West Ham United are set to issue a writ against the Football Association (FA) for £10.5m in compensation for retired England international Dean Ashton, according to reports.
The Premier League side have been battling for compensation from the FA and its insurers since Ashton was forced to quit football in December 2009. He suffered an ankle injury at England training more than three years earlier.
According to reports, West Ham’s claim will be for the £8m insurance and £2.5m pay-out that the club paid out to Ashton.
A source told ESPNsoccernet: “Yes, it’s true that we are preparing a writ and that it is now to be served on the FA within a matter of weeks. It is not something we are taking lightly, or that we would actually like to do. The FA are giving us no choice.
“We’d love to settle it amicably, but we have drawn blanks with both the FA and their insurers and have no choice but to go to the courts.
“It can’t be morally right that a player gets his ankle smashed to bits playing for England, he battles away trying to recover for two years, but finally accepts that the problem will reoccur forever, has to retire and his club, who had released him to play for England, get nothing from the FA, not even the £2.5mn compensation they paid the player.”
West Ham have threatened legal action against The FA and its insurers in the past.
The FA is thought to be defending the claims for compensation because Ashton played more than 40 further games for the Hammers and was awarded a new five-year contract after having two operations.
West Ham have hired a top level QC, who has spent more than three months preparing the case, and the writ will be ready to be served in a matter of weeks, the report said.
It described the action as a “landmark case” because football rules stress that disputes should be settled by authorities’ own arbitration systems, rather than in the High Court.
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