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The London club have finally dropped their claim that Sir Dave Richards interfered in Peter Crouch's £9 million transfer from Portsmouth to Tottenham in 2009

EXCLUSIVE
By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Fulham have ended their four-year legal battle against the Premier League and its former chairman Sir Dave Richards over his alleged role in Peter Crouch’s move to Tottenham, Goal can reveal.

A recent League board meeting was told that the west London club have finally dropped their claim that Richards interfered in Crouch’s £9 million transfer from Portsmouth to Spurs in 2009.

Goal understands that Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore was notified the lawsuit had ended after new owner Shahid Khan bought the club from Mohamed Fayed in July.

The Cottagers had taken their legal battle against Sir Dave all the way to the Supreme Court after refusing to accept judgements from the Premier League, the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

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Fulham were angry that they missed out on Crouch despite offering £2m more than Tottenham in the summer of 2009. The west Londoners thought that a deal worth up to £11m had been clinched with Portsmouth for the former England striker but alleged the situation changed following Richards' involvement.

Fulham lodged a formal complaint alleging that Richards helped 'facilitate' Crouch's transfer to White Hart Lane, and that he had acted as an 'unauthorised agent', in breach of the game's regulations.

However, the ex-Premier League chairman, who was replaced in his position at the organisation by Anthony Fry earlier this year, denied any impropriety.

Crouch eventually joined Spurs for £9m, although Portsmouth claim they decided to accept less money from the north Londoners because it was an up-front payment, and due to pressure from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for unpaid tax, and was a better deal than the £11m in instalments that Fulham were offering.

In 2010, Fulham asked Mr Justice Vos to restrain Richards from participating in transfer negotiations or to order that he should “cease to be chairman” of the Premier League.

The judge refused, following a High Court hearing, and said the dispute should go to arbitration.

Three Court of Appeal judges then dismissed Fulham's appeal against the High Court judgement and the Premier League club subsequently lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court in a fresh bid to have their case against Sir Dave heard in open court.

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