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Bradford City are left to Stew in legal wrangle with Falkirk
City are hopeful they will end up paying nothing to Falkirk when the final whistle eventually blows on the Mark Stewart saga
City could be heading for Switzerland to finally put an end to the Mark Stewart saga as the long-running episode rumbles on.
The club are still fighting FIFA’s order to award Falkirk 250,000 euros (approximately £217,000) in training compensation for the Scottish striker.
It is now in the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne after City launched an appeal against the findings behind the initial ruling. But there is still no clue about the time scale.
The club are being supported by the same legal team – Simon Csoka QC of Carmelite Chambers and Bradford law firm Petherbridge Bassra – that got them successfully restored to the FA Cup last season after being kicked out for fielding an ineligible player.
It is almost two years since Falkirk launched their claim for the player signed by Peter Jackson on Archie Christie’s recommendation in July 2011. They demanded £300,000 at first.
City refused to pay and FIFA were called in to settle the dispute. They sided with the Scottish club for a slightly lower figure but it is still an astronomical sum for a player transferred from the second tier in Scotland to the bottom division of English football.
City still maintain that they owe nothing because Stewart was a free agent at the time of his move – a stance that has never changed.
They called in the legal experts and examined how FIFA came to their ruling before deciding to challenge it.
While reluctant to say too much publicly, they certainly feel the evidence to support their case is strong.
Director of operations David Baldwin said: “The club has presented a substantive argument as to why it would deem that no fee would be due.
“Our legal team has worked hard in presenting the evidence to support that argument.”
Like his former Bairns team-mate Chris Mitchell, Stewart flopped at Valley Parade during his short-lived stay and failed to score a single goal.
He was hampered by a broken toe and made only eight starts in 15 appearances before returning to Scotland five months later with Hamilton on loan.
He moved on to Dundee and scored three times before joining Kilmarnock in the summer. He has featured in three games this season.
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