HARTLEPOOL United have won their case against Championship side Fulham for the 2019 sale of ex-defender Luca Murphy and have been awarded a compensation fee.  

The case has been ongoing for the last three years against the Cottagers where deny responsibility of owing Pools a development fee for signing the player. After putting their case forward, the PFCC (Professional Footballers Compensation Committee) have awarded Pools a six-figure compensation fee.

In January 2019, 17-year-old Murphy spent a period of time, effectively on trial, at the Cottagers after they agreed a fee to bring him to the club with a view to signing permanently. The subsequent period saw them end their interest in the defender and he returned to Hartlepool.

Two months later, his scholar deal at Pools was mutually terminated citing that the defender had fallen below the standards met by the club according to Mark Maguire, who was the club’s chief executive at the time. But within two weeks, he had signed a two-year professional deal with Fulham.

The London based side refused to pay a development fee for the player due to him becoming a free agent and they believed they did not owe that to Pools. Upon releasing Murphy, who have been at the club since the age of nine, the club had made it clear they reserved the right to pursue compensation should he move elsewhere.

At the time, Pools accused Fulham of using ‘underhanded’ tactics to obtain the player without a fee.

Hartlepool United senior advisor Lee Rust led the case and said: “I’m pleased that we can finally bring this one to a close for the club. It’s been far from straightforward.

"Muckle LLP have done an excellent job with legal representation, instructing Counsel from Littleton Chambers. It’s absolutely crucial that the PFCC protects the value and efforts that clubs like Hartlepool put into academy systems and it’s pleasing to see this being upheld.

"Without that protection there is a much lower incentive for clubs below topflight to invest into youth development systems, which would be a loss for football on the whole.”