Thursday, 3 September 2009
Well that brightened up an otherwise dull day on Sky Sports News didn't it??
FIFA have come down on hard on Chelsea for inducing 18-year-old Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens and move to London two years ago (full details here).
Well my first thoughts were: about bloody time.
We hear time and time again stories of clubs, usually the big four, luring kids barely out of nappies away from their home country to sign for them with blatant dis-regard to the rights of the parent club.
It is 'tapping up' basically and up until now had gone largely unpunished. I am glad that FIFA have not only decided to act but dealt out a punishment that will actually act like a deterrent - a fine will have no affect.
Smaller clubs rely on their youth academies to survive with players who break into the first team sold for a handsome profit. Where is their motivation is their best prospects are tapped up at younger and younger ages? And how long will they survive if their best players are taken from them before they can command a transfer fee?
It is just another example of the big clubs slowly squeezing the smaller ones out of the picture so they can hog everything for themselves.
The problem is I predict Chelsea will appeal and have the ban swiftly over turned. The big four have so much influence now I have no doubt they will lean on the right senior members within FIFA and have it changed. Maybe just a ban in the January window as a compromise (where I doubt they will have signed anyone anyway -its next year's window that will really hurt them)
If the ban does stay then it is a great day for football. The day FIFA finally started to tackle tight grip the power hungry and cash rich have on the game, and give some of it back to the little men.
But as ever, I have my doubts.