Date:Monday July 23 2007
It is becoming increasingly unlikely that Irish winger, Wes Hoolahan will start the season a Blackpool player.
Vital understands - with the potential right to appeal - that a final decision could well drag on as late as September, without Hoolahan kicking a ball for any club - which he cannot do without an International Transfer Certificate - the base of the dispute between 'Pool and Livi.
FIFA have asked The Seasiders and Livingston for the second time - as reported on here and in The Blackpool Gazette - to produce more documentation from the past year whilst in the loan agreement with Livingston and Hoolahan. We understand that the deadline for this new information is 27th July - this Friday.
Once the new documentation is sent to FIFA, the 'Dispute Resolution Chamber` (DRC) will then make a decision one way or the other within 60 days. If the dispute is clear-cut (which I very much doubt) it can be sorted by one judge, which can be done relatively quickly; however it is more likely that a panel of three people will be used to make a judgement on the transfer, which as previously stated, will be made within 60 days.
That sounds bad, but it gets worse…
Even if a judgement was made by the DRC on day one and went in our favour, it would still be almost impossible for Hoolahan to start the new season a 'Pool player. Livingston - if they disagree with the verdict (which somehow seems oh so possible!) - then have the right to appeal to the 'Court of Arbitration for Sport` who then review all appropriate evidence again, which won`t happen overnight, and then give its ruling, either for or against the original decision made by the DRC.
It looks as though the best case scenario would be that:
-The DRC makes a decision as soon as possible.
-Livi accepts the decision and all parties move on quickly.
The more likely scenario would be that:
-The DRC take time in making a decision, which could take a month or two.
-Livi appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
-With limitless time, we could be well into the season before Wes pulls on a 'Pool shirt.
Given the best case scenario, it seems unlikely that Wes Hoolahan will be fully match fit for the season anyway, and much like last season, his 'pre season` will in effect be the opening games of the league campaign.
Date:Monday July 23 2007
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