Manchester City has been banned by the Premier League and will not be able to sign academy players for two years, with the second year suspended. City have also been fined £300k. The punishment comes after the club was found guilty of tapping up an 11-year-old player from Everton and a 15-year-old from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The club will be under a transfer embargo and cannot sign any players registered within a Premier League or EFL team in the preceding 18 months. Officially it's a two-year ban, but the second year will be suspended for three years and imposed if any further breaches are found.
The Premier League released the following statement on the sanctions:
“The Premier League has sanctioned Manchester City FC for breaches of its Youth Development Rules. The breaches concern approaches to two separate Academy players whilst they were each registered with another club.
“Following an investigation, the Premier League found evidence that the club’s conduct prior to applying to register the players contravened League rules. This included evidence of contact between the club and members of each academy player’s family while those academy players were still registered with their previous clubs.
“Manchester City will pay a fine of £300,000 and will be prohibited from registering any academy players in the under-10 to under-18 age range who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months. This ban will last for two years. The period of this ban from 30 June 2018 onwards will be suspended for three years to be activated in the event of any similar breach by the club.
“In each case, the academy player was conditionally registered with Manchester City while the Premier League’s investigation was ongoing. As a result of the club’s breaches, the players’ registrations will be terminated on a specified date, with no compensation rights retained by the club, and the club will not be permitted to re-register them as academy players. In addition, Manchester City has offered to pay compensation to each player’s previous club, and maintain educational provision for each player until the completion of his GCSEs.”
City's ban is similar to that imposed on Liverpool in April, although the Reds had to pay only a £100k fee since their case involved just one player.
It's important to mention that the ban only involves Academy players, and City will be able to sign senior players this summer or youth players on senior contracts.