Southampton Football Club have released the following statement.
During the summer, the club signed a young player from another club’s Academy. During the recruitment process, and mindful of the complex and technical nature of the rules surrounding youth development, the club sought confirmation from the Premier League regarding the timings permissible to approach that player, with a view to him visiting the club’s Staplewood Campus as part of the recruitment process.
Whilst the club stands by its belief that it did not breach any Premier League youth development rules in signing this player and nor is there definitive evidence to show that we did, the findings from the normal five-step review process completed by the Premier League on all transfers took the opposite view.
We have strongly challenged the findings of the Premier League investigation, which has determined the club communicated with the player and his representatives before permission had been granted by his club, a contravention of Premier League youth development rules. However, in the best interests of the wellbeing of the player, enabling him to join Southampton and play football for the club and his country, we have accepted a sanction from the Premier League in respect of this matter. While we may not agree with that outcome, we respect the Premier League’s decision on it.
The sanction is a fine of £10,000 and a suspended six month ban on the recruitment of Academy players currently or previously registered with another club. This sanction of a transfer embargo is suspended for a year, meaning that no ban will come into force if there are no further breaches of the youth development rules for a period of one year.
Rest assured, the club continues to follow the Premier League youth development rules to the fullest extent, something that is reflected in our recent EPPP audit, which remarked that all areas relating to our youth development programme are rated as good or very good.