Barnsley FC must pay Hull City almost £1million after a tribunal found they did not disclose Angus MacDonald’s iron deficiency when the defender left Oakwell for the Tigers in January 2018.
MacDonald developed bowel cancer after his move to the East Yorkshire club which severely reduced his playing time.
The Tigers did not pay an instalment of the transfer in late 2019 and the case went to arbitration. The panel found in Hull’s favour, with Barnsley ordered to pay them £958,716.94 – roughly half of which is ‘basic loss’ – which takes into account the wages and transfer fee Hull paid – and the other half legal fees.
Jonathan Bellamy, of the EFL, said 'there was no dishonesty by anyone related to the case’ but said that there was a lack of communication between the Reds' officials overseeing the transfer and the club doctor. The panel had ’no hesitation’ in finding that Hull would not have signed MacDonald had they been told of his full medical history.
The players’ iron deficiency had been mentioned by then Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom in press conferences. The transfer took place when Gauthier Ganaye was chief executive and the current owners, Chien Lee and Paul Conway, had been in charge for a month.
A club statement read: "Barnsley FC acknowledge the disclosure of legal findings from a dispute between themselves and Hull City Tigers. Individuals associated with this matter are no longer employed by Barnsley FC and have not been in post for a number of years. Barnsley FC now consider the case closed and due to the sensitivity of its contents, will not comment further.”
MacDonald has since moved to Rotherham United.