The Liverpool tapping-up scandal was finally resolved on Wednesday after the club and Premier League agreed to pay the school fees and compensation of the 13-year-old victim. More than a year after the Anfield side’s illicit pursuit of the unnamed schoolboy left his family in thousands of pounds of debt and him unable to play academy football until Stoke City were paid £49,000, they and the league reached an out-of-court settlement with his parents. The club, who were banned from signing academy players from other league teams over the saga as well as being fined £100,000, faced being sued by the boy’s family following the collapse of a deal to sign him from Stoke that would have seen them cover his school fees.
An investigation into Manchester City’s conduct involving youth players is “ongoing”, Fifa has confirmed. A day after it emerged Chelsea were being probed over a potential breach of the governing body’s regulations, City were revealed to be under similar scrutiny. The club denied any knowledge of the investigation on Wednesday and questioned whether it was the same inquiry into their recruitment of Benjamin Garre from Velez Sarsfield, which was exclusively revealed by Telegraph Sport a year ago.
Scottish football encounters with top-class English Premiership outfits tend to come along every five years or so, and finish with a crucial reminder to English supporters that just because their club belongs to one of the richest leagues in the world, it doesn’t automatically confer class, style or a sense of decorum. Which, as every Scottish football fan will tell you, is a reminder that remains essential. There has always been a sense that English supporters look down on Scottish football, clearly marking the Scottish teams as nothing but an easy game for those bigger clubs. Or perhaps its even just simply because they are tired of all the stories about how some of the great English sides in the 1960s and 70s had Scottish skill and determination.