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Emiliano Sala family sue Cardiff City FC and crashed plane owners over death

FOOTBALL By Mirror | March 10th 2021
The plane carrying Sala and pilot David Ibbotson crashed on the night of January 21, 2019. [Photo: Courtesy]

The heartbroken family of footballer Emiliano Sala have begun legal action over his death in an air crash.

The owners of the plane and Cardiff City FC are among 13 defendants named in a civil action lodged in London by his mother, sister and brother.

The plane carrying Argentinian Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson plunged into the Channel on the night of January 21, 2019.

Sala had just signed for Cardiff City from French side Nantes.

The pre-inquest hearing is to be heard tomorrow in Bournemouth.

Solicitor Daniel Machover said the case had been lodged at the High Court to protect the family’s right to sue after the inquest.

Mr Machover said: “The family know the inquest will provide the answers to the very many questions they have about what went wrong in January 2019 and why Emiliano’s life was cut short.”

Investigators found Ibbotson’s pilot’s licence had expired and he had received no night-flying training.

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The plane allegedly had faulty brakes and no carbon monoxide detectors.

The forward was to star for Cardiff City FC. [Photo: Courtesy]

The first defendant in the family’s action is David Henderson, who allegedly arranged the flight from Nantes to Cardiff in the Piper Malibu plane.

He faces trial in Cardiff later this year accused of endangering the safety of an aircraft.

The company that allegedly owned the plane, Cool Flourish Ltd, and its majority shareholder Fay Keely, are also defendants, as is Southern Aircraft Consultancy Inc and Ltd, a Suffolk-based trustee firm used to register the plane in the US.

Father and son agents Willie and Mark McKay and their company, who were acting as brokers on behalf of FC Nantes, are also defendants.

Sala's player agent was Meissa N'Diaye who is not a defendant.

The makers of the plane Piper Aircraft are also named, as are Eastern Air Executive, an air taxi firm, and Aerotech Aircraft Maintenance Ltd.

Cardiff City and FC Nantes are the final defendants.

Mr Sala’s body was recovered, but Mr Ibbotson, 59, of Crowle, Lincs, has never been found.

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