June 18, 2021

Sala’s family taking legal action against Cardiff

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Emiliano Sala’s family is taking legal action against the footballer’s former club Cardiff City more than two years after his death in a plane crash.

A pre-inquest hearing was taking place into the Argentine footballer’s death in Bournemouth on Wednesday.

But the family has also launched civil proceedings against 13 defendants including Cardiff City, the club Sala had signed for just three days before his death and FC Nantes, the French club which sold him for a reported £15m.

Emiliano Sala's sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes
Image: Sala’s sister Romina (left) and mother Mercedes

Daniel Machover, a lawyer for the Sala family, said the high court action had been taken “in order to protect their legal rights and remedies arising from Emiliano’s untimely death”.

Mr Machover said: “The family have commenced civil proceedings in the High Court, but will seek agreement to stay those proceedings pending the outcome of the inquest. That makes it all the more important for the inquest date to be fixed, so everyone can plan accordingly.

“Most importantly, the family know that the inquest will provide the answers to the very many questions they have about what went wrong in January 2019 and why Emiliano’s life was cut short.”

Emiliano Sala Nantes
Image: Sala had just joined Cardiff City from Nantes

Sala died when a single-engine Piper Malibu plane carrying the 28-year-old striker crashed into the sea north of Guernsey on 21 January 2019.

The body of the pilot flying the aircraft, David Ibbotson, a 59-year-old from Lincolnshire, has not been recovered.

David Henderson, who is alleged to have arranged the flight, is due to stand trial in October accused of endangering the safety of an aircraft, as well as attempting to discharge a passenger without valid permission or authorisation.

An image released by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showed evidence of aircraft wreckage after the plane went missing
Image: An image released by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showed evidence of aircraft wreckage after the plane went missing

The defendants listed in the Sala family’s civil action include both football clubs involved, football agent Mark McKay and his father Willie McKay, in addition to the company that owned the plane, its manufacturers and those responsible for its maintenance.

The civil action will not begin until after the full inquest is concluded and the trial of David Henderson has been completed.