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Bolton Wanderers Chairman Phil Gartside defends case brought by agent over signing of Aston Villa player.

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The Bolton Evening News has reported today that Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside and former boss Sammy Lee have appeared in court to face perjury charges relating to a legal battle over a £1 million transfer deal.

Agent Tony McGill, has brought a private prosecution against the Wanderers chairman and others from the club, as well as top agent Jerome Anderson and others from his SEM firm, and the ex-midfielder Gavin McCann.

The case surrounds a protracted legal battle over McCann's transfer from Aston Villa to Bolton Wanderers in 2007, with McGill claiming he was cut out of the deal.

Lee, a Liverpool legend as a player, and now a coach at Southampton, was manager of Bolton Wanderers at the time.

The private prosecution came before District Judge Stephen Earl, sitting at Newcastle Magistrates' Court, for its first hearing.

No pleas were entered and the case was sent to Newcastle Crown Court where it will be heard again in a fortnight.

McCann was allowed not to attend today but must come to the magistrates' court next week.

Lisa Judge, representing the defendants from Bolton Wanderers, said: "There will be an application to dismiss forthwith."

The SEM defendants were represented in court by barrister Saba Naqshbandi.

Each of the defendants had to stand up to give their name, date of birth and address at the beginning of the hearing.

Mr McGill is also prosecuting Bolton Wanderers and SEM.

The case was heard in Newcastle as Mr McGill is from Sunderland.

Ms Judge, representing the Bolton Wanderers parties, said there will be an application to change venue.

As they say .. the case continues.

JB

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