Everton’s attempts to appoint Marco Silva as manager while simultaneously appeasing Watford have just taken a delicious twist.
According to Matt Hughes of The Times, the Toffees are now refusing to pay any compensation to Watford and even claim they have evidence the Hornets made an illegal approach to Silva while he was still at Hull.
Watford have reported Everton to the Premier League for what they believe was an illegal approach for Silva in the immediate aftermath of Ronald Koeman’s sacking last autumn.
Everton were willing to pay up to £12million for the Portuguese, who was equally keen to jump ship and move to Goodison Park.
Watford held firm (forcing Everton to go for Sam Allardyce, urgh) but their form plummeted and Silva was sacked in January.
At the time they publicly blamed Everton’s advances for disrupting their season and they remain angry now.
Following their formal complaint the Premier League instigated a mediation meeting where Everton offered to pay £1million in compensation, an offer that was instantly rejected. Everton have since withdrawn their offer anyway and claim Watford are trying to distract from the fact they have yet to pay a penny of compensation to Silva despite sacking him with 18 months left on his contract.
Watford, in response, claim Everton’s illegal approach and alleged subsequent negotiations with Silva constitute breach of contract, meaning he would be owed nothing.
The complicate things further, Everton claim they have evidence of a draft contract sent to Silva while he was STILL Hull manager. That, of course, is illegal, though Watford claim a release clause allowing Silva to speak to clubs upon Hull’s relegation means they haven’t broken any rules.
With no resolution in sight, the last chance for Watford is to apply to the Premier League to facilitate a legally binding, formal arbitration process.
Whether this would prevent Everton from appointing Silva in the interim isn’t yet clear. Though given he is a free agent there isn’t technically anything Watford can do to stop the 40-year-old from joining the Blues.
What it is though is magnificent snidery from Everton who are refusing to bow to Watford’s demands and are instead are going to great lengths to undermine them.
And if it was Silva himself who gave Everton a copy of the draft contract well, that would even better.