Tuesday 28 February 2017

Mino Raiola suggests Paul Pogba was subject to third-party ownership

Samuel Lovett

Manchester United's Paul Pogba
Manchester United's Paul Pogba

Mino Raiola has sparked fresh interest in the illegal practice of third-party ownership (TPO) after suggesting that Juventus were not the only owners of Paul Pogba’s rights during his time at the club.

The Italian-born agent also admitted that he had owned stakes in players before the practice of TPO was made illegal by Fifa in 2015.

This follows the recent controversy embroiling Sam Allardyce, in which the former England manager was caught telling undercover reporters that there are ways to circumvent existing TPO regulations.

Raiola made the revelations in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

“I can’t talk about the contract but, in a deal like Pogba’s, it’s not just the clubs who earn from it,” he said.

When asked if he was paid a fee by Juventus for Paul Pogba’s record-breaking transfer to Manchester United, he replied: “No — not in the way that you’re saying it.”

When asked to explain, the 48-year-old said: “I have to see how I can phrase this in a way that Juventus cannot tackle me through the law, let’s say. Hmm. How can I say it? [Long pause.] Yes: in this deal Juventus was not the only owner of the player’s rights.”

Juventus challenged the accusations, telling the FT: “No third party had any ownership of the player’s rights.”

The agent also revealed that he has previously owned stakes in players. “Not often. But sometimes.”

But Raiola refused to confirm whether Pogba was one of those players: “It’s not TPO. Be careful with the legal definition of TPO. But let’s say that in that case there was an upside for our side. And by our side, I mean the player’s side.”

Raiola oversaw Pogba’s world record move to United in the summer, from which it’s believed he made €27m.

He also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, both of whom joined United in the summer.

While it’s clear that neither Raiola, Pogba, Juventus or United have fallen guilty of foul play, the agent’s comments nonetheless place new focus on the now illegal practice.

The Independent has contacted Juventus for comment and is awaiting their response.

(© Independent News Service)

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