London (AFP) – Liverpool were hit with an academy transfer ban and ordered to pay £100,000 ($124,000, 117,000 euros) after admitting their part in the ‘tapping up’ of a promising Stoke youngster.
The Premier League club won’t be able to sign any academy players who have been registered with a Premier League or Football League team in the last 18 months.
Although the ban is for two years, the second 12 months has been suspended for a three-year period and will only be activated in the event of any further similar breach by the club.
A brief statement from Liverpool said: “The club accepts the sanction.”
The case involves forbidden inducements offered to a 12-year-old at Stoke and whom Liverpool accept they spoke to before they should have and also paid for him and some of his family to attend a game at Anfield.
Liverpool also offered to pay the player’s school fees, which were being paid by Stoke at this time, but this was a breach of newly-introduced regulations which state a benefit can only be offered if it is applicable to all youngsters across the club’s academy and this was not the case.
It is understood Liverpool offered to pay these fees because Stoke were already doing so and had every intention of signing the youngster until the Premier League stepped in as result of their interpretation of rule 299.1 and specifically relating to the payment of the player’s school fees.
The registration process and Liverpool’s transparency and openness on the school fees issues is what has ultimately led to the investigation and sanction.