Sunday 11 December 2016

Premier League looking into Man City's Academy transfers after rival clubs make rule breach allegations

Jack de Menezes

Published 25/11/2016 | 11:52

Manchester City boast one of the word's leading football Academies. Getty
Manchester City boast one of the word's leading football Academies. Getty

Manchester City are facing a Premier League investigation over how they recruit players from rival clubs after allegations were made against the title-favourites by other teams in the north-west area that includes league leaders Liverpool, it is being reported.

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The Times reports on Friday that City’s recruitment of youth players to their academy is being looked into, although a formal complaint is yet to be received by the Premier League. However, suggestions that City are not following the Premier League’s regulations over the recruitment of young players from fellow Category One academies have been raised, leading to an investigation into how City have gone about their transfer business in recent seasons.

Liverpool’s concerns arise from the Merseyside club losing under-15 goalkeeper Louie Moulden to City during the summer, although the move has not yet been approved by the Premier League. This is due to a new Five Step Process introduced by the league last season that concerns moves between Category One academies, while the report adds that both Manchester United and Everton are also concerned with City’s transfer business.

It has led to the three other clubs in question discussing the possibility of boycotting youth fixtures against City in an effort to stop their scouts from attending their games, although this would be seen as a last resort if the Premier League is not able to find any wrongdoing.

Moulden’s move to City from Liverpool has not been given the green light due to the Premier League’s new approach in dealing with transfers involving young players, which was implemented in an effort to stop deals happening due to financial motivations.

The league will interview the player, their parents and both clubs in order to determine if footballing reasons are the main motivation behind a move, with clubs facing up to a £25,000 fine if they are found to have breached the regulations. There is also the possibility of the case being handed to an Independent Commission, which can result in larger sanctions.

The report adds that City are also facing an investigation into their relationship with St Bede’s College in Manchester after allegations that the club have promised to pay for the private education of anyone enrolled in their Academy up to the age of 18 even if they leave it, along with funding the education of their siblings at the £11,000-a-year independent school.

City say that they fund the school fees of their Academy players only, and do not pay for their siblings to attend St Bede’s.

The club have also insisted that they always comply with Premier League regulations and have put the allegations down to jealousy from their rivals over the quality of the City Football Academy, with parents constantly calling the club to try and have their children signed to the Academy. They are confident that there has been no wrongdoing in the move for Moulden, and put any delay down to the Premier League carrying out the Five Step Process as is necessary.

The Independent is currently awaiting a response from the Premier League.

Independent News Service

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