Further talks scheduled in Silva compensation dispute

Saturday, 2 June, 2018 36comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton and Watford will apparently meet again later this month to try and thrash out a resolution to the Marco Silva "tapping up" row and stave off the need for a Premier League arbitration meeting.

Watford filed an official complaint against Everton for what they claim was an unwarranted approach for Silva last autumn when the sounded him out over the possibility of replacing Ronald Koeman.

The Hertfordshire club rejected more than one offer of compensation, then highest variously reported as being between £9m and £15m, and refused to let the Toffees hierarchy discuss their vacant manager's position with the Portuguese.

Citing Everton's attempts to "tap" him up as the reason for a nosedive in results, Watford eventually sacked Silva himself in January but there was still a reported £1m offer of compensation from Goodison Park on the table as recently as a month ago. That is said to have been withdrawn as the Hornets are still pushing for almost £10m.

It is the Watford Observer's understanding that the Premier League will mediate the second meeting between the two clubs.  

Reader Comments (36)

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Matthew Williams
1 Posted 02/06/2018 at 16:48:59
Just read the article on Sky. It looks like we've opened a real can of worms here like.

Oh well, Moshiri can afford it, he is his man after all.

Just having my say... this won't end well, but I'll hope for the best!

Eugene Kearney
2 Posted 02/06/2018 at 17:10:19
I thought we'd found out that Watford had tapped someone else up themselves?
Charles Brewer
3 Posted 02/06/2018 at 17:28:07
I’m not particularly excited about our new manager, but our response to Watford should be to refer them to the case of Arkell vs Pressdram.
Brian Williams
4 Posted 02/06/2018 at 17:47:39
If our approach was all above board, then the club should simply provide evidence to that effect to the Premier League and refuse to take part in further mediation due to having no case to answer.

Let the Premier League earn their money instead of doing their job for them.

Jack Convery
5 Posted 02/06/2018 at 19:27:27
Compensation — w(h)at for(d)?
Harry Wallace
6 Posted 02/06/2018 at 19:33:21
I am sure worst fine would be nowhere near £10M. I say let Watford go to the Premier League and see what they say...
Jack Convery
7 Posted 02/06/2018 at 19:55:09
As long as the great unelected don't decide to make an example of us and dock us several points.

Something tells me the Hornets' owners won't be satisfied with just a monetary fine. Is there a sting in this saga — I bloody hope not.

Gordon Crawford
8 Posted 02/06/2018 at 20:13:45
Perfect opportunity for the FA to screw us over again. Big fine and points deduction would be my guess. Though maybe they will get creative and stop us buying players or something ridiculous like that.
Derek Knox
9 Posted 02/06/2018 at 20:24:36
I am somewhat puzzled by this Watford saga. Yes, we approached them regarding Marco Silva, presumably in a legitimate manner, we were prepared to offer compensation of up to £12M, which they refused.

Their form then dipped; most teams have a dip in form at some point, they then proceed to sack Marco Silva. They appoint a new manager, and finish approximately where they were expected to.

It's not as if they were relegated, as a result of events. Maybe I am missing something, but I thought the delay in appointing Marco, after sacking Neanderthal Sam, was that by a certain date, ie, end of May, any contractual obligations had expired.

As Steve Ferns explained in another post, these contracts can be complicated and have lengthy clauses. Surely we have some sort of Legal Advisors that the Club use in these situations.

Slightly off topic but, if any transfer targets involve Watford players, you can bet it will be awkward.

Bobby Mallon
10 Posted 02/06/2018 at 20:35:15
If we have done nothing out of the ordinary, then tell Watford to fuck right off and, if we get done, then Moshiri to use all his money to fight them all the way.
Jay Harris
11 Posted 02/06/2018 at 21:27:04
I think the reason for the delay was ensuring our position in this matter.

June 1st seems to be significant and the whole world knows how crazy the Watford owners are.

I am a little surprised, however, that talks are still ongoing. I don't know why we wouldn't tell them to get lost and pay Marco his outstanding wages.

Maybe we did cross the line somewhere. It just needs putting to bed asap so we can get a preseason in without complications.

Brian Hill
12 Posted 02/06/2018 at 21:34:22
Gordon @8, it would have been good if we were banned from buying players this time last year...
James Hopper
13 Posted 03/06/2018 at 00:07:48
It's really difficult to have an opinion on this isn't it? What exactly did Everton do that is against the rules? As far as I'm aware, we approached Watford for permission to speak to Silva – which we're entitled to do. They said no, twice, so we backed off and went for Allardyce.

Watford's form then hit the skids, with some people saying Silva's “head had been turned” – whatever that means. How would anybody know the reasons for Watford's downturn in form? It could have happened anyway. They're not exactly world beaters.

Watford then sacked Silva, at which point he presumably becomes a free agent, so we appointed him?

Without knowing more details, it's impossible to know what Watford's case actually is. Maybe we should let it go to the FA so they can throw it out?

Phillip Warrington
14 Posted 03/06/2018 at 01:10:46
Everton should tell Watford to go fuck themselves. They sacked him and, if Everton offer compensation, isn't that admitting they have done something wrong?
Steve Ferns
15 Posted 03/06/2018 at 01:16:49
I think there’s a suggestion that we made a formal approach for Silva after speaking to his agent and getting some kind of nod that he wanted to come. Maybe it was more than that and he wanted to come so badly as we’d agreed terms and he was tripling his salary or something. His agent is Jorge Mendes, I believe, the premier Portuguese agent who looks after a load of players, so contact with him could be about any of his clients and Watford won’t be able to prove anything.

Italy has a real litigation culture. The Pozzos are probably expecting a settlement and Everton are having none of it. The Pozzos just won’t go away quietly, they want paying off. There’s no way we will get a points deduction and we can afford the fine. That’s why Silva’s in already.

David Williams
16 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:19:05
Let's hope Watford get relegated. No-mark club with a syrup-headed washed-up Elton John as a fan.
Bob Parrington
17 Posted 03/06/2018 at 09:57:51
Charles (#3). Interested to know why you would cite "Arkell vs Pressdram" in this scenario??
Bob Parrington
18 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:10:46
Who are the owners of Watford and from which Country?
Tony Ateman
19 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:15:22
Bob (#17):


Nice one, Charles.

Iain Johnston
21 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:25:26
Bob #18, Watford are owned by the Pozzo's. They also own Udinese and Granada although they sold the Spanish club in 2016... Pozzo senior has been done for a betting scandal 30 years ago which led to a points deduction and demotion for Udinese.

He was also complicit in match fixing in 1990.

They base their footballing philosophy on the 'moneyball' principle.

Bob Parrington
22 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:32:48
Thanks Iain (#21). With a record like that, it makes me think that even the Premier League cannot make a decision against us vs them!
Brian Porter
23 Posted 03/06/2018 at 10:39:57
I'm with James Hopper (#13) on this one. Just what exactly are we supposed to have done wrong?
The case appears to be quite simple really. Moshiri wanted Silva when he sacked Koeman, simple!

In order to try to get his man, he or his representatives approached his employer, Watford FC, and requested permission to speak to their manager about our vacancy, whilst making Watford a generous compensation offer if they would allow him to join us. Watford refused on both counts, simple.

We then went back to Watford with the offer of an even more generous compensation figure which they again refused, simple.

At that point in time, we backed away and soon afterwards, appointed Sam Allardyce (there, I've mentioned he who should not be spoken of in connection with our club). Anyway, we did it. So, at that time, Watford still had their manager, we had a new manager, and whatever had happened earlier should have been dead and buried, simple!

Watford then hit a bad run of results, which can and does happen to every club, a bit like our start to the season and Watford, like many clubs before them, pressed the panic button and sacked their manager, simple!

Now, are we to assume that Watford then decided the playing staff were in no way responsible for the poor run of results, and decided the sole reason for their bad run of form was solely down to the fact that Silva's head had 'been turned' by the fact that another club had shown an interest in him? Did they not consider that the fixture list had been relatively kind to them until the beginning of their poor run? Or that a couple of their better players had been hit by injuries? Clearly not. Simple so far?

Now, most managers, when sacked for whatever reason, are usually compensated by their employer if their contract is terminated early (as per Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce) but in this case Watford refused to pay Silva any compensation for the loss of his job, simple!

Watford instead tried to place the blame for their poor results on us, because we had tried to get permission to speak to their manager about a job offer. Quite simple!

All now went quiet on the Silva front, until Allardyce was sacked and his name was touted as a potential replacement for our managerial vacancy. Suddenly the pound signs began to flash before the eyes of Watford's greedy, grasping owners. Simple.

Despite the fact that they had sacked him, thus making him a free agent they started to behave as if he was still under contract to them and began their campaign to once again blame us for their decision to sack their manager. And this is where the intangible possibility enters the equation. How can Watford or anyone, including the FA possibly state categorically that their form would not have revived under Silva if they hadn't sacked him when they did? Football is like that, as we all know. Two or three good results could easily have turned things round but Silva wasn't given the time or opportunity to correct what had gone wrong, simple!

So, we have a situation where they are now seeking the very compensation we offered them in the first place but, as Silva is no longer their employee, I fail to see how they can hope to win their case, and as we have, on the surface, done nothing wrong, why the hell are we talking with them about an offer of compensation? If they felt they had a case, shouldn't they have lodged their complaint with the FA months ago?

Would they still be pursuing a compensation claim against us if, instead of joining us, Silva had joined, say, West Ham or Arsenal? A simple no, I think.

The whole thing is ridiculous and fuelled by the greed of Watford's owners. We should tell them to go away forcefully and take up their case with the FA. I just don't see how we are doing anything wrong in employing a man who is legally a free agent who can take up a job offer from anyone who makes him a satisfactory offer. This might be an over simplification of the overall situation, but, to a numbskull like me, it all seems to be, simple!!

Jon Withey
24 Posted 03/06/2018 at 11:45:04
Stick the lawyers on them and ignore it.
Steve Ferns
25 Posted 03/06/2018 at 12:39:41
Brian, to put it in very simple terms, Silva was under contract when we appointed him. He may have been replaced in his position but he was not released from his contract.

What we don’t know is the clause that covers the buyout of the contract and ultimately there’ll be a payment of sorts from us to them.

The Pozzos are in football to make money. They don’t do this in the usual way, they own over 100 players and they employ them at their various clubs and loan them to others. They’re all about buying cheap and selling off high. They’re just after money from Moshiri.

Sean Patton
26 Posted 03/06/2018 at 13:39:35
Compensation for what? They sacked him and he was a free agent. They can't now turn back the clock and say "Yeah, we'll have that £10M you offered us months ago now".

They haven't a leg to stand on.

Liam Reilly
27 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:41:26
Ridiculous nonsense. They'll probably bring up the '84 Gray goal again in any tribunal.

James Hopper
28 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:49:13
Steve (#25) – Your assertion that Silva was still under contract when we appointed him is baseless. While I'm not saying that isn't the case, there's no evidence that it is.

Watford have never made a statement that Silva was put on gardening leave. All suggestions are that he was sacked, ie, his contract terminated.

And that goes back to the first point I made – none of us knows the ins and outs of what we did or what the terms of Silva's contract with Watford were.

Len Hawkins
29 Posted 03/06/2018 at 14:56:01
It has all the hallmarks of Elton John.

He wants Everton putting through the mincer and he won't rest until everyone at Everton FC is mincing.

Derek Knox
30 Posted 03/06/2018 at 16:49:49
Len, that's what happens to you when you 'Follow the yellow-pricked Toad'!
Bill Griffiths
31 Posted 03/06/2018 at 17:28:35
I feel the same as Brian (#23) on the face of it.

However, the fact that we are trying to come to some kind of financial settlement with Watford would indicate things are not as clear-cut as we think.

Brian, I'm enjoying your book, is Mersey Mariner the latest in the series?

Chris James
32 Posted 03/06/2018 at 17:55:38
To be honest, I hope we tell Watford to 'do one' on this. Approaches for managers and players happen all the time; we clearly weren't tapping anyone up if we were offering to pay £10M compensation, but Watford didn't want to know.

We backed off and got Big Sam, then their form went to shit and they sacked Silva themselves... hardly our responsibility there, is it?

Considering the rub of the green we never get from the Premier League, I wouldn't be surprised that we get some sort of bullshit fine, like suspiciously we had the only player in the Premier League to be retrospectively banned for diving... despite some incredibly blatant activities elsewhere.

One thing that 'may' happen is that we agree with Watford to pay the extra £750k that's owed from the end of Silva's contract, but frankly even that is generous. The fact we're even entertaining this nonsense is annoying; can you imagine Levy, Abramovich or the Man Utd crew paying any heed to this?

Kase Chow
33 Posted 03/06/2018 at 20:41:16

Why does everyone think we are innocent in this?

Reports are that we approached Silva directly before speaking to Watford and thus turning his head. This is tapping up and beyond the rules.

Yes, we then approached Watford a couple of times and were rebuffed but we did break the rules. That other teams break the rules is only relevant if we can prove it.

The fact we are negotiating with Watford is because we know we broke the rules. If we were squeaky clean, then we wouldn't have tried to broker a deal.

Our only hopes are (a) Watford agree a deal; or (b) we can prove tapping up occurs commonplace in Football (not sure this would work); or (c) a fine is proportionate and fair and considers that we have acted reasonably to try to settle this case directly with Watford.

Rob Halligan
34 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:02:47
Kase, you say there are reports saying we approached Silva directly before speaking to Watford. Please provide evidence of this because it is the first I've heard of it, or is it just some clap trap gossip from Joe public?

As far as I know, we have gone about this the correct way, exactly the way Chris # 32 says. I'm sure we'd have heard direct from Watford if any tapping up had occurred, in the same way as Southampton reported the RS for tapping up Virgil van Dijk. Which they admitted to, by the way. So far, I've not heard anyone from EFC admit or say we were tapping up Silva.

Andy Finigan
35 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:37:25
I was listening to talkSPORT who were discussing the Real Madrid situation. The presenter said if they wanted another manager how would they go about it. He said regarding the Totenham manager Pochettino, " his agent would be contacted to see if he was interested in the Real Madrid job." So to me if Everton did this regarding Silva it is the common process.
Kase Chow
36 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:44:03
Rob (#34),

I'm afraid I don't have any evidence. However, if we were squeaky clean then why would we even negotiate?

It's well known that clubs will sound out (tap up) a manager ahead of requesting permission from incumbent club. (No club wants to be declined at the 11th hour due to the public humiliation; yes, it happens... but seldomly.)

Jay Harris
37 Posted 03/06/2018 at 21:58:48
I am pretty certain that Watford could not have got away with putting him on gardening leave as he would have just claimed constructive dismissal as they appointed another person in his position.

It was pointed out somewhere that he had seen a copy of the proposed terms at EFC before we were given permission to speak to him and that is considered tapping up.

We were then told recently that Moshiri had pulled out of any further negotiations after reaching an impasse so I'm guessing (which is all any of us can do without the facts) that their case is not that strong.

Why can't anything Everton do ever be straightforward?

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