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     Geremi gets his day in court with IMG over his move to St James` Park 

    Sachin Nakrani
    The Guardian

    The Newcastle United captain Geremi has responded to a writ issued against him by the agents IMG which claims the midfielder illegally prevented it from negotiating, and profiting, from his move to the north-east club. Were he to lose, the case could cost Geremi up to £150,000.
    IMG is suing Geremi for breach of contract claiming it was prevented from being involved in his free transfer from Chelsea in July, five months after an agreement was signed stating the company would represent the 29-year-old exclusively in his business dealings, according to documents filed at the high court.

    The Cameroon international is claiming that IMG, whose clients include Tiger Woods and Roger Federer, is not entitled to compensation. He says that as well as the contract, there was a verbal agreement that he could negotiate deals with certain clubs, including Newcastle United, on his own behalf. In his defence, which was lodged with the courts last month, Geremi states that an agreement was signed with his former Cameroon team-mate Patrick Mboma as a favour to help him establish himself as a licensed agent with IMG.
    "Patrick Mboma was a good friend of the defendant [Geremi]. He knew that the defendant was not looking for an agent but wanted him to sign a short-term representation agreement [with IMG] to help Mr Mboma get access to football clubs," Geremi`s defence papers state. "The defendant agreed to enter in such an agreement [with IMG] but told Mr Mboma that such would be inapplicable to Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Bolton. The agreement does not prohibit the defendant negotiating on his own behalf."

    As part of its case, IMG has disclosed a copy of the contract signed with Geremi which shows that the player agreed to the company dealing with his business affairs on an "exclusive basis". The contract, which was to terminate on August 31 2007, also names Will Sherling as one of IMG`s licensed agents. It was Sherling who made contact with Newcastle United on April 2 last year regarding a move for Geremi, according to IMG`s claim. Confirmation of their interest was then relayed to him by Mboma.

    Geremi, who has also played for Real Madrid and Middlesbrough, claims he had no intention of speaking to the club at that stage because he was still under contract with Chelsea and had not received permission from the then champions to discuss a transfer. He also had no interest in speaking to Aston Villa who, it is also claimed, Mboma spoke to personally about signing the African.

    Geremi used the agent Mark Curtis, who was representing the Newcastle United manager Sam Allardyce, to secure his three-year deal, for which he is believed to earn close to £1m a season. IMG is demanding damages set at 5% of the player`s gross basic salary, the level of commission agreed between both parties, as well as interest.

    Along with costs, that could mean that Geremi, who will shortly fly to Ghana to represent his country in the African Cup of Nations, would have to pay out more than £150,000 should he lose the case. No date has yet been set for when the case will be heard in the high court.

    Meanwhile, the former Newcastle United assistant manager Kevin Bond`s case against the club will go to court at Easter. Bond is suing for wrongful dismissal after he was sacked in September 2006 following his appearance in a Panorama documentary investigating corruption in football.

    The 50-year-old, who is currently the manager of AFC Bournemouth, believes he is entitled to more than £250,000 "plus unliquidated damages" after losing his £150,000-a-year post.

    Hits: 1    |   Source:Autres

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     Geremi gets his day in court with IMG over his move to St James` Park
    The Newcastle United captain Geremi has responded to a writ issued against him by the agents IMG which claims the midfielder illegally prevented it from negotiating, and profiting, from his move to......
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