Liverpool handed two-year ban on signing academy players after illegal approach for Stoke City youngster

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Liverpool

Liverpool have been fined £100,000 by the Premier League and given a two-year ban on signing academy players from other English clubs for breaking rules regarding youth recruitment. However the second year of the embargo will be suspended for a three-year period.

The Premier League have announced the decision after the Merseysiders were found guilty for approaching and "offer of inducements" to a 12-year-old from Stoke City.

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The ban will prevent Liverpool from registering academy players who have been registered with other Premier League of EFL clubs in the previous 18 months. Liverpool, however, are still free to make additions from foreign countries and also to sign youngster who are not linked to other English clubs.

The Premier League adds that Liverpool admitted the wrongdoing through a long statement published on Wednesday 5 April.

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"The Premier League has sanctioned Liverpool FC in respect of the club's approaches towards, and offer of inducements to, an Academy player registered with another club," a statement released by the Premier League confirmed.

"The Academy player concerned was previously registered at Stoke City FC. An application by Liverpool in September 2016 to register him, following Liverpool and Stoke agreeing compensation, was rejected by the Premier League Board due to an offer to pay the player's private school fees.*

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In an investigation following that rejection, the Premier League found evidence that Liverpool's conduct prior to applying to register the player contravened League rules.

The League found evidence demonstrating regular communications between representatives of the club and members of the player's family. This included hosting them at Anfield for a match with expenses paid and other efforts to encourage the player, via his family, to sign for Liverpool. League rules strictly prohibit the offer of any inducements to encourage a move.

Liverpool "cooperated with the Premier League's inquiries, and admitted the rule breaches asserted against them. The club will pay a fine of £100,000 and will be prohibited from registering any Academy players who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months."

This ban will last for two years, with the second year suspended for a three-year period (to be activated in the event of any further similar breach by the club). The Premier League will make no further comment on this matter.

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