PFA CEO Supports U18 Transfer Ban

By: Steve Sutcliffe |
07/09/09 |
Gordon Taylor, PFA Chief Executive

The PFA’s Chief Executive Gordon Taylor has said the movement of Under-18 footballers between Clubs should be outlawed.

Chelsea have been hit by a transfers ban by Fifa until January 2011 after finding them guilty of inducing young winger Gael Kakuta to break his contract with French side 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 BBC Radio 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.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some more cases,” Taylor told Sportsweek. “This will give encouragement to other Clubs to make appeals.”

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.

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 complicated further by the fact that different nations are governed by different rules.