ? Well that is what I understand of it and this is also the way it is told in the press in my country.
    And in our country we are used to some fixing and bending the rules at random or to suit the big teams in my country.

  • lordgunner

    France is number one country in Europe at bending rules and braking them.
    But anyway as i say ,Lens are a club in financial crisis and for sale,so they probably decide the best was to take away the complain and take the cash offer by Chelsea,so FIFA let Chelsea alone .For a punishment,you need a case.Case was close when Lens took the money

  • walter

    Money rules the world… Same old story since the invention of money…

  • Gf60

    There was supposed to be a FIFA comment released on Friday. Anybody seen it?