Ever­ton handed two-year academy trans­fer ban

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Sport / Football - By Ben Rumsby

Ever­ton were yes­ter­day given a two-year academy trans­fer ban af­ter ad­mit­ting tap­ping up seven school­boys and ly­ing about it to the Pre­mier League.

The club were also fined £500,000 for what was the most fla­grant breach yet of the rules on the trans­fer of mi­nors.

Ever­ton, who join Liver­pool and Manch­ester City in be­ing banned from sign­ing school­boys, is­sued a for­mal apol­ogy for their con­duct and an­nounced they had al­ready com­menced a “full re­view” of their academy op­er­a­tions.

Their head of academy re­cruit­ment, Martin Wal­dron, re­mained sus­pended last night fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions he di­rected the il­licit ac­tiv­ity which prompted a Pre­mier League in­quiry.

That in­ves­ti­ga­tion was ex­clu­sively re­vealed by The Daily Tele­graph in Septem­ber, a month af­ter the league re­ceived a let­ter – a copy of which was also sent to this news­pa­per – con­tain­ing de­tailed ac­cu­sa­tions about Wal­dron’s al­leged tap­ping up of a school­boy who now plays for Manch­ester United.

Ever­ton ad­mit­ted the claims and, af­ter set­ting up their own in­ter­nal probe, also ac­knowl­edged sim­i­lar breaches in re­la­tion to six other academy play­ers.

They even con­fessed to hav­ing pro­vided false in­for­ma­tion to the Pre­mier League when ques­tions had been raised pre­vi­ously about their re­cruit­ment of school­boys.

As well as be­ing fined and banned from sign­ing any academy player regis­tered with an­other Pre­mier League or Foot­ball League club in the pre­ced­ing 18 months, Ever­ton were or­dered to pay com­pen­sa­tion to the for­mer teams of two young­sters they had tapped up, one of which is Birm­ing­ham City.

Ever­ton said in a state­ment: “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.

“Ac­cord­ingly, we have ac­cepted the penal­ties im­posed on us by the Pre­mier League and have given them our strong­est apolo­gies.

“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.”

The let­ter sent to the Pre­mier League and The Tele­graph, which ex­clu­sively chron­i­cled last year’s Liver­pool tap­ping-up scan­dal, ac­cused Wal­dron of tap­ping up a Cardiff City school­boy and his fam­ily “to­wards the end of his un­der-11 year or early in the un­der-12 year”. It claimed the boy was of­fered a place at a school as well as “full costs paid for a rented house and a fam­ily al­lowance cash pay­ment of £600 per month”. It al­leged the trans­fer col­lapsed af­ter Wal­dron was in­formed it would not com­ply with “in­ter­na­tional clear­ance rules”, leav­ing the boy “in limbo”.

The Merseysiders had been one of the vic­tims of tap­ping up by north-west ri­vals City, who were last year handed a two-year academy trans­fer ban – the sec­ond year of which was sus­pended for three years – over their re­cruit­ment of two school­boys.

Ever­ton were al­ready fac­ing an in­de­pen­dent in­quiry into their re­cruit­ment of man­ager Marco Silva amid a bit­ter dis­pute with his for­mer club, Wat­ford.

Wal­dron did not re­spond last night to re­quests for com­ment.

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