Emiliano Sala's Cardiff transfer could have been done better - Neil Warnock

By Michael PearlmanBBC Sport Wales
Neil Warnock
Neil Warnock attended Emiliano Sala's funeral in Argentina on Saturday

Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock admits the £15m transfer of Emiliano Sala could have been better conducted, but insists chairman Mehmet Dalman "will do things in the right way".

Sala was Cardiff's record signing but never played for the club. He died when a plane piloted by David Ibbotson, who remains missing, crashed.

The Bluebirds were due to make the first payment to Nantes on 20 February, but the clubs have agreed a delay of one week.

"Certain things were done that in reflection should not have been done. That stirred everyone up," said Warnock.

"But I have complete faith in Mehmet that things will come to a conclusion in the future.

"I don't really want to go into detail on that, but it created stories that shouldn't have been there.

"The matter should have been kept between the two clubs really [Cardiff and Nantes].

"I have every confidence in Mehmet. I know a lot has been written, people surmising things, but I've known Mehmet since I arrived here and I'm quite confident he'll deal with it in the right way.

"They've asked for an extension and I think Nantes have agreed with that."

Sala died when a plane taking him from Nantes to Cardiff crashed into the English Channel on 21 January.

The 28-year-old's body was recovered from the crash site and his funeral took place in Argentina on 16 February, with Warnock and Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo attending.

Nantes wrote to Cardiff on 5 February with a request for the first of three instalments to be paid.

Cardiff said they were withholding payment while seeking "clarification" on details of the accident and want to wait until crash investigations are complete.

They are also querying "anomalies" in contract details, but say they will be "honourable" with Nantes over the transfer fee if they are contractually obliged to pay.

Warnock says certain issues should not have become public and also walked back on comments he made that certain journalists covering the story have a "vendetta against him".

The Cardiff boss also defended his son James, an agent, whose involvement in certain Cardiff transfers has led to accusations of a conflict of interest.

"I feel sorry for James if I am honest," said Warnock.

"[Cardiff captain Sean] Morrison was mentioned as one of his players. We turned down £5m from Sheffield Wednesday for him, so it was sensible to put him on a longer contract.

"Rhys Healey was mentioned, an up-and-coming player and all the other players were already here before I joined the club.

"Vendetta was probably the wrong word for me to use really. I just think a couple of journalists in particular, over the last 15 years, when I look at the columns they have written… It's not just journalism really. But hey ho.

"All I can talk about is the football side. The board deal with the financial side.

"But Mehmet will bring it to a conclusion in the next I don't know how many days."

Warnock would not comment on remarks from agent Willie McKay, who said last week that Cardiff "had hung him out to dry".

Football agent McKay says he arranged the flight that Sala took from Nantes, but was not involved in selecting the plane or pilot.

When asked about McKay's comments, Warnock said: "I think everything has been said. If you keep talking about it, they'll keep writing about it."

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