Sunderland AFC have tonight issued a statement to clarify that they have infact been cleared by the FA of any wrongdoing relating to the transfer of Sean Thornton from Tranmere Rovers.
The FA cleared Sunderland of two breaches of their rule book and did not ask the club to pay any compensation to Tranmere for the transfer of the player.
The club does have to pay a £1,500 fine – but this relates only to a technicality relating to the player’s paper work.
In a statement to the club’s official website this evening, SAFC vice-chairman John Fickling would say only that he was pleased the matter had finally been resolved.
But Tranmere have attacked the FA’s decision, and slated the fine as “paltry”. The club’s chairman Lorraine Rogers said today, “The time it has take the FA to reach a decision and the paltry fine show that our regulatory system isn’t working – this level of penalty won’t be a deterrant.
“Small clubs with successful youth development programmes are not being adequately protected. Good young players can simply be picked off by bigger clubs and football’s governing body will let it happen. There should be meaningful guideline penalties in place to stop clubs manipulating the contract system.
“We will be asking the FA and the Football League to give this further consideration.”