Premier League giants Man City have been accused of creating a “fake” job at the club for the father of former academy star Gabriel Fernando Almeida. It is believed that Man City created a false scouting job for Almeida's father and violated certain Premier League rules by transferring thousands of pounds to the player's family every month to influence a decision on the player's career. However, the six-time English champions have denied any wrongdoing surrounding payments made to the Brazilian man, who claims that he didn't work for the club but still received money from them.
In 2011, Gabriel Almeida joined Man City's youth academy team as a 14-year-old. However, the Brazilian teenager was too young to be given a professional contract. Almeida was highly-rated at the time and Man City were aware that several other clubs would be keen on signing him once he turned 16.
The Premier League rules that year stated, "No club shall induce or attempt to induce a player to become registered as a student by that club by offering him, or any person connected with him, either directly or indirectly, a benefit or payment of any description whether in cash or in kind."
Almeida is now 24 and currently plays for Stretford Paddock FC, but his father has claimed that Man City transferred several thousands of pounds into his account, possibly in an attempt to influence his son.
Man City have been accused of attempting to induce Brazilian teenager to play for club by creating “fake” scouting job for his dad.— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 13, 2021
Gabriel Fernando Almeida's father received around £1k/month from Sept 2011-June 2012.
City “refute any wrongdoing".
[Via The Athletic] pic.twitter.com/uxvTVUUFhE
According to a report in The Athletic, Gabriel Almeida's father has claimed that he never actually did any work for Man City despite receiving monthly expense payments of around £1,000 between September 2011 and June 2012. Almedia Sr. did, however, admit to sitting through two separate scouting training sessions at Man City, but added that those sessions were exclusively in English – a language he does not understand.
While speaking to The Athletic, Almedia Sr. - in Portuguese - said, "The truth is that they paid me but I did not work. In truth, they tricked us because I do not speak English. They did arrange for me to take a course in scouting. I went to the classroom on two occasions, to appear at the course. It was inside Manchester City.”
Man City immediately denied the allegations levelled against them, and a spokesperson for the club said, “The limited records that exist given the nature of the work involved and the significant passage of time of almost a decade, suggest that Mr Almeida (Sr.) was a casual scout for a period within Gabriel’s time with the club, for which he was reimbursed expenses.” However, Almeida Sr. has claimed that there was no 'casual scouting' as well and he literally did nothing for the club.
It now remains to be seen whether or not the Premier League will take action against Man City. Only a few months ago, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the initial two-year UEFA ban against the club with regards to Financial Fairplay.