Manchester City were slapped with a ban on signing academy players on Friday after tapping up two schoolboys.
The two-year embargo handed down by the Premier League was the same as Liverpool faced last month, with the second year suspended for three seasons.
But City’s £300,000 fine was three times that of their North West rivals in a case thought to centre on an 11-year-old from Everton and 15-year-old at Wolves.
City will not allowed to register any academy players in the Under 10 to Under 18 age range
Sportsmail understands City admitted wrongdoing once evidence was produced to them and will not be appealing the decision, which does not stop them landing targets from abroad.
A third academy transfer was being scrutinised by the Premier League but Louie Moulden – son of former City striker Paul – is free to complete his switch from Liverpool.
City were found to have contacted parents of the players too early in the recruitment process. Liverpool’s violation came by way of offering prohibited inducements to one player and his family.
The younger boy, now 12, will leave City immediately. The 15-year-old is expected to complete his GCSEs at the club’s partnered school, St Bede’s, until the summer of 2018.
City are battling it out to finish second in the Premier League 2, which has been won by Everton
City have been caught making approaches for players under the age of 18 at other clubs
FULL PREMIER LEAGUE STATEMENT
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.
‘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 they were still registered with their previous clubs.
‘Manchester City 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.
‘In each case, the academy player was conditionally registered with Manchester City while the Premier League’s investigation was ongoing.
City have been warned over their future conduct with the full length of the ban suspended
The Premier League investigated Liverpool over claims a forbidden inducement was made
WHAT IS THE RULE ON APPROACHING PLAYERS AGED UNDER 18?
By registering academy players, clubs acquire the right not to have those players approached.
The club then owes certain obligations and duties to that player under the EPPP regime, such as educational commitments and coaching hours.
A registered academy player, or a player who has a pre-registration agreement, cannot be directly or indirectly approached (or even talked about in public) by another club.
A registered academy player is also prevented from approaching other clubs himself or through his family.
There is, however, nothing to stop a club approaching an unregistered player who is training with an academy.
‘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 – whose academy has won plaudits after the club moved into a new lavish training complex in 2014 – are understood to remain on the lookout for new talent from across the continent.
Their Under 18 manager Lee Carsley suggested more new faces are set to join, claiming City’s stars of tomorrow are ‘on trial every day’.
‘We’re constantly looking around Europe for better players than what we’ve got,’ Carsley said.
‘As soon as they stop developing and stop learning they become at risk of being replaced. They’re used to it.’