Liverpool came up against the “legal equivalent of Lionel Messi” in Harvey Elliott’s tribunal case and must now pay Fulham a world-record compensation fee.
That is according to finance expert and new Football Insider columnist Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively about sports lawyer Nick De Marco who helped secure Fulham a record £4million fee for a player who left aged 16.
Elliot, who is now 17 and currently shining on loan with Blackburn Rovers, signed for Liverpool from Fulham in the summer of 2019.
Was a pleasure to represent Fulham v Liverpool (along with my colleague Ravi Mehta) in this interesting case earlier this week leading to the highest ever compensation award for a 16 year old player. I echo the sentiments in the Club statement #sportslaw #fulham #Liverpool https://t.co/krCaVbzOAB
— Nick De Marco QC (@nickdemarco_) February 10, 2021
But the two clubs were unable to reach an agreement regarding a fee and the matter was therefore resolved by the Professional Football Compensation Committee on 10 February.
The fee — comprised of a £1.2m basic sum and further performance-related clauses — was some way short of the £10m Fulham wanted but Maguire says that the selling club will still be content with the outcome.
“It’s £4m plus 20% of the sell-on,” he recounted to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“The system benefits the buyer rather than the seller, but his contract had come to an end.
“The nature of the system is that if you’re under 24 and you’re out of contract then there is compensation given.
“I think Fulham will still be reasonably happy because this is by far the largest amount of compensation that’s ever been awarded to a developing club.
“There are two reasons why they got a bit more, A) He has had first-team experience at a high level, which increases his value and B) they were represented by Nick De Marco. He’s the country’s most high-profile and best sports lawyer. He’s the legal equivalent of Lionel Messi.”
De Marco has featured prominently in the news recently, successfully representing the PFA in their bid to scrap the controversial salary cap imposed on League One and Two.
He is also representing Mike Ashley in his ongoing legal wrangle with the Premier League after they blocked a Saudi-backed Newcastle United takeover in July.