Huge cash boost for Falkirk as FIFA rules in Bairns’ favour

Falkirk will receive 250,000 euros in compensation for Mark Stewart.
Falkirk will receive 250,000 euros in compensation for Mark Stewart.

The Mark Stewart compensation saga has finally been resolved.

Officials at Falkirk were notified by FIFA this afternoon that they ARE due compensation for former player Mark Stewart.

Bradford City now have 30 days to pay the Bairns €250,000 - around £215,000.

The Yorkshire club have 10 days to decide whether to appeal FIFA’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport - but The Falkirk Herald understands that The Bantams are unlikely to pursue this option, given that football’s governing body has a record of taking an extremely dim view of any club that pursues sporting matters through courts of law.

The decision is a massive boost for Falkirk, who have been forced to undergo a drastic programme of cost-cutting since their relegation from the SPL in 2010.

Chairman Martin Ritchie said: “We always believed we had a strong case but it has taken a lot of hard work from people in and around the club to get this result and they should be applauded for their tenacity and efforts.

“And of course, financially, it is a tremendous boost.”

The compensation saga began when Mark Stewart moved south to Bradford City in July 2011 after progressing through the Bairns’ footballing academy – which entitled the club to a training fee according to FIFA directives.

However, an anomaly in the striker’s birthdate and differing registration procedures between the Scottish and English footballing associations led to the Yorkshire club challenging Falkirk’s right to the cash.

The Bairns forwarded the case to FIFA after bills sent to Valley Parade were disputed by The Bantams.

The matter was discussed by football’s governing body on January 23 – 19 months after Stewart left Falkirk – and the decision reached was expected to be received by both clubs by February 6.

The 24-year-old made 77 appearances for the Bairns, scoring 19 goals.

He moved to Bradford along with another former Falkirk player, Chris Mitchell.

Stewart left Bradford after making only 12 appearances. He is currently playing for Dundee in the SPL.