CELTIC face a messy five-way transfer sell-on bunfight for a share of the Scottish record fee of £12.5 million they brought in from the sale of Victor Wanyama to Southampton.
Four Kenyan clubs and a bankrupt Belgian club and their administrators are laying claim to a portion of the Wanyama transfer fee in a fight that could be dragged all the way to world football’s governing body Fifa.
Wanyama played for a number of homeland clubs in East Africa before moving to Swedish side Helsingborgs and on to Belgian club Beerschot. Now the Kenyan sides and the creditors of Beerschot want a slice of Celtic’s bounty. Beerschot negotiated a sell-on clause when they sold him to Celtic for £900,000 in 2011, but the figure is believed to be just 1 per cent of future profit. The African clubs are all claiming a development fee for Wanyama, who they say they brought through as a youth player. Homeland clubs Nairobi City Stars, AFC Leopards, JMJ Academy and Country Bus all insist Wanyama played for them and want their cut of the fee.
According to Fifa rules, clubs that produce players during their “development phase” are entitled to up to a 5 per cent cut of 10 per cent of the total transfer fees whenever they change clubs. One of those clubs, Nairobi City Stars, made it clear they want paid.
Chairman Peter Jabuya said: “We are looking to get our share of the pie. Fifa laws are very clear. As one of the clubs that nurtured him, we are entitled to 5 per cent of the 10 per cent of the total transfer fee. This is because our club played a crucial part in his development and the name of our club is inscribed in his trade licence.”
Kenyan FA president Sam Nyamweya said: “We have seen some claims here, but not everyone has the right documentation. We suggest anyone who is to be paid part of the money must prove they deserve it.”
Wanyama thanked everyone at Celtic yesterday as he left Glasgow to play for Southampton. The 22-year-old told Sky Sports News: “Celtic have been good to me and the fans have been great. To be honest it was hard leaving them, but I wish them all the best. I had a good time with them. I want to thank them for the time I was there.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon, meanwhile, admits his side will be nowhere near their best during their Champions League qualifiers against Cliftonville when they kick off their European campaign in Belfast on Wednesday night.
Lennon’s preparations have been far from ideal – Celtic conceded 12 goals as they lost all four of their friendlies during a stint in Germany.
Lennon has seen Wanyama leave for Southampton and fears striker Gary Hooper, who has been struggling with a groin problem, has played his last game for the club as he seeks to join the Kenyan in England.
Nigeria defender Efe Ambrose will miss the clash on the artificial surface at Cliftonville’s Solitude ground after being given extra time off following the Confederations Cup. Welsh pair Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews are expected to miss out through injury while trialist defender Steven Mouyokolo has still to sign a contract, and the likes of Scott Brown, James Forrest, Charlie Mulgrew and new signing Virgil van Dijk have all missed part of the friendly action through injury.
Lennon told Celtic TV: “It’s so early, it’s a harsh reality of where we are. We won the cup final at the end of May and we are back in on the 24th of June.
“I don’t think you’ll see us anywhere near our best for another two weeks or so.”