Wednesday 17 January 2018

Stoke to sue over poaching

Stoke City owner Peter Coates. Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images
Stoke City owner Peter Coates. Photo: Paul Thomas/Getty Images

John Percy

The fallout from the Liverpool tapping-up ban intensified last night after the chairman of Stoke City revealed he was pursuing compensation over the matter.

Peter Coates confirmed he was seeking reparations from the Premier League over the loss of one of his club's best schoolboys after Liverpool became the first side to be sanctioned for making an illegal approach to an academy player since the introduction of a new system for policing such moves.

The Anfield club were banned from signing schoolboy players for at least a year - with a second year suspended - and fined £100,000.

Liverpool were also facing legal action from the parents of the boy, who were left in thousands of pounds of debt after the club reneged on a promise to pay his school fees.

Those were being covered by Stoke prior to them striking a deal with Liverpool that would see them receive £49,000 in compensation for the four-year investment they had put into the youngster's footballing and academic education.

But a Premier League rule-change on the payment of school fees caused the move to collapse and left the boy unable to join another academy until Stoke are paid.

Coates said: "I think we have a case of compensation and are pursuing it. We're seeing what can be done because we're disappointed.

"I'm not having a go at Liverpool because, unfortunately, they are not alone. It happens and sometimes they get caught.

"But we're disappointed with the Premier League for allowing the system to be changed, because this would never happen under the old rules."

Coates suggested that those rules prevented players being poached without their parent club's consent.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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