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Should Transfers Of U-18 Players Be Banned?
Andy (Rangers) 7 years ago
Last Friday, FIFA handed Chelsea an astronomical punishment for partaking in an exercise which is systemic in international football, harvesting young talent from foreign academies.

Chelsea have been thoroughly made an example of and now face a transfer embargo, preventing them from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows. FIFA have enough sense not to label Chelsea as the only criminals but are failing to be consistent with the punishment and hoping this acts as a warning shot.

Chelsea fans feel aggrieved and the club has an opportunity to overturn the decision by appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The player at the centre of this mess is Gael Kakuta, who joined Chelsea 2 years ago from Lens after being induced to break his contract with the French club in questionable circumstances.

This is not the first case of it’s kind, last year FC Sion of Switzerland were blocked from registering players until 2010 and the player in question, Essam El Hadary, received a 4-month ban from playing. Sion appealed to the CAS and are awaiting judgement, a similar route Chelsea are set to take.

Chelsea are the first big-name club to be tangled up in a transfer embargo of this nature and it is a calculated risk from FIFA.

Managers may act indignant when one of their players is being tapped up and unsettled by another club but most managers are found guilty of the same. Although it is a different story when it comes to youth players, high profile teams rely on their reputation and operate a monopoly of incentives to tempt promising youngsters into moving abroad.

The football world is now amidst an international mud-slinging furore riddled with underlying legal issues and forgotten cases.

Le Havre have accused Manchester United of inducing 16-yo French midfielder Paul Pogba to Old Trafford using financial incentives to which United have threatened legal action as retaliation. While Crewe Alexandra have reported an unnamed Premier League club to the FA for tapping up a 15-year old from their Academy.

The decision by FIFA has proved controversial to say the least and some claim is set to reshape transfer dealings concerning young players. Consistency will undoubtedly resurface every now and again to cause FIFA numerous headaches but the long-term benefits of a new policy may outweigh the short-term fallout from their first momentous decision.

Lens lodged a complaint in 2007 and few would have seen this judgement coming given the frequency of similar grievances. Kakuta has recently turned 18 and has found himself on the end of a €780,000 fine as FIFA regards him ‘jointly and severally liable,’ along with Chelsea.

Although many regard Gael as the victim, enticed by a huge club, mesmerised by dreams of success and willing to cut short a contract with a club who have given him so much. These young starlets have been taken advantage of with clubs exploiting their all too often precarious financial stability to persuade them to move their families elsewhere.

It is unclear whether this decision will set a precedent for future transfer deals and the question stands, is it right to outlaw the transfer of U-18 players between clubs? Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the PFA certainly thinks so.
Dede75 (PSG) 7 years ago
I thINk it's like Slavery ! It's necessary to copy Brazilian League !
Blueskiesahead (Chelsea) 7 years ago
I think outlawing u-18 transfers is a good idea, so long as they don't outlaw anything older than that. I've heard lots of rumors floating around about anyone under 23 won't be able to transfer and I think that is simply absurd as it will surely weaken the quality of play we see now. But 18 years old seems to be pretty good
Juno (AC Milan) 7 years ago
There's certainly no harm in doing that. But it wouldn't make any big difference. Super clubs can still sign pre-contract agreement with the kids family anyway.... Fabio and Rafael Da Silva also went to England after age limit is over. Who is stopping them? Nuts
Winson (Manchester United) 7 years ago
I think it's important to note that this kind of transfer law abides to contracts agreed by club and player, and should be seperated from International Trade Agreements. Recently there's been a big comotion about a mate of mine not being able to transfer to England on grounds of Free Trade Agreements (or something). Another mate of mine was also offered the oppotunity to play in Europe but was denied so on grounds of something about playing 70% of international games for Australia before being allowed to transfer.

The details are a bit fuzzy, I just thought I should add that in because the issue isn't constricted to transfers between clubs but also between different National Employment Laws eh
Andy (Rangers) 7 years ago
The players in question are from within the EU and so they wouldn't have needed work permits to move to England as you would if you were from OZ, Africa etc
Winson (Manchester United) 7 years ago
Yeah, I know. I just didn't know the subject of discussion had to be constrained to this particular topic
Kafka (Bayern Munchen-A) 7 years ago
In a word, yes
Somere (Portmore Utd) 7 years ago
Noooooooooooooooooo. If ronaldo did not arive at united when he was 17 he probebly would be just another winger with potential than no one ever heard about
Juno (AC Milan) 7 years ago
There's always other big clubs on the look out.... And not just Man Utd knew that he's a talent
Somere (Portmore Utd) 7 years ago
You are right but I don't think he would be so good if he didn't have players such ryan giggs and rooney around him to help him grow
Juno (AC Milan) 7 years ago
The only good thing that fell to Ronaldo during that time is not the help in growth that the surrounding players gave him. Its Alex Ferguson. He changed the kid's attitude towards diving on every touch, made him the focal point of play in MU.
Considering the past when MU's focal was Bryan Robson, Cantona, Keane. All of them are in their late 20s when they became the focal point.
So to say Fergie has actually accelerated Ronaldo's maturity in that sense
Jeroen (Barcelona) 7 years ago
It would make Football Manager (the game) a lot less attractive (no more cheap world class team of your own wonderkids), but I also think that a 16 year old kid shouldn't swap clubs unless it's the player himself that brought up the idea. You can't force people to stick to a club either, unless they've signed a contract of course
VivalaSAM (Tottenham Hotspur) 7 years ago
The problem that I find the most pressing is that player contracts (regardless of age) mean absolutely nothing. Players sign long-term contracts only to be transferred out 6 months later. It really is mind-boggling how useless contracts are in football. There really needs to be stricter enforcement of contracts in the football world; I think that would solve this problem a lot more efficiently than banning the transfers of U-18 players.

Let's compare contracts in football to baseball, for example; contracts are hugely important in MLB, and when players are traded, the contracts stay in place (so the team that picks up the player must finish out the previous contract). If things were the same in football, it would most likely: a) make players think more carefully about where they sign, be) allow teams to keep talented players for longer, see) give more legitimacy to contracts, and d) hopefully promote more player loyalty (I. E. Players no longer jump from team to team so frequently). And perhaps most importantly, it might even result in a little more parity
SCBlue (Chelsea) 7 years ago
Fantastic point from the yid!

Contracts are little more than a formality in football now, and can't be trusted any more than the words spoken by Peter Kenyon (bald headed lying twat).

But when it comes to players under the age of 18 I think that there needs to be something done about it. I don't think outlawing any transfers of the youngsters is necessary or even helpful.

Consider this, what if a 16 year old isn't getting any playing time with his clubs reserve team or has fallen out of favor with the manager, what then? Is he left to sit and rot on the bench thus stalling any progress of his career because he can't be sold? That's insane.

Rather than outlaw the sale of all U-18 players why not make the governing bodies of the respective teams oversee the deal thus making sure no laws are broken. That way if a club does not want to loose one of their players the governing bodies can veto the transaction. In the end it doesn't matter how much one club wants a player, under contract with a different club, because the club with whom the player is under contract has the final say in the matter.

This ties back into the yid's point that contracts in football must be honored other wise they mean nothing, and thus teams cannot be punished for enticing a player to void a contract with their club.

If the contract means nothing, then breaking the laws of FIFA regarding contracts mean nothing
Dempsey (Fulham) 7 years ago
I don't thinks so at all. With this issue, we have to decide whats more important whether its a young phenom trying to get the best training around or a small club trying to get bigger, better, and richer. I say we should focus on the youth, and do whats best for them. It's like what Arsene said- if you have a kid that is a talented musician would you have him/her go to a great music program or an average one? Obviously you would send the child to the best, and it should be the same with football. If you were a talented kid, would you rather develop at Le Havre or one of the best clubs in the world at United. Why should a kid have to stay at a local club when they can move on to bigger and better things, and receive a good education along with it? In my opinion, we shouldn't restrict these kids the opportunity of a lifetime of developing with the best around
SHUNGEN (Nagoya Grampus) 7 years ago
I personally like to agree with Arsene Wenger on this topic. Young players who are identified as potential top class players should receive the best education, the best scholarship and the best training, because that is the only way that they can be taught the best skills and get the most, most valuable experiences needed for the top level. As Wenger said, it's like would you send a talented musician to a mid-range music school? No, you want to send them to the best institution, so that they can become the best musicians. The same goes for football. These talents deserve to go to the top schools to develop into the best players
Yamsy (Liverpool) 7 years ago
No, not a great idea.... Although there's lots of controversy about it right now, it has been pretty much fine in the past.... Why should we start caring now.... Why should we ruin this seemingly harmful factor?
Jabernard (Chelsea) 7 years ago
No they shouldnt. With all of the youth teams/academies/systems in place, it would be very different to effectively ban transfers of U-18 players in a way that would not simply find a loop hole to finagle a deal comparable to the current system
Shanki (Manchester United) 7 years ago
No I don't think so.  It's already a very controversial topic.
Lfcalan (Liverpool) 7 years ago
Definitely NO. Young players are what makes the game of football. And in order for them to become big, they need to be playing at the top clubs! SO the U-18 players should be able to sign for other clubs!

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