Hartlepool United consider legal action in Luke James transfer rumpus

DESPERATE TO GET AWAY: Luke James. Picture by FRANK REID
DESPERATE TO GET AWAY: Luke James. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United say they are considering taking legal action over some comments made on an internet message board.

The club’s hierarchy have been left angry by allegations in relation to the ongoing Luke James saga.

In an unusual step, club officials left a lengthy reply on fans forum, The Poolie Bunker, hitting back at some comments made by an author on the board.

Responding to suggestions James had been told he could go if a “decent offer” came in, the club response said: “Luke James may have been told the above (not by the Chairman) but what he and his agent think is a ‘decent offer’ may not be such a decent offer to the club.

“Luke James can negotiate the details in his contract with any new club – once/if HUFC have agreed a decent offer in their eyes for the player.

“That’s the way football business works. In fact, the rules are that the two clubs should talk before the player gets involved with any other club but this is not always the way agents work.

“They are interested in their commission and, by offering players the promise of good deals elsewhere before the two clubs have negotiated, this leaves clubs in the situation we find ourselves in now.

“And then players, for obvious reasons, get upset when a club says no.

“Agents do not consider the effect on the team.”

Pools added James was offered a new contract and wage increase in the summer, which he signed adding the club didn’t need him to sign as they had a one-year option on his contract.

Pools went on to say they will take “legal opinion and advice” over allegations made by an author on the message board.

It added club chairman Ken Hodcroft spoke with James after the Bury game and the statement refuted claims officials had refused to speak with the striker.

The statement added: “Luke James has not been lied to.

“He has been fully briefed by the chairman on 16/08/14. Luke James has an agent who wants him to leave HUFC and is guiding him.

“Luke James is quite at liberty to put in a transfer request as is the club to reject it. He then remains contracted to HUFC.

“The chairman spoke to him on Saturday evening after the game, so the reason he put in a transfer request cannot be because – as stated above – ‘refusing to speak to him’.

“He was told on Saturday that for him to move, the deal had to be a win-win for him and the club.

“The offer from Peterborough United is not a win-win. The club find the current offer unacceptable.

“The purpose of Luke James’ second transfer request is not understood by the club. The club got the message the first time.”

Speaking after the match, Cooper said it remained to be seen how the James saga will play out before the transfer window closes a week today, September 1.

Cooper told SportMail: “I cannot say what will happen.

“The club has made our point of view fairly clear on the message board.

“We have not said anything about any kind of offer. The only people who have to be happy for a transfer to happen is the club.

“Through me to the chairman and we are not happy with the terms offered so we are well within our rights to say no.

“But I think when I speak to other people I’m not being heard because they are not hearing what they want to hear.”