Chairman of Warri Wolves and Delta State Sports Commission, Amaju Pinnick, has asked his lawyers to institute a N1 billion libel suit against online publication, Goal.com, for allegedly reporting that he (Amaju) and Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi wanted to share €150,000 from Sunday Mba’s failed transfer to French side CA Bastia.
Mba’s move to Bastia was called off after Wolves confirmed they have rejected the offer from the Ligue 2 side, which had stipulated to pay €250,000 in three installments, spread between 2014 and 2015.
The day after, Goal.com publicised a report that “Stephen Keshi allegedly demanded for €50,000 from the (€150,000 involved as transfer fee from the) deal which Pinnick perceived was too much and believed that the remaining €100,000 won’t be enough for him and Emmanuel Ibru, who was also involved in the sale of the player, to share.”
But an enraged Pinnick described the report as “baseless and only directed at maligning my reputation. I will not let it go without redress.”
On his own account, the failed French deal for the Afcon 2013 revelation was the best option for the 24-year-old midfielder.
“While am not prepared to join issues with Goal.com, I want to say that no sane club chairman will take the offer Bastia was offering Warri Wolves and Sunday Mba. It was a slave contract that may have ruined the career of the player. As responsible club, we rejected it in its entirety. So, I do not know where Goal.com got their scoop that the deal was scuttled because I and Stephen Keshi could not agree on the formula to share their contrived sum,” he said.
“Bastia officials agreed to pay Warri Wolves the sum of €250,000 according to the following schedule: €50,000 to be paid in January 31, 2014 while €100,000 is to be remitted to the Warri club by July 31, 2014. The balance €100,000 was not going to be due for payment until January 31, 2015.”
The chairman further clarified that there was an aspect in the contract which stated that in the case of injury to the player, involving a four months hiatus, his contract will be terminated and wouldn’t earn any money for the period of the injury.
“Which player will deliberately get himself injured? Injuries are part of the business of football and when it happens solutions are sought,” added Pinnick.
“To say the player will not be paid is not a good deal for me.”
However, Goal.com further revealed the terms of the contract, which they said; Bastia had offered for “the right to buy Sunday Mba at a preferential price of €800,000 minus the amount they have already paid while a bonus of €100,000 will be given to Warri Wolves, Mba’s club” if the player’s suitor gains promotion to French Ligue 1.
“Also a partnership deal of 2 years will be agreed between the two clubs (Bastia and Warri Wolves) to organise friendly games and trials at Bastia for the best players of Warri Wolves. This agreement will work at the moment they maintain their place in the league or get promoted and the contract can be renewed every 2 years.”
And “In case Bastia get relegated, Sunday Mba will go back to Warri Wolves.”
Mba, who has since returned to the Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar- Super Eagles’ home for the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Malawi- on finding out his deal had fallen through on transfer deadline day, was not happy as he couldn’t help the circumstances but to seek solace in shedding some few tears.