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Page last updated at 11:14 GMT, Sunday, 6 September 2009 12:14 UK

Taylor supports U18 transfer ban

Gael Kakuta
Kakuta, 18, joined Chelsea from French side Lens in 2007

The movement of under-18 footballers between clubs should be outlawed, says player's chief Gordon Taylor.

Chelsea have been hit by a transfers ban by Fifa in a row over their signing of young winger Gael Kakuta from Lens.

"There's been a general feeling that a ban on movement of players under the age of 18 would be better for the game," Taylor told 5 Live's Sportsweek.

"Football is about competition. You can't have all the best youngsters at the biggest, richest clubs."

As well as being chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Taylor is president of its international equivalent FiFPro which backs a ban on players leaving their first club for another before they turn 18.

He added: "You need to encourage clubs, if they're going to have youth development programmes, to be able to pick out the lads and have some time with them.

"If they do move on, which may be inevitable you need a system whereby proper, effective compensation is paid.

"At the end of the day you can't stop people moving but it's about fair compensation.

"I don't think this situation with Chelsea would have reached the stage it has now if compensation had been agreed between the two clubs."

Fifa has ruled that Chelsea cannot sign players until January 2011 after finding them guilty of inducing Kakuta to break his contract with Lens.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there were some more cases," Taylor told Sportsweek. "This will give encouragement to other clubs to make appeals."

Manchester United are one club who could face an investigation after it emerged that another French club, Le Havre, are going to ask Fifa to look into Paul Pogba's move to Old Trafford last month.

Although, Fifa says they are yet to receive any complaint over the transfer of the 16-year-old midfielder and United told BBC Sport last month that Le Havre's accusations that they had stolen the French youngster were "complete nonsense".

Their best argument it is to show they did not induce a breach of contract and the factual basis of the charge is not fair

Mark Gay, Lawyer with DLA Piper

Taylor said the movement of young players between clubs is a problem issue, not least because of the pitfalls facing the many who do not make the grade.

He added that it could affect the whole Premier League as a result of the superior financial resources available to English clubs and the competition this fosters.

"It (tapping up) happens throughout the world, it's just that the Premier League has the most money and are able to attract the very best players in the world," he said.

"Every Premier League club has an extensive network abroad now in the search for talent and its becoming more pressurised and as a result people will cut corners."

As it stands, European law prevents players from signing formal contracts tying them to clubs before their 16th birthday meaning that the club is in danger of losing him to another team when he turns 16.

This is further complicated by the fact that different nations are governed by different rules and sporting jurisdiction is sometimes at odds with employment law.


Chelsea have insisted they will "mount the strongest appeal possible" to Fifa's punishment and say the sanctions against them are "totally disproportionate to the alleged offence".

Mark Gay, a lawyer for DLA Piper, who specialise in Sports Law, believes Chelsea have two possible avenues of appeal: to argue that they did not induce any breach of contract, or alternatively to argue the sanction laid down in 17.4 of the Fifa regulation on the transfer and movement of players is disproportionate in their case.

"Their best argument it is to show they did not induce a breach of contract and the factual basis of the charge is not fair," suggested Gay on Sportsweek.

"I think an argument based on it being disproportional is going to be very difficult to maintain in circumstances where article 17.4 makes very clear that any club that induces a breach of contract is banned from being involved for two registration periods."

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see also
Transfer embargo hope for Chelsea
05 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea angered by signings ban
04 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Man Utd deny 'stealing' youngster
01 Aug 09 |  Man Utd
New-boy Cole defends Chelsea move
08 Sep 06 |  Chelsea
Chelsea will not fight Cole fine
15 Jun 05 |  Chelsea

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Taipei Times Online PFA head advocates ban on transfer of under-18s - 53 mins ago
Irish Times City reported to Fifa over Helan signing - 2 hrs ago
First Post Big Four accused of poaching Euro teens - 3 hrs ago United warn Le Havre over Pogba - 5 hrs ago
Adelaide Now Transfer fracas: United threat to sue French club - 9 hrs ago


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