The unsavoury face of youth transfers raises its head. Enquiries are being made.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

It seems we live in interesting times, and as the Chinese saying would have i,t that is not always a good thing.

For we are told by those who claim to be in the know that Manchester City are getting close to being given a one-year transfer ban from Fifa.  This all has to do with the signing of eight players aged under 18 from outside of the UK.

In relation to this we recently published a quick summary of the rules about under 18s and (within the EU) under 16 transfers – but then the question arose, what about the UK?

Obviously the UK is a country (some MPs remind us of the integrity of the UK on a daily basis at the moment) but in football terms the UK is four countries.   So do the rules prohibit the singing of an under 16 by and English club who is Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish.

Turns out that they do, as a case involving a transfer of a young lad from Cardiff to Everton seems to have fallen foul of the rules.

Anyway, Manchester City have now been named in the first level of the youth transfer scandal alongside Chelsea.   I won’t go into the technicalities of the rules again, but with a few exceptions under 18s can’t be signed by English clubs from outside the EU, and 16 and 17 year olds can only be signed from one another EU country under certain strict conditions.  I suspect the people at Cardiff and Everton didn’t check whether Wales was considered a separate country from England in football due to each having its own national team.

Anyway, the Danish newspaper Politiken are saying that Manchester City are under investigation over the case of Mathias Bossaerts,with the allegation that the club were offering £10,000 to the family for “relocation”.  At the time the boy was playing for the under eights side.

The Chelsea case we have looked at before, but there are now 14 players on the list of illegal imports, in addition to the case of Andreas Christensen whose father was signed to work as a scout for Chelsea apparently on the same day as Andreas signed in 2012.

Of course there would be nothing wrong with this if Christensen senior had indeed been a scout, or during his time at Chelsea had come up with a few prospects, but the story being told is that he was not and did not.

Now if none of this is true one wonders, as with all the other tales that we have published of late, why one of the clubs doesn’t sue to stop what they would presumably think is unworthy tittle tattle.  A cease and desist notice could be issued, and then if the newspapers that keep coming up with the tales don’t cease and desist the club/s could issue injunctions.

Maybe of course they are not bothered, and feel there is no harm being done to their reputations – which again is a perfectly reasonable response.  Not every major commercial operation sues every comment, because such an action can backfire in terms of public perception. Perhaps we will find out eventually.  Or indeed there may even be cases pending from Fifa – which of course gives everyone a legitimate reason to comment.

Certainly the Daily Telegraph, which has really got its teeth into the story of late, seems to think it is worth following up.  As we noted Fifa have already said that, investigations have been “opened concerning the club Chelsea FC as well as other English clubs in relation to potential breaches of the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players.”

In four of the transfers that have been cited as being dubious there are details of a transfer fee, an agent’s fee, a fee to go to the family (although for what I am not clear), a removal fee, and a salary.  The clubs are very much rejecting the allegations.

However we do know that Everton suspended their head of academy over a tapping-up allegation of the same type – their case concerning an underage player from Cardiff.  The investigation on that one is ongoing with the League being informed of the situation.

These investigations can take a while to wend their way, as we have see in the previous cases we have followed here, which ended with Liverpool and Manchester City being given bans on further academy transfers.

The Daily Telegraph also suggests that the head of academy has also been questioned by the Premier League concerning the recruitment of nine other under age players.

Within the claims this time it seems that there was an offer of a place in a private school (an issue that came to the fore over the Liverpool case we reported previously), along with payments to the family both for moving and as ongoing expenses.

As we saw when following the Liverpool arrangements, with these cases when such deals collapse the youngster can be left unable to play for any club because of the registration issues, with a disrupted education, and on occasion with massive school fees unpaid and court cases pending.

Interestingly, and pulling all this together, Everton have been on the other end of this because in the case wherein Manchester City were given their two year ban on signing academy players (the second year suspended for three years) one of the school boy players at the heart of that situation came from Everton.  were one of the victims of tapping-up by Manchester City.

Mind you that wouldn’t end the enquiries concerning Everton because there is also an independent enquiry going on into the way they got Marco Silva as a manager from Watford.  That case is still in the pending stage.

It’s seems there is quite a lot of this around.


9 Replies to “The unsavoury face of youth transfers raises its head. Enquiries are being made.”

  1. Off topic I’m afraid bot there is Arsenal Football today at 12 :30 when our Women take on Everton. It’s an away match but is being broadcast live on the BBC Red Button for all of you in the UK. I would guess that there may well be streams available elsewhere as well but that may well be a forlorn hope.

    Everton are bottom of the league and we are top with a perfect points score of 21 from our 7 games. On paper then a game we should win, but we all know that football isn’t played on paper.

    Lok for more goals from Vivianne Miedema and Lordan Nobbs. Sari Van Veenendaal likely to be in goal and who knows but we might just have a bench of four players again as Tabea Kemme, who came on in injury time in our last game suffered a reaction in her knee ans is back in recovery again.

  2. Getting close to the end of the game against Everton. Nobbs has been substituted due to injury, our last substitution. Perhaps Andrew will have more information later?

  3. Arsenal comfortably 4 – 0 up in our game but have just had Jordan Nobbs carried off on a stretcher. We now have 3 U18s on the pitch.

    We are now really down to the bare bones in terms of players.

  4. Andrew just read about Tabea Kemme and as I just had a cartilage surgery myself I know how difficult it must be. The worst part of the recovery is that you cannot force the recovery period. You need to be very careful not to put too much pressure on the cartilage too soon or go to fast in trying to stretch and flex. And the problem is that only at the end of the ride you know if you have done it the right way. Both surgeon and physio have been saying this to me every time they see me: don’t try to force it!
    But another good win that should have been much higher if I can trust the BBC live match report with the Everton keeper being the women of the match

  5. BBC is reporting she twisted her right knee in the encounter with Chloe Kelly. Enough pain that she needed oxygen. That isn’t good news.

    69% possession, shots 15:8 (12:3 on target) and 5:12 on fouls.

    Congratulations ladies!

  6. Lots of reports that we are 6 points up on 2nd (ManCity), but something also to note is we are 8 points up on Chelsea with a game in hand. Chelsea are the only team that has played 9 games at this point.

    Everton are the only team that has only played 7 games at this point (with no wins). All the rest have played 8 games.

  7. RoyalBlueMersey had a nice pregame article. In there, they were hoping to keep Arsenal under 5-0, so they succeeded in that. Guardian mentions a pile of good save by the Everton keeper Levell.

    I don’t think I noticed it before, but Guardian is now looking for donations, as well as subscriptions. Maybe doing a better job at reporting will help get their numbers up?

  8. OT: Rock/Paper/Scissors

    ESPN (worldwide leader in being ESPN) has a story about many referees and players using rock/paper/scissors in support of the referee banned for 3 weeks.

    The (sweet) FA still looks like it has lost the message with its comments for this story.

    With respect to officials not being rule breakers, look at what the PGMO is doing to the EPL. There is an implicit Law 0, which says that the laws should be applied equally to all teams.

  9. I don’t see any update on Jordan Nobbs, or the medja. The Guardian did say that Kim Little ha a broken leg, but nothing beyond that.

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