Cottagers have appealed case to be dealt by arbitration process
The London club want, at the very least, for Richards to be banned from being involved in transfers, but more importantly to beremoved from his position after they allege that he scuppered their chances to signing Peter Crouch in July 2009.
The Cottagers proceeded with legal action against both the Premier League and Richards himself but on Wednesday the latter pair sought successfully to halt the case against them while arbitration takes place.
However it has been revealed that Fulham will be going to the Court of Appeal to stop the case going through an arbitration process.
In granting the Premier League and Richards application of a stay, Mr Justice Vos said in his judgment: ’'The arbitrators will have adequate powers to deal with Fulham's complaint properly, fairly and satisfactorily, and it would be extremely desirable for all concerned if they were permitted to do so without further delay.'’
Wednesday’s decision is seen as a blow to Fulham’s attempt to eradicate Richards from his position, even though technically the arbitration committee can still force the chairman to stand down.
The ruling of the arbitration process is binding although this has not prevented Fulham from taking further action is in achieving their desired outcome.
The club claim that during the transfer of Peter Crouch - who eventually went to Tottenham Hotspur for £9 million, £2m more than they were have understood to have offered – Richards unfairly promoted one club’s interest over another.
They say that Richards allegedly intervened because Spurs offered the money upfront while Crouch’s club Portsmouth existence was in jeopardy and Fulham were only willing to pay in instalments — therefore pushing Spurs' bid, resulting in breaking FA and Premier League rules.
An initial inquiry by the Premier League cleared Richards of any wrongdoing, however Fulham persisted with the case further and called in lawyers — an unprecedented step from a shareholder club against an organisation’s chairman.