Everton handed two-year ban from signing academy players after illegal pursuit of Cardiff City youngster

Samuel Lovett
The ban will prevent Everton from signing players aged between 10 and 18 for their academy sides until November 2020: Getty

Everton have been handed a two-year ban from signing academy players and fined £500,000 for illegally pursuing schoolboys.

The ban will prevent Everton from signing players aged between 10 and 18 for their academy sides until November 2020.

After admitting to tapping up the Cardiff City youngster, a subsequent internal inquiry at Everton found club insiders guilty of similar misconduct in relation to six other academy players.

Everton's head of academy recruitment, Martin Waldron, has been suspended.

According to The Times, the Premier League said that Everton had also provided “false information” when questioned over the circumstances in which academy players registered with the club.

In a statement addressing the ban, Everton said: “Everton has worked alongside the Premier League over recent weeks to conduct a full and thorough investigation into allegations relating to our academy’s operational methods in some areas of player recruitment.

“In short, we are extremely disappointed with some of the practices we have found which are not in line with our values and not acceptable to Everton Football club. Accordingly, we have accepted the penalties imposed on us by the Premier League and have given them our strongest apologies.

“We have already commenced a full review of our academy operations and are committed to ensuring that issues like this do not happen again at Everton.”

A Premier League statement read: “The Premier League received evidence alleging that Everton academy staff offered inducements to a player and his family to encourage the player to register with the club.

"When presented with this information, Everton immediately admitted the allegations and set up its own internal inquiry which established that similar misconduct had occurred in relation to six other Academy players."


Everton’s interest in the Cardiff youngster would go on to collapse before he later joined Manchester United.

Liverpool and Manchester City have both been handed bans from signing academy players for illegal pursuits in recent seasons.