Everton have admitted serious breaches of the rules when it comes to player recruitment.
The Premier League received information that the Merseyside club had ‘Offered inducements to a player and his family to encourage the player to register with the club’, with another nameless club losing out.
When confronted with the evidence, Everton not only admitted they were guilty, but held their hands up to another six cases where they had recruited players by similar means via cheating.
An official Premier League statement reveals that the scousers have been fined £500,000 and will be banned for two years from registering any Academy player who has been registered with another Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months.
This is a blow to Everton who have a great record of bringing young players through but will hopefully send a message to other clubs who no doubt have habitually done similar.
As another part of their punishment, Everton are also being forced to pay extra compensation to two of the clubs where they enticed players from by cheating the system.
These two clubs have not been named as yet, nor have the seven players.
However, Newcastle fans will await with interest to see if it ends up being one of their most promising young players who was enticed away, with Mike Ashley potentially set to pocket some extra compensation.
It is 16 months ago now when Newcastle were very unhappy to lose their top prospect Lewis Gibson.
The the England Under 17s defender signing for Everton (see below) in July 2017.
Official Premier League statement – 8 November 2018:
The Premier League has sanctioned Everton FC for breaching Academy player recruitment rules.
The Premier League received evidence alleging that Everton Academy staff .
When presented with this information, Everton immediately admitted the allegations and set up its own internal inquiry which established that similar misconduct had occurred in relation to six other Academy players.
In certain cases, it was found that the club provided false information to the League when questions had previously been raised about the circumstances in which Academy players registered with the club.
The club will pay a fine of £500,000 and will be banned for two years from registering any Academy player who has been registered with another Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months.
The club will also pay additional compensation payments to the former clubs of two Academy players.
Everton FC statement in response – 8 November 2018
Everton has worked alongside the Premier League over recent weeks to conduct a full and thorough investigation into allegations relating to our Academy’s operational methods in some areas of player recruitment.
In short, we are extremely disappointed with some of the practices we have found which are not in line with our values and not acceptable to Everton Football Club.
Accordingly, we have accepted the penalties imposed on us by the Premier League and have given them our strongest apologies.
We have already commenced a full review of our Academy operations and are committed to ensuring that issues like this do not happen again at Everton.
The Mag – 27 July 2017:
Everton have confirmed the transfer of top Newcastle prospect Lewis Gibson.
In a major blow for Rafa Benitez’ long-term plans, NUFC have lost the left-back who attracted the attention of all the top clubs.
Whilst the United boss is desperate to get rid of any number of unwanted first team squad players, he most definitely didn’t want to lose the 17 year old Geordie defender.
Sadly Rafa paying the price for what has gone on before he arrived at Newcastle United, with Lewis Gibson declaring ‘Everton is a brilliant club and when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to be part of it’.
The youngster’s statement showing just how far Newcastle still need to go before they can convince any young player, especially local ones, that St James Park has everything to offer.
No news of what the transfer was but previous reports have claimed it is around the £6m mark, with potentially some of that dependent on making so many appearances.
Everton Official Announcement:
Everton have completed the signing of highly-rated 17-year-old defender Lewis Gibson from Premier League rivals Newcastle United.
The defender has agreed a three-year contract with the Blues and will link up with David Unsworth’s Under-23s squad.
A product of Newcastle’s Academy, Gibson was a regular starter in the north east club’s Under-18s side last season and, after impressing, he was promoted to their reserve team.
His form for the Magpies earned him a call-up to England’s Under-17s side for this summer’s European Championships in which he was an ever-present as the Young Lions were beaten on penalties in the final by Spain.
“Everton is a brilliant club and when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to be part of it,” Gibson said.
The reputation has long been there that Everton brings through young players. You only have to look at the likes of Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny and several others who are battling for first-team places to know this.
“I’m a player who is willing to put my body on the line, the kind of defender who likes to tackle and is not afraid. I’m excited to be part of things here and I want to continue developing as a player. This is where I want to be.”
Gibson becomes the fifth summer addition to Everton’s Premier League 2-winning Under-23s squad following the arrivals of defender Nathangelo Markelo, forwards Anton Donkor and Boris Mathis and winger Josh Bowler.