Arsenal have been hit with a £60,000 fine after the FA found them guilty of breaching football agent regulations.
The saga, which started not long after Calum Chambers was signed from Southampton after an uninvolved party allegedly made a complaint sees both the Gunners and the agent, Alan Middleton, warned over their future conduct. Middleton has also been sanctioned for breaching the regulations, fined £30,000 and suspended from all agent activities for three months, suspended for 18 months.
Arsenal pleaded guilty to part of the breach while an additional part was found to be ‘not proven’ when the club challenged the accusation.
From reading the associated documents, and with the FA calling on previous cases for precedent, problems arose with the AG1 form as well as the people involved in the negotiations.
Philip Ercolano was not eligible for work with the FA so asked Middleton to work as an intermediary. However, Ercolano got involved in the negotiations which was not permitted and led to the problems with both guilty parties being accused of not carrying out the necessary checks on Ercolano.
The FA also said
“The Commission has found that both the Club and MA were negligent in their dealings that gave rise to the respective charges against them and which they have either pleaded guilty to (in the Club’s case), or been found guilty of (in both cases). In our judgement, their conduct went beyond mere inadvertence, but that there was no intention on the part of either the Club or AM to mislead or misrepresent the true position to The FA, either at the time of the transaction or subsequently.
“The breaches in this case were serious. They were committed in the context of a high value and high profile transfer, generating significant transfer and agency fees. Such transfers are conducted in the full glare of the media and attract greater attention and scrutiny. Ultimately, though, the most significant factor for us to take into account when considering the sanctions to be imposed for a breach of the Regulations is the seriousness of the breaches and the degree of culpability of the Participants, together with any other relevant aggravating and/or mitigating factors’.”