Players’ chief Gordon Taylor believes the punishment meted out to Chelsea over the Gael Kakuta affair is “draconian” but accepts steps have to be taken to prevent the richest clubs buying up the best young talent.
Yesterday the Stamford Bridge club were banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows after FIFA found them guilty of inducing the French teenager to breach his contract with Lens two years ago.
The player, now 18, and the club were also ordered to pay compensation and Kakuta was suspended from playing for four months.
Chelsea have insisted they will launch the “the strongest appeal possible”.
Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, said the punishment was probably issued as a warning to other clubs.
“It does seem quite draconian and if they (FIFA) do that they must have felt some justification,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I know FIFA and many people in the world are worried that the biggest clubs will automatically gather the very best players.
“The worry is, if they have the best youngsters, are they going to get as good an opportunity there as somewhere else?”
Taylor also suggested the amount of money which had been brought into the game by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City with their multi-millionaire owners had distorted the way talent was recruited.
“It is a delicate situation because you get young lads who want to have the opportunity to play with these clubs,” said Taylor, who was speaking following the presentation of the PFA International Challenge Cup after a fundraising event in South Africa in aid of the charity Children Today, which purchases specialised equipment for disabled children and young people.
“But you also know there is such a fall-out rate as they are growing up and you also know the biggest clubs will be able to take any youngster they want.
“But if we want all clubs to have development programmes and be a catchment area for local quality youngsters, is it fair they don’t get good compensation if they lose those youngsters?
“Part of the job of being a football administrator is to make sure every club has an equal opportunity.
“But when there is money about – and with some clubs it has been called ’money doping’ because some have money to an infinite degree compared to others that have to watch the balance sheet – and that is not a level playing field.
“It is great for the supporters of those clubs but sometimes it makes it difficult for other clubs to compete properly.”