Owerri-based Taye Academy has threatened to sue Manchester City over an alleged £7 million owed the club from the sale of Super Eagles’ striker, Kelechi Iheanacho to the English side.
Iheanacho joined the national U-17 team from Taye Academy and was later transferred to Manchester City following the exploits of the team, which won the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the UAE in 2013.
According to Taye Academy, Manchester City are yet to pay Iheanacho’s full transfer fee and obtained the Nigerian international in 2014 through a fraudulent means orchestrated by one Raymond Hassay of American-based First Eleven Management.
Hassay allegedly gave Mr. Kennedy Ezenwere, the chairman of Taye Academy, the sum of $337,952 from his personal account and at no time did Manchester City pay any transfer fee to Taye Academy for the services of Iheanacho.
Speaking exclusively to HotSports, the legal adviser of Taye Football Academy, Okenna Onyenucheya warned Manchester City that they cannot be bullied and are ready to obtain what rightfully belongs to them by any legal means necessary.
“Kelechi Iheanacho transferred from our academy, Taye Football Academy to Manchester City in the year 2014. The whole deal was shrouded in secrecy and my clients’ naivety and blind trust was abused to rip the club off.
“Our clients were not given a copy of the contract which they are supposed to have since 2014 and when we became involved we made several efforts through Barrister Johnny Ogbah to get a copy of the contract from Manchester City but they have refused to give us a copy or even reply our letters.
“However, the whole thing smells fishy and we have good grounds to believe that they were in on the whole thing right from the start because every time they receive a letter on the issue they immediately inform First Eleven and they in turn will call us trying to persuade us to drop the matter,” Onyenaucheya continued.
“We are exploring our options and very soon the whole world will hear everything that went down because these people have not been sincere
with Taye Football Academy at all,” he added.
If Manchester City are found to have signed Iheanacho from First Eleven Management, instead of Taye Academy, then they could face FIFA ban for breaching third-party ownership laws.
FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has in the past imposed sanctions on several clubs for breaches relating to third-party influence and/or third-party ownership of players’ economic rights (TPO).