The Drama surrounding Eintracht Frankfurt’s Vadim Demidov

The story line presented by the Norwegian press so far has involved a so-called torpedo, dodgy agents and an illegal transfer.

Eintracht Frankfurt defender Vadim Demidov has been caught in the headlines in Norway over the last couple of days because of his transfer from his former club Hønefoss to Norwegian record champions Rosenborg in 2008. Back then the central defender was tied to Sports Advice, an agency which wasn’t a registered company in Norway at the time. Hønefoss signed a deal with Demidov and the agency regarding 50% of potential transfer revenue exceeding the sum of 350,000 NOK. The player himself had in turn signed a deal with the agency which granted him 50% of Sport Advice’s winnings from a possible transfer in the future.

Illegal deal

Demidov had been sold to Rosenborg for 4 million NOK, and the clubs agreed upon that Rosenborg had to pay Hønefoss 2 million NOK in the case that Demidov was to be capped 25 times for the club and in the case of 50 caps for the defender.

Norwegian clubs aren’t allowed to do business with unlicensed agencies according to the rules and regulations of the Norwegian FA. Sports Advice was at the time a non licensed player in the market and therefore Hønefoss were guilty of breaking that rule according to the NFF (the Norwegian FA). Hønefoss were later fined 50,000 NOK for their behavior during the Demidov transfers.

Hønefoss paid their second installment of the deal as agreed to Sports Advice despite having been fined by the NFF. The agency received a total of 2,3 million NOK.

Turning tricks

Going by the initial deal Vadim Demidov would have been entitled to a 1,15 million NOK check after those two installments. Had all parties kept their word Demidov would have been entitled to almost 1,6 million NOK. The player never received any money from the agency, however.

Demidov’s father, the former Soviet handball international Sergej Demidov, told Norwegian broadcaster TV2 that he is still upset about the money never finding its way into his son’s pocket:

I think it’s for the best that the money ends up with us than in the pockets of some the other parties being involved in the deal. I do hope that other parents won’t make the same mistake. This isn’t about the money, but about the principles of the matter.

Last stitch solution

The NFF told the Demidovs that they had actually learned a lesson the hard way. The family wasn’t willing to let go of the matter, and resorted to the drastic measure of hiring Espen Lie, a man who has been described as an enforcer by the Norwegian media. Lie describes himself as a conflict broker, who finds satisfactory solutions for all parties involved.

Prior to his admirable work as a conflict broker, the 57-year-old worked as a mercenary in Africa, killing between 117 and 132 soldiers during that time. At least two of the soldiers that he had killed were children. Lie’s line of work isn’t a usual 9 to 5 kind of job according to him. During a conflict that occurred in Oslo Lie was shot. The bullet found pierced his heart and Lie had to suffer through a long surgery to get it removed.

The so-called enforcer wasn’t able to help the Demidovs despite chatting to some of the parties involved in the matter. Demidov’s father told the Norwegian press that Lie had been tidy, and the Norwegian newspaper’s VG story seems to confirm just that: None of the parties who had talked to Lie had felt threatened.

A lot of hot air?

Demidov not receiving any of the transfer money might have been a blessing in disguise for the center back. If Sports Advice had kept their end of the bargain, Demidov would have broken the rules of the NFF, and would have been punished himself.

Some of the money Sports Advice made at the time was channeled to Estonia. The Norwegian tax authorities are currently investigating the deal as well, in order to find out if there was any wrong doing on Sports Advice’s side.

Terje Simonsen and Morten Wivestad were in charge of Sports Advice at the time, and co-signed the deals between them and Demidov and Hønefoss. Wivestad told Norwegian newspaper VG that the company paid their taxes. Futhermore, Wivestad went on stating that Demidov wasn’t entitled to any of the money the company had made during the defender’s transfer from Hønefoss to Rosenborg.

Demidov’s former lawyer and agent, Espen Juul Haugan sent an email to the NFF in 2007 (one year prior to the transfer), informing them that Demidov had cancelled the contract which would have granted him 50% of Sports Advice’s earnings on the transfer. Demidov’s father Sergej denies this, while the NFF confirmed Haugan’s email. The email didn’t include an attachment with the signature of Vadim Demidov signing off on that deal, however.

Vadim Demidov keeps his mouth shut

Demidov himself isn’t keen to talk about the matter. He told Norwegian broadcaster TV2:

I don’t have any dealings with those agents these days. This issue doesn’t involve me, I have barely been involved in it. I have put this behind me.

The 26 year-old Demidov signed with Eintracht Frankfurt this summer on a three-year deal, after playing last year for Real Sociedad.  He has played in four matches for Die Adler, starting three and has totaled 276 minutes in league play.  He has won 64% of his tackles and almost 70% of his aerial challenges in his limited playing time in Frankfurt.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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