It’s been clear for years that the elite clubs will display some seriously underhand tactics when it comes to youth recruitment, but it’s rare to see a case where anyone actually faces any consequences.
Chelsea have had a couple of issues in the past where Gael Kakuta became a household name and they were given a transfer ban for over 150 rule breaches per The BBC, but it appears that Man City could be in a spot of bother after a recent claim came to light.
Man City accused of attempting to induce Brazilian teenager to play for club by creating “fake” scouting job for his dad
?? Gabriel Fernando Almeida’s father received around £1k/month from Sept 2011-June 2012
?? #MCFC “refute any wrongdoing”
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) January 13, 2021
The report from The Athletic essentially confirms that this could be a legal nightmare of a case due to various unknowns and a lack of precedent in some cases, but it does look like a transfer ban could be on the table.
It would be extremely naïve to think that this is only restricted to Man City – for years there have been stories of clubs offering payments/jobs/houses to parents to get their kids to sign for them, but usually the amounts are small enough to be written off as “miscellaneous” on club accounts.
It’s also pointed out that the player is now 24 years old so this did happen years ago, but The Athletic do suggest that there’s no statute of limitations here so City could still face a punishment.
It’s also especially strange when you look at Almeida’s career. His clubs from youth level read like a who’s who of great youth academies – Sporting CP, Man City, Spurs, Flamengo and Corinthians, but his professional clubs are much more of a “who’s that”
He’s had a couple of spells in the Brazilian lower leagues and he now appears to be playing amateur football in England, but that’s fairly irrelevant when it comes to any punishment in this case.
The report says City have faced a transfer ban at Academy level in the past so that could also count against them, but expect this to rumble on for years with appeals and counter appeals if any punishment is handed down.