Castleford have launched legal proceedings against Wigan-based agent Andy Clarke for his role in Denny Solomona’s move to Sale Sharks.
The Super League outfit are pursuing damages against Solomona for breach of contract - he had two years to run on his contract.
The idea of losing the player was not welcomed by us and we have repeatedly told Sale Sharks that it would be impermissible for them to talk to Solomona let alone sign him
And the legal bid at Leeds High Court is also seeking “exemplary damages” against Sale Sharks and Clarke (Solomona’s agent) “for inducing” the contract breach.
Tigers chief executive Steve Gill said in a statement: “If the shoe was on the other foot and Solomona had suffered a career ending injury in the last match of the season there would have been an absolute obligation on us to honour our contractual obligations. We look after our players and fully expect our players to respect their contractual commitments. Sadly and with regret Solomona has done the polar opposite and effectively and unilaterally walked away from the remaining two years on his contract.
“In August this year we made it very clear to Solomona and to Sale Sharks that there was an unbreakable contract in place until the end of season 2018 with no basis whatsoever for either ourselves or Solomona to depart from each other’s mutual obligations.
“The idea of losing the player was not welcomed by us and we have repeatedly told Sale Sharks that it would be impermissible for them to talk to Solomona let alone sign him. Clear unequivocal warnings have clearly been disregarded.
“Unfortunately we are not privy to what has happened over the last three months between Solomona and his agent, but on the back of losing the player in the circumstances described and now announced by Sale Sharks, we confirm that today we have issued proceedings out of the High Court in Leeds for damages against Denny Solomona for breach of contract (dated 20 November 2015) and for damages including exemplary damages against Sale Sharks Ltd and Andrew Clarke (Solomona’s agent) for inducing breach of the said contract.”
Sale confirmed Solomona’s signing on a three-year deal earlier today, with boss Steve Diamond insisting the club had done “nothing wrong”.
The RFL chief executive, Nigel Wood, has previously said the game’s governing body would back Castleford’s legal bid. The RFL is also investigating Clarke’s role in the controversial saga.
Gill went on to say: “The proceedings have been issued as a last resort having failed over the last couple of weeks to try and resolve matters without the formality of court proceedings. We have confidence that the legal system will bring out all of the facts and the truth.
“We are fighting this not just for Castleford Tigers but also for the integrity of all sports including of course Rugby Union clubs. Our belief is that all contracts are sacrosanct in professional and amateur sports.”