Manchester City have been banned from signing academy players for two years after being found guilty of tapping up two schoolboy players – one of them aged just 11.
According to Ben Rumsby of the Telegraph, City have been handed the same punishment as Liverpool, a two-year embargo on signing players registered with a rival Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months.
The second year of the ban will be suspended for three years. City have also been fined £300,000, £200,000 more than Liverpool, who were guilty of only one case.
The two players City broke the rules trying to sign were an 11-year-old from Everton and a 15-year-old from Wolves – both players were midfielders. The signing of 16-year-old goalkeeper, Louie Moulden, from Liverpool has been cleared to go ahead.
The Premier League issued the following statement:
“The Premier League has sanctioned Manchester City FC for breaches of its Youth Development Rules. The breaches concern approaches to two separate Academy players whilst they were each registered with another club.
“Following an investigation, the Premier League found evidence that the club’s conduct prior to applying to register the players contravened League rules. This included evidence of contact between the club and members of each academy player’s family while those academy players were still registered with their previous clubs.
“Manchester City will pay a fine of £300,000 and will be prohibited from registering any academy players in the under-10 to under-18 age range who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months. This ban will last for two years. The period of this ban from 30 June 2018 onwards will be suspended for three years to be activated in the event of any similar breach by the club.
“In each case, the academy player was conditionally registered with Manchester City while the Premier League’s investigation was ongoing. As a result of the club’s breaches, the players’ registrations will be terminated on a specified date, with no compensation rights retained by the club, and the club will not be permitted to re-register them as academy players. In addition, Manchester City has offered to pay compensation to each player’s previous club, and maintain educational provision for each player until the completion of his GCSEs.”