Another delay on Falkirk’s Stewart transfer cash chase

PIC LISA FERGUSON 21/08/2010'FHS 'IRN BRU FIRST DIVISION,'FALKIRK FC v STIRLING ALBION FC'Mark Stewart celebrates his goal 2-0'WESTFIELD STADIUM
PIC LISA FERGUSON 21/08/2010'FHS 'IRN BRU FIRST DIVISION,'FALKIRK FC v STIRLING ALBION FC'Mark Stewart celebrates his goal 2-0'WESTFIELD STADIUM

The £250,000 cash wrangle between Falkirk and Bradford City will NOT be settled tomorrow.

The dispute, over the transfer of Mark Stewart and the Bairns’ training compensation claim, was heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne in November. A definitive decision was due to be published by CAS tomorrow.

Falkirk’s club lawyers who travelled to Lausanne with general manager David White received a fax from CAS this morning - not giving the answer to the long-winded saga, but announcing yet another delay in the decision.

The new date for Bairns to pencil into the diary is February 28.

Whenever the ruling comes, it will either dismiss or uphold the Yorkshire club’s appeal against FIFA who awarded Falkirk £215,000 under complex training calculations which reward clubs for developing young talent. World football’s governing body gave that decision exactly one year ago tomorrow, after Bradford contested Falkirk’s right to the cash, then contested the outcome again taking the case all the way to Switzerland.

“It was what you’d expect in another court of law, swearing an oath in front of the judge,” general manager David White told The Falkirk Herald upon his return from Switzerland.

“Mark Stewart was interviewed over video-link by Bradford’s law firm and we wait for the judgement to be made.

“This has gone on long enough, it was one of the first things I dealt with when I returned to the club. It has been continuous since I became general manager.”

It is more than two and a half years since Stewart moved to Valley Parade after his contract with Falkirk came to an end. The Bairns though had covered their interests in terms of the FIFA rules by offering their howegrown player a renewal of equal or greater terms more than six months before his deal expired.

However, that only applies to players under-23 and - as The Falkirk Herald exclusively revealed - Stewart’s 23rd birthday fell on June 22 - after the end of the season in England (May 31 by the FA handbook), but not in Scotland (July 1 according to the Scottish Football Association). It is this discrepancy which Bradford have used to challenge the FIFA ruling, which has forced the Bairns to wait for their cash. The fee could also be subject to additional legal fees and interest on the monies owed.

In local press in Bradford (here) the Bantams have pledged to use the cash for boosting their playing squad.

He played 12 times for Bradford, and failed to find the net. Since leaving Valley Parade he has scored just four goals while playing for Hamilton on loan, Dundee and Kilmarnock where he was recently released. He signed for Derry City this week.