The news that Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been hit with the same transfer ban that Barcelona served in 2015 leads to the question. Is this a Spanish problem or are other teams throughout Europe engaging in the same practice in the way they bring in kids from around the world to their academies?
One person who thinks that Premier League sides are engaging in the same sort of regulations “relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18” is Real Madrid general manager Jose Angel Sanchez.
“I understand they have opened files on many European clubs” Sanchez said.
“The first was Barcelona but there are many more. I know they have initiated disciplinary proceedings against English teams but I imagine FIFA has limited resources and therefore cannot do it all at once.
“I get the feeling that over the coming years there will be one case after another.”
The success of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy has caused many of the top teams throughout Europe to attempt to set up their own version of La Masia. Roman Abramovich has invested millions in the Chelsea academy as has Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Manchester City. No longer are the top teams limiting their search for young players to their metro areas. Now scouts are looking worldwide to find the best talent. Back in 2011, Real Madrid made worldwide headlines when they signed seven-year-old Leonel Angel Coira from Argentina.
I would be surprised if at least one of the top Premier League sides is not engaging in the same sort of behavior that got the Spanish sides in trouble. And changing procedures now will not stop FIFA from penalizing clubs. FIFA said that Atlético’s violations took between 2007 and 2014, and Madrid from 2005 to 2014.
Do you think that over the next couple of years that FIFA will hand a transfer ban to a Premier League side similar to what happened in Spain?