Manchester City have been fined £300,000 and banned from signing academy players for two years after being found guilty of tapping up two young footballers.
City now cannot sign youngsters aged between 10 and 18 who have been registered with Premier League or EFL clubs in the past 18 months. The second year of the ban is suspended for three years.
City have been hit with the sanction around a month after Liverpool were fined £200,000 and banned from signing youngsters for two years. It was ruled the Reds had broken Premier League rules by offering inducements to the family of an 11-year-old Stoke City player.
There is no suggestion City acted likewise, though it has been found the club "contravened League rules" in the process of signing an 11-year-old midfielder signed from Everton and a 15-year-old midfielder from Wolves.
“The Premier League has sanctioned Manchester City FC for breaches of its Youth Development Rules," the Premier League said in a statement. "The breaches concern approaches to two separate Academy players whilst they were each registered with another club.
“Following an investigation, the Premier League found evidence that the club’s conduct prior to applying to register the players contravened League rules. This included evidence of contact between the club and members of each academy player’s family while those academy players were still registered with their previous clubs.
“Manchester City will pay a fine of £300,000 and will be prohibited from registering any academy players in the under-10 to under-18 age range who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months. This ban will last for two years. The period of this ban from 30 June 2018 onwards will be suspended for three years to be activated in the event of any similar breach by the club.
“In each case, the academy player was conditionally registered with Manchester City while the Premier League’s investigation was ongoing. As a result of the club’s breaches, the players’ registrations will be terminated on a specified date, with no compensation rights retained by the club, and the club will not be permitted to re-register them as academy players. In addition, Manchester City has offered to pay compensation to each player’s previous club, and maintain educational provision for each player until the completion of his GCSEs.”
City declined to comment further.