EVERTON remain confident they will overcome any legal challenges to Steven Naismith’s transfer from Rangers.
The SFA has refused to issue registrations for the transfers of Naismith to Everton, Steven Whittaker to Norwich, Kyle Lafferty to Sion, Jamie Ness to Stoke and Steven Davis to Southampton.
The quintet have all refused to have their contracts transferred to a newco Rangers.
But, with Rangers seeking compensation, the Scottish FA will not provide authorisation for the moves.
Everton officials, however, have sought expert legal advice and believe FIFA will adjudicate on the matter and find in the players’ favour.
That stance is supported by by the Scottish PFA.
PFA Scotland solicitor Margaret Gribbon of Bridge Litigation has written to all English Premier League and Championship clubs reassuring them.
Ms Gribbon stated: “I have been furnished with a copy of Mr Green’s letter sent to English clubs in their top two divisions and consider that it amounts to an attempt to deliberately misrepresent my clients’ position. I have therefore today sent a detailed letter to the clubs setting out the facts and repeating our very firm legal view that Mr Green’s allegations of breach of contract are entirely without legal merit. My clients are free agents and I am pleased to note that several Premier League clubs have already made applications to the SFA for International Transfer Certificates indicating that they attach little weight to Mr Green’s assertion that Sevco is entitled to seek damages for breach of contract.
“Furthermore it should also be noted that the SFA has confirmed that in the event of there being a dispute over registration the matter will be referred to FIFA.”
Clubs usually request international transfer clearance (ITC) through their own national association, who then contact the SFA who, in turn, contact the club the player is leaving.
However, in this case, the issue is muddied by Rangers FC plc being consigned to liquidation and the newco Rangers having not yet become members of the SFA.
Eleven players have refused to join the new company set up by Charles Green after he purchased the assets of the Ibrox club. Those leaving have been advised by their union that they do so as free agents.
Green contests this and has written to all clubs in England warning that the players are in breach of contract.
PFA Scotland say Green is deliberately misrepresenting the contract situation, with union chairman Tony Higgins last week saying: “I haven’t spoken to a single employment or sports solicitor who agrees with Mr Green’s interpretation of the law.”
FIFA are expected to grant temporary clearance to allow the players to take part in friendlies for their new clubs.
Everton, who play their first summer fixture on Saturday at Morecambe’s Christie Park, meanwhile, insist that they have received no contact from Manchester United despite speculation suggesting that a deal for Leighton Baines is imminent.
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