Cardiff City explain delay over Sala payment to Nantes

Chairman Mehmet Dalman has promised Cardiff City will be an "honourable club" with Nantes over the payment of a transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, once they have gathered further information.

Striker Sala was heading to Cardiff after completing a club-record move from the Ligue 1 side when the Piper Malibu aircraft carrying both the player and pilot David Ibbotson disappeared on January 21.

The 28-year-old's body was recovered with the help of specialist contractors from the plane wreckage in the English Channel last week.

Reports emerged in France last Wednesday that Nantes were demanding the first instalment of the €15million Cardiff had agreed to pay for the Argentine forward.

Dalman insists the Premier League club will pay up - but not before they have investigated what they believe to be "anomalies" in the deal.

"Of course, if we are contractually obliged to pay them then of course we will. We are an honourable club," he told BBC Sport Wales.

"But if we are not - and there are some anomalies in that - then surely you would expect me as the chairman and guardian of this club's interests to look into that and hold our position? That is what we are doing.

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Emiliano Sala
A picture shows flowers put in front of the entrance of the training center La Joneliere in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre on January 25, 2019, four days after the plane of Argentinian forward Emiliano Sala vanished during a flight from Nantes, (AFP Photo/LOIC VENANCE)
File photo dated 26/01/19 of a tribute to Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala shown on the big screen during the FA Cup fourth round match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. Wreckage from the plane which disappeared with Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson on board has been found in the English Channel, search director David Mearns said.
A picture of Emiliano Sala is shown on the big screen in tribute to the missing footballer at Cardiff City Stadium during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock during a minutes silence in memory of Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City players during a minutes silence for Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City's Callum Paterson warms up ahead of the match whilst wearing a Emiliano Sala t-shirt during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
A view of the match day programme with an image of Emiliano Sala on the cover in remembrance during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff City fans wear dafodiles to honour missing footballer Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Fans look on at the flowers and scarves placed outside Cardiff City Stadium in tribute to Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Fans looking on at the flowers and scarves placed outside Cardiff City Stadium in tribute to Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
A view of half and half scarves placed outside Cardiff City Stadium in tribute to Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
A view of a hat with written messages in tribute to Emiliano Sala during the Premier League match at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Watford and Tottenham Hotspur players during a minute's silence paying tribute to Emiliano Sala and David Ibbotson before the Premier League match at Wembley Stadium, London.
Cardiff City fans in the stands with a banner reading 'Emiliano Forever in our hearts' during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Cardiff City fans in the stands with a flag reading 'Emiliano Sala Forever a Bluebird' during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
General view of the matchday programme which includes missing footballer Emiliano Sala in the Cardiff City squad alongside a yellow daffodil before the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Emiliano Sala's sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes (centre) listen to Blue Water Recoveries director David Mearns talk about plans to find and recover the plane carrying the missing footballer and pilot David Ibbotson which disappeared over the English Channel, during a press conference at Guernsey airport.
Middlesbrough fans show their support for missing footballer Emiliano Sala during the FA Cup fourth round match at Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.
FC Nantes football club supporters place flowers and a club scarf in the main square of the city of Nantes, France, on 25 January 2019. Four days after the disappearance of the plane of the former Argentinian forward of the Football Club of Nantes (FC Nantes) Emiliano Sala, the emotion of the supporters of the club and the Nantes did not fall. (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)
People Of Nantes Continue To Pay Tribute To Emiliano Sala in Nantes, France, on 25 January 2019. Four days after the disappearance of the plane of the former Argentinian forward of the Football Club of Nantes (FC Nantes) Emiliano Sala, the emotion of the supporters of the club and the Nantes did not fall. (Photo by Estelle Ruiz/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)
The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination.
The St John Marine Ambulance, Flying Christine III, shrouded in fog as it is moored in Guernsey harbour. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A view of the FPV Morven survey vessel moored in Guernsey Harbour which was used to discover the wreckage of the plane that was carrying footballer Emiliano Sala. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
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"We are still in the process of gathering information and that process will be ongoing. And when we reach a level where we have enough information, I am sure we will sit down with Nantes and move forward."

Dalman also confirmed Nantes have threatened legal action, adding: "They have asked for what they believe is the money due to them and there is a process and they have initiated that process.

"What we are saying is that we are not in agreement with that process given the extraordinary events that have taken place and the tragic circumstances. We are not making any positive or negative statements.

"We are simply saying, please understand there are a lot of questions which need to be answered and that is what we are trying to do."

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