Emiliano Sala had to arrange fatal flight himself after he was ‘abandoned’ by Cardiff City, ex-agent claims
EMILIANO Sala was left to arrange the fatal flight himself after Cardiff City “abandoned” him, says ex-football agent.
Willie McKay’s son Mark was the Nantes’ acting agent in the deal for the 28-year-old who died in a plane crash last month.
McKay arranged the flight from Nantes to the Welsh capital when the Piper Malibu crashed into the sea on January 21, killing Sala and pilot David Ibbotson.
McKay told the BBC: “He was abandoned in a hotel more or less to do his travel arrangements himself.”
Cardiff City say they “strongly reject” the claims they neglected to provide Sala with travel arrangements.
In a statement, Cardiff said: “Our club was in the process of organising a commercial flight for Mr Sala until this offer was declined owing to separate arrangements being made – the planning and specifics of which Cardiff was not privy to.
“Cardiff has serious concerns over the potential unlawfulness of the journey following information that has been released. Clearly more answers as to the details surrounding this terrible tragedy are required.”
McKay is not a registered agent but says he got involved in the Sala deal to help his son.
McKay also called Cardiff City a “disgrace”.
He added: “Nobody in Cardiff seemed to be doing anything. It was a bit embarrassing for Cardiff.
“They buy a player for 17m euros and then leave him in a hotel by himself to go on the computer and look for a flight – I think Cardiff let themselves down badly.
“The way they’ve acted so far, they’ve been a disgrace.”
The accusations come as a series of leaked WhatsApp messages by the footballer show he was not “abandoned” by Cardiff City.
The messages produced by French outlet Ouest-France show a Cardiff Player Liaison Officer offering a commercial flight to the striker.
A screenshot of a commercial airline passing through Paris was sent to Sala.
The messages are in French and Spanish and show how Sala declined the offer because he already a flight arranged after McKay called him.
The Argentine striker’s body was recovered from the plane wreckage in the English Channel on February 6 following a private search launched by his family.
An inquest showed he died from “head and trunch” injuries.
Ibbotson’s body has yet to be recovered from the seabed of the English Channel.
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His daughter Danielle set up a Go Fund Me page in a bid to secure £300,000 to hunt for her missing dad.
She revealed the £249,000 raised by well-wishers was enough to launch the private search.
It comes after new pictures of the wreckage were released as the Air Accidents Investigation Branch publishes its interim report into the crash.
New pictures have been released of the wreckage[/caption]
Emiliano Sala pictured as a 15-year-old junior footballer Club Atletico Social San Martin in Progreso, Santa Fe, Argentina[/caption]
Emiliano Sala had become a star at French side Nantes, scoring 13 goals in 18 games this season[/caption]
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