Senior football figures have appeared in court to face perjury charges relating to a legal battle over the £1m transfer of Lytham-based footballer Gavin McCann.
Agent Tony McGill, 56, is bringing a private prosecution against Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside and others from the club, as well as top agent Jerome Anderson and others from his SEM firm, and ex-midfielder Mr McCann.
The case surrounds a protracted legal battle over McCann’s transfer from Aston Villa to Bolton Wanderers in 2007, with McGill claiming he was cut out of the deal.
Former England coach Sammy Lee, 55, from Liverpool, and now a coach at Southampton, was manager of Bolton Wanderers at the time.
The private prosecution came before District Judge Stephen Earl, sitting at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, for its first hearing.
The wooden benches to his left were filled with powerful figures in English football.
No pleas were entered and the case was sent to Newcastle Crown Court where it will be heard again in a fortnight.
McCann was allowed not to attend yesterday but must come to the magistrates’ court next week.
Lisa Judge, representing the defendants from Bolton Wanderers, said: “There will be an application to dismiss forthwith.”
The SEM defendants were represented in court by barrister Saba Naqshbandi.
Each of the defendants had to stand up to give their name, date of birth and address at the beginning of the hearing.
– Gavin McCann, from Lytham, did not attend but faces four counts of perjury and one of fraud by false representation.
– Agent Jerome Anderson, 56, from Barnet, north London, who faces four counts of perjury and one of fraud by false representation.
– Lawyer Chris Farnell, 45, from Hale, Cheshire, who faces two counts of perjury.
– Agent Stephen Horner, 49, from Brindle, near Chorley, who faces two counts of perjury.
– Agent David Sheron, 62, from Rossett, near Wrexham, North Wales, who faces four counts of perjury.
– Agent Jeffrey Weston, 61, from Mill Hill, north London, who faces five counts of perjury and one of fraud by false representation.
– Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside, 62, from Crowley, Northwich, Cheshire, who faces five counts of perjury and one of fraud by false representation.
– Coach Sammy Lee, who faces four counts of perjury.
– Bolton secretary Simon Marland, 55, from Chorley, who faces five counts of perjury and one of false representation.
– Frank McParland, 55, from Warrington, and who is currently Brentford director of football, who faces four counts of perjury.
McCann played junior football for YMCA juniors in Lytham.
He signed for Everton where he was a product of their academy. In 1998 he moved to Sunderland where he was a member of the side which won the Division One title and promotion to the Premiership with 105 points in 1999.
He signed for Aston Villa in 2003, where he had numerous injury setbacks.
In June 2007, he signed a five-year contract with Bolton Wanderers.
Mr McGill is also prosecuting Bolton Wanderers and SEM.
The case was heard in Newcastle as Mr McGill is from Sunderland.
Ms Judge, representing the Bolton Wanderers parties, said there will be an application to change venue.