Football agency boss being sued alongside Bolton Wanderers: 'I've never seen backdated contract before'
THE boss of the agency being sued alongside Bolton Wanderers over a £1 million transfer deal told a court he has "never to this day" seen the backdated contract at the centre of the row.
Jerome Anderson, CEO of The Sport and Entertainment Media Group (SEM) repeatedly stated that he had no involvement in the disputed 2007 signing by Wanderers of Gavin McCann from Aston Villa.
Despite the deal being worth £300,000 to SEM and the firm having a "small" team of senior staff, Mr Anderson maintained that he knew nothing about the deal.
Mr Anderson slightly backtracked on his initial answer to having seen the contract, acknowledging that he saw it only after McGill lodged legal proceedings.
The High Court, sitting at Manchester Civil Justice Centre, heard that SEM has dealt with about 150 players and had three licensed agents in 2007; Mr Anderson, Steve Horner and Jeffrey Weston, who participated in the McCann deal.
Mr Anderson said agents were usually allocated to players based on location.
Mr Weston is based in London, while Dave Sheron, who claimant Tony McGill claims was the agent behind the deal despite being unlicensed, is based in the North West, where Mr McCann lives.
Mr Anderson said Mr Sheron carried out non-agency activities for SEM for many years and "brought opportunities to the firm".
The firm's website, since amended, described one aspect of Mr Sheron's duties as "brokering deals".
Mr Anderson answered "no" when Martin Budworth, Mr McGill's counsel, suggested this represents clear agency activity.
Mr Budworth also asked whether SEM had paid the £50,000 settlement Mr McCann owed Mr McGill after a different case in 2009.
Mr Anderson scoffed, and when asked why, said: "I reacted like that because of the pure insolence of you even asking me that question."
When it was repeated he said: "Absolutely, absolutely not."
Mr McGill is pursuing damages of £390,000 plus costs, claiming Wanderers colluded with SEM to cut him out of the McCann deal, which he had put together.
Wanderers and SEM now formally acknowledge that paperwork involved in the McCann deal was backdated but neither can offer any explanation for it and both blame each other.
The case continues.
- See our live updates from the day's hearing here.