Sport Soccer

Monday 18 March 2019

Manchester City accused of concealing £200,000 payment to Jadon Sancho's agent by Football Leaks

Jadon Sancho. Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Jadon Sancho. Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Mark Critchley

Manchester City allegedly concealed a £200,000 payment to the agent of Jadon Sancho upon signing him from Watford, according to documents released by the Football Leaks group.

Sancho joined City from Watford in March 2015, shortly before his 15th birthday, but has since left for Borussia Dortmund and become a senior England international.

According to German magazine Der Spiegel, documents obtained by Football Leaks show that City paid the sum of £200,000 to Sancho’s agent Emeka Obasi in 2015 for scouting work in central and South America.

However, Der Spiegel alleges that this payment was not for scouting work and was in fact in connection to the transfer. The magazine cites internal City emails and other club documents, including a table in which the £200,000 figure is referenced as an ‘agent fee’.

Football Association rules state that players cannot be represented by agents until the year in which they turn 16.

Der Spiegel also published an alleged email from a lawyer acting for City. The lawyer warns the club that a letter sent to Sancho’s father risked breaking rules around inducements to players under the age of 16.

The letter in question allegedly set out the salary and bonuses Sancho could expect to earn once he turned professional at City.

“I have made a couple of tweaks to make it clear that this is not in itself an offer” the lawyer is alleged to have wrote. “However, there is a risk that this would still be deemed to be an inducement and therefore a breach of that rule.”

City said in a statement on Friday night: “We will not be providing any comment on out of context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people.

“The attempt to damage the club’s reputation is organised and clear.”

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