Less than two weeks after learning that their new striker Emiliano Sala was one of the two men onboard a plane that went missing en route to Wales, team officials at Cardiff City were shocked to learn that French club Nantes was demanding the first portion of the 15 million pound transfer fee for the presumed deceased 28-year-old.
According to several reports, the Premier League club received a letter from the French side on Tuesday in which they were warned to send the agreed upon five and a half million pounds or face potential legal action. While all of this is legal, many in the Cardiff camp believe that this isn't the best timing. This is further reinforced after divers not only discovered the Piper Malibu plane this week but also a body that has yet to be identified as of writing.
Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman explained the situation with French newspaper L'Equipe. "The real reason (they haven't made the first payment) is that the body has not been recovered yet. We must show respect to the family. There is a process for recovering the plane. It's too early for us to comment."
Dalman concluded by expressing that they will pay "when we think it's the right time to do it. I don't think Cardiff said we were not going to pay."
Of course, if Cardiff fails to pay in a timely manner, there is an outside chance that the English FA, UEFA, or even FIFA could punish the club by docking precious points. As of writing, the Welsh side is third to last in the top flight with only 22 points. Losing three points, which is the potential amount, could spell disaster if they have any hopes in preventing relegation.
We at Fancred will continue to monitor this unfortunate situation. While it's understandable that a club would want to receive their transfer fee in a timely manner, it feels a little too raw for Nantes to essentially threaten Cardiff City. Both clubs are surely hurting from this tragic loss, we just hope that nothing regrettable is done to harm Sala's memory.