Portuguese side Sporting CP have confirmed in an official statement that they will seek legal action against a number of players who have terminated their contracts at the club, and will hold both the individuals and the clubs signing them responsible.
According to Jan Hagen, a freelance writer on Portuguese football, the club is seeking compensation for damages and losses suffered by the players' terminations - with potential impacts on a number of English clubs.
A significant number of Sporting players terminated their contracts with the club following an attack on the club's training ground by their own fans.
Ruben Ribeiro, Rodrigo Battaglia and 19-year-old starlet Rafael Leao became the seventh, eighth and ninth players to leave the Lisbon side following the incident last month.
Official: Rúben Ribeiro, Battaglia and starlet Rafael Leão become the 7th, 8th and 9th player to terminate their contracts with Sporting, after they were attacked by own fans last month.— Jan Fredrik Hagen (@PortuBall) June 18, 2018
They join the list of William, Rui Patrício, Bas Dost, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson and Podence. pic.twitter.com/FYDF8ZwRUL
They join William Carvalho, Rui Patrício, Bas Dost, Bruno Fernandes, Gelson Martins and Daniel Podence, who had all already terminated their employment with the club.
Martins and Dost are also names linked with moves to the Premier League this summer, especially now given their status as free agents.
Given the threat of legal action though, it now remains to be seen if English clubs will be willing to approach these players and what financial repercussions might effect those that have already agreed deals, such as Wolves.
Confirmed: In an official statement, Sporting have announced that they'll take legal action against the players terminating their deals.— Jan Fredrik Hagen (@PortuBall) June 19, 2018
Sporting will try to hold the players and the clubs signing them responsible and they'll seek compensation for the damage and losses suffered. pic.twitter.com/97UGIJFFje
With a total of nine players terminating their deals at Sporting, the club has seen around €200m in potential sales walk out the door and could be faced with serious financial repercussions as a result - hence their legal attempts to recoup some of the lost money.
Sporting's business model relies heavily on its impressive youth development setup and selling on players at a profit.
After losing that significant a number of players, Sporting have released a statement claiming their accounting firm PwC believe there's a 'concrete threat' of bankruptcy for the Lisbon side.
Sporting's own board of directors, however, did release a statement of their own saying they believed their "continuity of operations is assured" and that there's no immediate risk of bankruptcy for the Lisbon club.