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The Killing of Emiliano Sala

The Inside Story of the Tragic Transfer

Harry Harris

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Empire Publications Ltd
21 January 2020
When the single-engined Piper Malibu plane carrying Cardiff City's record GBP15m signing, Emiliano Sala, crashed into the English Channel on 21st January 2019 killing both the footballer and the pilot, David Ibbotson, it shone a light on the murky world of football transfers. Using his unrivalled contacts in the game, award-winning journalist Harry Harris helped the resulting investigation in the Daily Telegraph to uncover the way in which agents and clubs work. Emiliano Sala was a relative unknown for most of his career, the Argentinian had been at half a dozen clubs in French football without making much of an impact, but when he hit a goalscoring hot-streak in the autumn of 2018 his timing was perfect as the January transfer window approached. When Mr Fix It', agent Willie McKay, approached his club Nantes for an agreement to handle the sale of their striker promising a deal in the region of 20m Euros, their chairman Waldemar Kita leapt at the chance; the French club had bought Sala a few years earlier for just 1m Euros. Meanwhile, newly-promoted Cardiff City had struggled to adjust to life in the richest league in the world. Manager Neil Warnock desperately needed a striker and pinned his hopes on the gangly, good-natured Argentinian as the man who could keep the Bluebirds among the elite. The player, finding himself in demand for the first time in his career, may have been initially reluctant to move to the Welsh capital but a new weekly wage offer of GBP50,000 and the agent's promise that it might lead to a move to one of the top six clubs was far too tempting to turn down. It was a life-changing amount of money for him and his family. Controversial agent Willie McKay manoeuvred himself into position to exploit the situation, helping his son to negotiate a ten percent cut of the eventual transfer fee and lucrative bonus payments. Many deals are conducted in this way during every transfer window. Unfortunately for those involved here, this was the one that ended in tragedy and sparked investigations by more than one UK police force, the Air Accidents Investigation Bureau, FIFA, the Premier League, the FA, and the FA of Wales. It has already led to the imprisonment of two people with the potential for many more to find themselves in the dock. As the research of investigative journalist Harry Harris shows here, The Killing of Emilano Sala was no accident.
By:   Harry Harris
Imprint:   Empire Publications Ltd
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 215mm,  Width: 135mm, 
Weight:   252g
ISBN:   9781909360723
ISBN 10:   1909360724
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   21 January 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Harry Harris has won a total of 24 journalism awards. A regular analyst on football related matters on all major TV news and sports channels, he has appeared on Richard & Judy, Newsnight, BBC News, ITN News at Ten, Sky and Setanta. He is also a regular on Radio 5 Live, Radio 4, and TalkSport. He has been interviewed on Football Focus and appeared on the original Hold The Back Page and Jimmy Hill's Sunday Supplement on Sky.

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