Everton handed two-year academy transfer ban

Thursday, 8 November, 2018 45comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have been handed a two-year ban from signing academy players and fined £500,000 after the Premier League found them guilty of illegally approaching a player.

The club will not be allowed to acquire any player between the ages of 10 and 18 who has registered with another professional domestic club in the preceding 18 months.

Everton suspended Martin Waldron, their head of recruitment at the Finch Farm youth academy, in September following the allegation that he "tapped up" a former Cardiff City youth player in 2016.

The Premier League have disclosed that the club's own internal investigation found irregularities with approaches for six other academy players.

"We are extremely disappointed with some of the practices we have found which are not in line with our values and not acceptable to Everton Football Club,” a club statement read.

"We have already commenced a full review of our academy operations and are committed to ensuring that issues like this do not happen again at Everton."

Waldron remains suspended with no timetable for his return announced.

Quotes sourced from BBC Sport

Reader Comments (45)

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Ste Lewis
1 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:18:52
Breaking news: 18-month academy ban!!!
Will Mabon
2 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:31:47
Ste - the club are openly admitting the situation, but still, there always seems to be something whenever we start to gain a little traction (Of course, I'm just a paranoid, bitter Blue).

Meanwhile, still waiting for the action re. van Dijk

Tony Everan
3 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:32:05
Academy ban.

Did Liverpool get a ban when they allegedly tapped up Sterling or Solanke?

Or are they just cleverer than our lot?

Will Mabon
4 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:32:58
Tony... and that too.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:46:43
What’s this two year transfer ban for academy players all about?
Lawrence Green
6 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:11:44
If you break the rules then expect to be punished! Everton FC following internal investigations by themselves, found they had breached the rules with six players, therefore the fine and ban are heavier than was the case for our neighbours. If only the FA and Premier League would be so even handed on other rules and regulations affecting Premier League clubs.

5 Apr, 2017 PA Sport.

Liverpool have been fined £100,000 and handed a two-year academy transfer ban, with the second year suspended, for the "tapping up" of a Stoke youngster.

The Premier League has announced the club will be prohibited from signing any academy players who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 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.

Ian Bennett
7 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:19:26
Academy ban

Niasse ban

How come football only clean up Everton, but allow others get away with it. Financial Fair Play, tapping up players etc etc etc. It stinks.

Brian Wilkinson
8 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:39:47
We broke the rules so we must face the music, I am all for that.

But when it comes to teams breaking the financial fair play by over exaggerated 80% sponsorship, one player getting banned for simulation, while another getting off Scot free.

Clubs tapping up a player, then signing the player later on without any repucusions, it’s smacks of double standards.

We deserve our ban, we broke the rules, but at least be consistent throughout the leagues.

Mark Rankin
9 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:55:29
Down at the FA....

"Bloody hell, all these players diving everywhere, and these clubs tapping up academy players and managers, we really need to show that we mean business and make an example."
"Okay, sir well Man..."
"Woah there! – we don't want to take on any of the big boys."
"Norwich then"
"Who? No... bit bigger."
"West Ham? Everton?"
"That'll do!"

Marcus Leigh
10 Posted 08/11/2018 at 19:50:24
Yes, it seems we've broken the rules and must therefore face the consequences. Fair enough. What clearly isn't fair enough, however, is the Premier League's reluctance to apply the same rules to their 'darling' clubs.

As George Orwell put it, 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.'

Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:01:58
Yes, Marcus, clubs like Liverpool and Manchester City get off scott-free when caught doing these sort of shenanigans...

Oh, wait:

Everton become the third Premier League team to have been found guilty of tapping up after Liverpool and Manchester City. Their punishment, though, is the most severe. Liverpool and City both had 12 months of their transfer embargo suspended, while their respective fines – £100,000 and £300,000 – were also smaller.

But that's from the Daily Mail. So I guess we can ignore it.

Mike Gaynes
12 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:02:37
Um... oops.
Brian Harrison
14 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:29:10
I think an even bigger concern is what happens when they have completed their investigation into the Marco Silva alleged illegal approach. If found guilty the FA would make a case of us systematically tapping up and take great delight in handing a punishment to Everton which they wouldn't dare hand out to any of the top 6. Huge fine, transfer ban, dock points, or the unthinkable – automatic relegation. I believe they have the power to do any of these things.
Bobby Mallon
15 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:52:26
Oh bollocks to the FA, just take the fuckers to court if they start shouting about the Silva case. Double standards always with that lot.
Michael Williams
16 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:57:47
One of the reasons the ban is longer and the fine larger for Everton is that the FA said the club provided false information to the FA about transfers when queried.
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 08/11/2018 at 20:59:33
Will Man City get a ban for fiddling the books? Or PSG for for swindling the tax man? No. I thought not.
Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:23:34
Do the crime, pay the time.

I believe this was pre-Moshri? Hope we don't engage in any nefarious bull-pucky again.


Brian Wilkinson
19 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:23:45
Bit wide of the mark after the Financial Fair Play fiddles and players getting away with simulation, but even though discussed about changing the rule in the future, Chelsea at the moment have 38 players out on loan.

Seems up to now, this is acceptable to stockpile young talent from across Europe.

Brian Wilkinson
20 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:26:04
Looks like we pissed off the FA with emails sent in regards to Martial's simulation incident; next up – the Silva saga.
Mike Oates
21 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:54:10
More than anything it buggers up any plans Brands had in developing the youth. He's been an expert in obtaining young players and developing them at his previous clubs. Now he only has Everton developed players. The top youngsters out there will now go elsewhere as we can't compete.
Jack Convery
22 Posted 08/11/2018 at 21:54:57
Does this have anything to do with Sheedy and Royle leaving the way they did?
Brian Wilkinson
23 Posted 08/11/2018 at 22:04:09
As far as I am aware, Mike, we can still get players outside of the UK in, just not from other UK academies. I may be wrong and someone else can confirm this.
Kristian Boyce
25 Posted 08/11/2018 at 22:50:11
Sad problem is that we have form in tapping up, with us getting fined years ago for the Lascelles case.

With only a domestic ban, I would imagine we’ll start seeing some exotic names over the next couple of years in the academy. With Silva’s Portuguese ties, I can see a bunch of wannabe Ronaldo’s strutting their stuff at Finch Farm.

Peter Warren
26 Posted 08/11/2018 at 23:46:10
10-18 years old. Not a big deal.
Brian Wilkinson
27 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:21:18
So the FA have stepped into this but not this:

The Premier League looked at Southampton's complaint and they asked Liverpool for their version of events but they did not launch a formal investigation. It was believed Southampton had the evidence to incriminate Liverpool but, in the weeks that have followed the complaint, they have not put it forward.

Just wondering then why without this being put forward, the FA have stepped in.

Mark Wilson
28 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:28:22
Really disappointing to see we are just as grimy as the shite really when it comes to tapping up. Hoping that the Silva saga doesn't end up where I think it's going, which feels like it may not be a good outcome for us.

Someone's turned a blind eye quite a few times here for six cases to be amassed. Makes cheating feel almost commonplace during an 18-month spell or so at the Academy and you have to hope it's just the one idiot ruining our rep.

Gerry Quinn
29 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:57:40
Various sources seem to be covereing this in pretty much the same way. This from The 42:

Everton handed two-year academy transfer ban for breaching recruitment rules

Ian Bennett
31 Posted 09/11/2018 at 07:03:12
Don't rich clubs just buy another club, and use them to buy academy players to circumvent these issues. If it happened to Chelsea the Dutch club they use would sign the players Chelsea wanted - and then Chelsea buy them after the ban.
Mark Dunford
32 Posted 09/11/2018 at 09:56:10
Seems like we had a serial offender on the books who has caused big problems for new senior team. The number of offences is the trigger for the larger than usual punishment. He was either unaware of the rules or breaking them – either way he wasn't being supervised properly and this has to come down to a corporate, managerial failure in the club.

In this way, it is comparable to the case Watford are making regarding Silva so I remain worried about this one, too.

James Marshall
33 Posted 09/11/2018 at 14:07:50
It doesn't matter now that Barcelona are our feeder club.
John Hammond
34 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:34:34
This kind of stuff happens at every club; we're obviously being used as a scapegoat for whatever reason. False information is the standard! Everyone gets away with everything and this is the FA's way of showing they'll crack down (but only at non-top 6 teams).
Gerard McKean
35 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:43:53
Make no mistake, this has serious implications for Everton Football Club and I imagine that Marcel Brands is furious. If the club were to lose Brands because he felt that its standards of integrity and competence did not meet his own, it would be a devastating setback.

I am sorry that I seem to antagonise some ToffeeWeb readers who want to believe that the club is now in the hands of a dynamic CEO. I won't go into her less-than-stellar background again but I will ask these questions:

1. How long was this going on? 2. Who knew what and when?

The club statement is an exercise in blame-shifting and one person has been made the fall-guy – so one final question: was any kind of sweetener* offered to make sure that the answer to question 2 would remain obscure?

* Sweeteners are not always financial inducements.

My biggest worry is the professional chasm opening up between Brands 7 Silva and the self-styled Everton Leadership Team. The net was cast far and wide to find persons of the calibre of Brands and Silva. Can the same be said of the leadership team – no matter how many glossy descriptions about them in a glossy brochure?

Silva has a point to prove; he knows he has to achieve at Everton and that's obviously good for us all. Brands has nothing to prove but clearly he is a man of character and wants to do a job at Everton. Unfortunately, the people implicated in Q.2 have now made that job very much more difficult for him.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 09/11/2018 at 19:50:05
This will make things a lot more difficult for Brands, in more ways than one, because although we all know this goes on, this punishment is going to have a really negative effect on the job he was sent to do.

Will Waldron be sacked? He's been at Everton, a very, very long time, and will have built up a massive network so, either way, this decision is going to affect how Brands does his job.

Andrew Keatley
37 Posted 09/11/2018 at 20:59:49
I think people on here may be over-reacting in terms of the impact on the club, and suggestions that Brands may walk away based on this look very knee-jerk to me.

As far as I have read, it is a 2-year ban on 10-18 year olds registered to other British professional football clubs within the last 18 months.

The academy can bring in scholars from other countries, and can also work hard to scout unregistered scholars – as well as focus on the ones already here.

It can be tempting to look around and point at all of the other instances that look suspicious – I'm not entirely sure the story David Moyes told about being invited round to Alex Ferguson's house to be unceremoniously anointed as the next Man Utd manager when he was still Everton manager is exactly above board – but in this case it sounds like Waldron went outside the lines of what is permitted. The club have recognised that too, and therefore some form of punishment needs to be served.

Jay Wood

38 Posted 09/11/2018 at 21:36:07
Gerard @ 36.

Like you, when the new CEO was announced in the summer in the 24-hour span of the long knives which oversaw a major overhaul of several key positions in the club, I also raised an eyebrow at Denise Barrett-Baxendale's appointment, questioning her suitability for the role.

Subsequently, I haven't been as sceptical as you evidently are as many aspects of the roles normally associated with a Premier League club CEO were farmed out to others, thus diluting DB-BDenise Barrett-Baxendale's remit.

It is very hard to judge from afar, or merely outside the inner circle, if the new arrangement is benefiting the club or not.

That said, you do seem to colour your comments about DB-BDenise Barrett-Baxendale with a tinge of personal dislike - resentment, even - of the person and that she has a role at Everton, at all.

Your latest post, as a result, is highly speculative and founded on conclusions that don't add up.

Why presume as you do that Marcel Brands 'is furious' at this news? Why presume that a man who will know and have worked inside the murky world of dealing with players, their agents and their clubs, may walk away because 'the club's standards of integrity and competence did not meet [Brands's]?

You preface your two questions with yet another derogatory reference to Denise Barrett-Baxendale, thus making her guilty by association. That's unfair.

In answer to your first question, 'How long was this going on?' Well quite clearly, it has been going on well before Denise Barrett-Baxendale came on watch as CEO – at least back to 2016 – so in any finger-pointing you wish to make there are plenty of candidates in front of Denise Barrett-Baxendale in the queue, but you offer none other than her.

The same could be said in answer to you second question, 'Who knew what and when?'

Unlike you, I don't consider the club statement 'an exercise in blame-shifting... making one person the fall-guy'. Yes, when the charges first came to light back in September, the head of academy recruitment Martin Waldron was suspended, which was a reasonable step to take. He was the boss man. Yes, there would be other superiors and chains of command, and yes, the investigation may have unveiled that effective checks and balances were not in place. For that, the management can be questioned

However, it doesn't naturally follow, as you wish to imply, that everyone in that chain of command was in the know and endorsed or turned a blind eye to any malpractice, or that someone has been offered (and taken) a 'sweetener' to take the 'fall' for the club (or persons unknown).

This week, following their own internal investigation, together with the Premier League, the club has come clean, accepted the charges without quibble, acknowledged their failings and saying "We have already commenced a full review of our academy operations and are committed to ensuring that issues like this do not happen again at Everton."

Is it not reasonable to assume that Mr Brands will very much be involved in that review?

Your final paragraph is a clutter of clauses which you attempt to weave into a single thread, reaching a conclusion very much of your own invention, primarily, I sense, to have a thinly disguised pop at a person you clearly hold in utter contempt.

So overall, Gerard, whilst like you I retain lingering doubts about the suitability of Denise Barrett-Baxendale for the CEO role, unlike you, there really isn't much, or anything, I can agree with in your post.

Don Alexander
39 Posted 09/11/2018 at 21:55:42
Given that this happened before Mr Moshiri bought control, does the man in overall control at the time need to stand up and say something, like at least offer to resign from his current, and then, role as Chairman for failing to have had due control over significant employees involved in the lives of juveniles' signings, welfare and development?

Whadd'ya say, Bill?

Paul Kossoff
40 Posted 10/11/2018 at 20:29:10
Would the director of football be responsible for this? Mr Wizard Walsh, where are you?
Jerome Shields
41 Posted 11/11/2018 at 08:37:04
I think the Watford saga could be worse. The Niasse saga was a farce, but the Acadamy saga seems real and involved a cover-up.
Terry White
42 Posted 15/11/2018 at 15:29:22
Thank you, Jay (#38) for your well-written and considered response to Gerard (#35). Gerard, as we are aware, does have a personal agenda regarding our CEO and will take every opportunity to adopt a misogynistic approach to besmirch and belittle her, usually without foundation. Ditto for Don Alexander (#40) and our Chairman.
Kristian Boyce
43 Posted 15/11/2018 at 16:37:45
With the news of FIFA investigating Chelsea over dodgy signings of overseas youth players along with four more Premier League teams, I'm hoping we're not on that list with our current track record. They have a potential 2-year ban of signing ANY players if found guilty.

I think we may be good as we normally just sign local lads (or relatively local due to our current ban). Fingers crossed that the RS are on that list as that will be hilarious if they can't buy for the foreseeable future.

Gerard McKean
44 Posted 15/11/2018 at 17:01:48
Terry #42, I can accept Jay's criticisms and anybody else's for that matter if they are made in the right way. I think that if you stick your neck out and give an opinion or write an article on TW you have no right to be thin-skinned.

You cross the line, though, in making personal accusations. You don't know me so have no right to label me a misogynist. It's a cheap shot; I have repeatedly stated my sole interest is in seeing only the very best and brightest people working for Everton FC and I have absolutely no prejudice other than demanding NSNO.

You are also incorrect in accusing me of having no foundation to my observations when in fact I am exceedingly careful never to write anything about this CEO that I cannot fully substantiate.

Terry White
45 Posted 15/11/2018 at 18:05:42
Gerard (#44), you are quite correct in saying that we are all entitled to our opinions. I would give more weight to yours if I did not feel that you take every opportunity to bash our CEO – a woman, based upon all that I have read, who is full of integrity, is well-qualified for her role, is well-respected by her peers, and has promoted EFC with great success through her work for Everton in the Community.

I do not know her. It is apparent to me, and to Jay in his earlier much better written response, that you have had some personal interaction with her and the conclusion that Jay and I both share, based upon all your comments, is that you have a personal reason to dislike Ms Barrett-Baxendale and this shows through in every comment that you continually make to promote your own vendetta and agenda towards her.

Brian Wilkinson
46 Posted 15/11/2018 at 18:39:29
Chelsea are having 19 of their Under-18s from abroad investigated, looking at a 2-year ban and a fine of £45,000...

You read it right: £45k fine.

Peter Gorman
47 Posted 15/11/2018 at 19:42:31
45k you say! Well done, Premier League, hit them where it hurts.
Steve Ferns
48 Posted 17/11/2018 at 14:11:56
Read the current Man City allegations. They're far, far worse. They're going to get UP to a ONE-year ban. How's that fair?

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