And now another major set of football allegations. Who’d have thought it?

By Tony Attwood

There is a simple point at the heart of the scandals and allegations so far and that is that Man City and PSG, according to the released documents, have broken Uefa rules and threatened to elminiate Uefa from the landscape unless Uefa is complicit in covering up the affair.

And while we are all still digesting all that, would you believe it, up pops another one.

We have long known about the dubious undertakings in under 21 football which has led to the banning order on Liverpool and Manchester City from doing transfers at that level.

Now we have two wonderful headlines next to each other in the Guardian today

The first reads “Fifa investigating five Premier League clubs over youth transfers” under which is the comment that “Chelsea confirmed they are one of the teams under scrutiny by Fifa”

Next to which is the story “Transfer news: Chelsea lead chase for American youngster Pulisic.”

But it is all right because although Pulisic is called a “youngster” he is actually 20, and Fifa is concerned about under 18s.

This new revelation (and I do hope you are keeping up with all this) comes from Mediapart and this time the investigating office will be Fifa, under the guidance of… oh dear… the man who gave into Manchester City and PSG when he was he of Uefa.   So no probs Chelsea, with Infantino you can do what you like if you have enough money.

The actual punishment if Chelsea were to be found guilty and Fifa stuck by its own rules would a transfer ban up to four transfer windows.  Two years without transfers at Chelsea.  Which would probably be rather annoying for them if Manchester City gets off any Uefa investigation.

Who the other four clubs from England are who are being investigated in the youth transfer story has not yet been revealed, but one of them is said to be Mancheseter City although they have denied this.  No date has been given for the bringing of the charges, and why Chelsea has been named but the others have not, is not clear.

But there is a further twist, for while both the Telegraph and Guardian agree this morning that this is all happening, the Telegraph has an extra comment saying, “Sources close to the Fifa investigation” have said that. “This is a massive investigation that will implicate a number of clubs.  It will touch most of the the big clubs around Europe and in the Premier League.”

So another case of “everyone does it, they wouldn’t dare touch us” until one day Uefa wakes up.

Mediapart also make mention of Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, but it is not thought every club caught up in this matter is actually under investigation.

The issue at the heart of the transfers is the one that we have covered so often before: players under 18 cannot be transferred except within the EU and the EEA (where the age is 16) unless the parents have emigrated to the receiving country for reasons unconnected with football, or if both the player and purchasing club are within 50km of the national border separating the two countries.

This was the crime that Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid were found guilty of in the past.

The who case strarted with Bertrand Traore who wsa pictured playing in a match for Chelsea against Arsenal when he was only 16.  He came from Burkina Faso, and Chelsea said that they merely had an option on him, had declared it to the FA, and so got clearance.   Those of us who follow the arcane world of football rules have had this one on the agenda for several years, and indeed Untold has mentioned it before, but I really can’t find out what has kept the follow up enquiry quiet until now.

One thing that is certain is that when the UK leaves  the EU the exemption from the rule allowing 16 year olds to be signed from within the EU will drop off the lawbook of course, and so there might be a rush to bring in such players now.

Chelsea have previously been banned from signing young players for two windows (that was in 2009) following that Kakuta case, but this was overturned on appeal.  Everton have just been banned from signing all academy players.  Manchester City and Liverpoool were involved in the biggest scandal over signing young players, and Liverpool’s case in particular was carried here in some detail because of the impact it had on the young player.

I am sure there will be more leaks anon.



10 Replies to “And now another major set of football allegations. Who’d have thought it?”

  1. A fairly wide spread feeling around the sport of football is that FFP is deeply flawed, set up allegedly to stop clubs from being bankrupted by stupid owners over spending. The reality it is alleged is that the real reason was to protect the established hierarchy of RM, Barca, BM, ManU Inter, ACM and maybe a small niumber of other clubs which could include Arsenal. Time will tell if UEFA can win a fight in the highest courts when they are themselves not without a shady past.

  2. This blog seems to be a bit obsessed with Man City and their alledged footy leaks. Wouldn’t you be better writing about your own team who are sponsored by the UAE and themselves not got the best record on Human Rights.

  3. I would hope that Arsenal is not involved in any underhanded machinations involving underage football players. Our previous manager was a man of integrity and I have seen nothing to suggest that our present gaffer is otherwise.

    Having said that, we continue to accept money for the naming rights to our stadium and on our shirt, from an entity that is far from representing my ideals.

  4. A strange form of obsession when about 0.01% of the articles are on that subject, and indeed if you’d done a moment’s reseearch you would have found that we have indeed looked at Arsenal’s sponsorship, and my own personal discomfort and concern about it.
    But, just in case you are interested, the key point the articles raise if you were to read the whole series is that they suggest that Manchester City reacted to the fine given four years ago by threatening Uefa, and that the threats then caused Uefa to back down, and allow the breaking of their rules in order to avoid the threatened legal action. And that the person who negotiated that from the Uefa side now runs Fifa which is in a small part financed by money from the uk
    Sorry that wasn’t clear for you across the series.

  5. Indeed if that had been the case it would have been a concern. Still I am sure that before writing that comment you will have read our detailed review and analysis in the series “Henry Norris at the Arsenal”. You can find the index at

    If you scroll down the page you will find the heading “The 1919 Affair” and I am sure you will enjoy it. This is by far the most detailed analysis of the match fixing scandal involving clubs from the north west, and the subsequent way it was dealt with by the league, leading up to the election of two new clubs to the 1st division. I hope you enjoy it, and of course having read it, if you have any further thoughts to add, please do write in.

  6. Apparently for opposition fans in quoting the erroneous, but oh, so oft repeated Henry Norris bribery fallacy is a way of ‘winning'(in their minds anyway!) any and every argument about the Arsenal !

    Its probably comes in at a close second to Murphy’s Law !

  7. Here are some more quotes that wil make you seem smart !



    Once your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.


    Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.


    When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged tone.


    If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tyre, the next morning you will have a flat tyre.


    If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.

    06. *BELL’S THEOREM*:

    When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.


    The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.


    When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.


    The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

    10. *BREDA’S RULE*:

    At any event, the people whose seats are farthest from the aisle arrive last.

    11. *OWEN’S LAW*:

    As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

  8. Gordon…..the ¨whataboutism¨ you try to use is a simplistic and ill-fated attempt to deflect attention from the point of the article. No we wouldn’t be ¨better¨ just writing about Arsenal alone as that has never been the sole objective of this website….we write about AFC and Football in general, including how other clubs , as well as AFC are affected by the events, officiating, regulations and vagaries of the Football scene. Why don’t you come here and defend City with proper arguments and rational, supportable evidence to show they are not involved in what the article details?

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