Manchester City scouts have been caught ‘tapping up’; the practice of influencing academy players to change their club for hopes of maturing at a more serious outfit. City was examined for three signings, which included a midfielder from Everton’s youth academy system and a fifteen year old from Wolverhampton’s academy.
Manchester City were officially handed a 300,000 pound fine and a two year ban from signing academy players. While City’s coffers won’t be stretched by the ban by any means, the two year academy ban is a pinch they will feel. Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour nine years ago City has prided themselves on developing a powerhouse that does it the ‘right way’. Not only is this instance evidence against the ‘right way’ the club touts proudly, but it essentially locks up the money that the organization poured into their youth academy infrastructure up to this point.
The punishment doesn’t stop there, a violation in the first year of the ban will see it extended to three years. Manchester City is the second club to be punished since the league established new youth academy rules to discourage the practice of poaching between clubs. Liverpool was the first to violate the new academy regulations, but their fine was significantly smaller.
It should be noted that Liverpool essentially left those youth players in the wind when they were caught, while Manchester City has resolved to ensure the boys schooling is still paid for by the club at an academy of their choosing.
Critics have said that City’s generosity is only due to the outcry from Liverpool’s perceived callousness, but Manchester City’s front office is adamant that they would provide for those players now left in out in the cold regardless of Liverpool’s actions.
City are currently trying to ensure they finish in the top 4 with only 3 matches left on the schedule.