Arsenal have been handed a £34,000 fine by FIFA and warned about future conduct after we inserted sell-on clauses that were found to give us influence over other clubs.
Football’s governing body specifically investigated the 2018 deals that saw Joel Campbell move to Italian side Frosinone and Chuba Akpom to Greek side PAOK. In both instances, variable sell-on rates were agreed that made it less attractive for the players to be sold back to British clubs.
The Associated Press reports that we engineered deals where we’d be eligible for 40% of a transfer fee paid by a British club for Akpom compared to 30% from any other team. For Campbell, the figures were 30% and 25% respectively.
Fifa didn’t just have a problem with the existence of the clauses but also the fact we failed to declare them in the Transfer Matching System which is used to complete deals.
Fifa disciplinary committee member Thomas Hollerer wrote: “The committee considers that, by the mere existence of these clauses, Frosinone and PAOK FC are influenced by Arsenal in employment and transfer-related matters.
“The committee considers that the relevant clauses undoubtedly grant Arsenal the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters the independence, policies and the performance of PAOK FC and Frosinone’s teams.
“It is evident that in a scenario in which PAOK FC and/or Frosinone receive two similar and/or identical offers for the transfer of the relevant players, one being from a club in the United Kingdom and the other one coming from a club outside the United Kingdom.
“PAOK FC and Frosinone would be more inclined to accept the offer coming from the club outside the United Kingdom, as it would make the operation most profitable from a purely financial point of view.”
For what it’s worth, the club insists we’ve not done anything wrong and said the FA and Premier League were satisfied there was no breach of third-party influence rules.
While the fine is pretty trivial the warning that “should such infringements occur again in the future, the committee would be left with no other option than to impose harsher sanctions” is less so.
Can you imagine if we picked up a transfer ban? That would be disastrous right now.
That said, the idea of Raul Sanllehi grovelling down the phone to Arsene Wenger, now Fifa’s head of global football, is pretty amusing.
Incidentally, Joel Campbell completed a permanent move from Frosinone to Mexican side Leon, with whom he’s been playing on loan, on Thursday. Transfermarkt claim the deal was worth around £2 million.