Cologne – First division football club 1st FC Cologne has won the case against Petralito Sport Service GmbH before the 21st Civil Chamber of Cologne Regional Court. The dispute involved an agent’s fee of EUR 2 million relating to the transfer of Anthony Modeste, a Cologne player at the time, to Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian in the summer of 2017. The company set up by players’ agent Giacomo Petralito justified its claim to commission on the grounds that the involvement of its managing director was crucial to the completion of the transfer. It further alleged that the transfer was completed in particular because of Petralito’s strong links with FC Tianjin’s then coach, the former Italian world champion Fabio Cannavaro. The latter only signed Modeste after being persuaded by the Swiss agent, the company claimed. However, 1st FC Cologne rejected this claim as having no basis in law. During the proceedings, the claimant failed to prove that it had made a substantial contribution to the transfer. The Regional Court dismissed the action brought by Petralito Sports GmbH. As a result, 1st FC Cologne is not required to pay any commission. The ruling is not yet final. Petralito Sport Service GmbH can lodge an appeal within one month of the judgment being served.
A CMS team led by partner Dr Robert Budde provided 1st FC Cologne with comprehensive advice throughout the dispute and represented the club in the proceedings before Cologne Regional Court. The Bundesliga club is a longstanding CMS client and regularly relies on the law firm’s expertise.
Dr Robert Budde, Lead Partner
Philipp Rohdenburg, Senior Associate, both Commercial
Dr Michael Nauta, Senior Associate, Real Estate & Public