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Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
Hearts challenge Webster ruling
Andy Webster makes his Rangers debut against LA Galaxy
Andy Webster made his debut for Rangers this week
Hearts are to appeal against Fifa's decision to fine Andy Webster 625,000 - because they believe they are due more than 4m in compensation.

Scotland defender Webster invoked a Fifa regulation to leave Hearts last summer before the end of his contract.

He thereafter joined Wigan and has since moved on loan to Rangers.

The appeal from Hearts was expected to arrive at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, before the close of business on Friday.

A spokesman for the CAS, whose say in sporting matters is final, said that Hearts had indicated that an appeal would be made.

Webster was fined by world football's governing body on 4 May and both he and Hearts were given 21 days to appeal.

World players' union Fifpro nevertheless hailed the decision as a victory.

It is not an exaggeration to suggest that football is facing a new Bosman

Sports lawyer Stephen Sampson

They hailed it as a case that would revolutionise the transfer market by allowing players to terminate their contracts early.

He was able to leave Hearts after three years of his four-year contract according to the Fifa article titled 'Consequences of Terminating a Contract Without Just Cause'.

As well as the financial penalty, to be paid by Webster or Wigan, the player was suspended for the first two weeks of next season for not giving the required notice period to Hearts.

But the Edinburgh club said it was the level of compensation, and how it had been calculated, that it disputed.

Hearts claim that Webster had been independently valued at between 4m and 5m.

Operations director Campbell Ogilvie said: "As a member club of Uefa, we believe that we have a duty not only to our own club but to the game in general.

"That is why we have to dispute the ruling by Fifa's dispute resolution chamber.

"This matter is much wider than Hearts, Andrew Webster and Wigan.

"Players and clubs should be working together for mutual benefit, but when players can leave the club in breach of contract for a fraction of their market value or replacement cost then it is football that will suffer, not simply the club concerned.

"As a world football community, we must treat this matter with the highest importance."

Sports lawyer Stephen Sampson, who spoke at a media conference called by Hearts, thought it mirrored the 1996 case that freed players at the end of their contracts.

"It is not an exaggeration to suggest that football is facing a new Bosman," he said.

"The implications of the decision, if allowed to stand, are enormous."

SEE ALSO
Webster case is the 'new Bosman'
09 May 07 |  Heart of Midlothian
Webster must pay Hearts 625,000
04 May 07 |  Heart of Midlothian
Uefa to discuss Bosman drawbacks
15 Dec 05 |  Football


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