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Mayor of Liverpool goes to police over Barkley transfer

But why?

Arsenal v Everton - Premier League Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

UPDATE: January 10, 2018

According to the Times -

Chelsea agreed to pay agent fees said to be around £7 million in addition to the £15 million transfer fee to Everton for Ross Barkley’s signature last week.

The commission that is due to the Wasserman company pales in comparison with the £41 million fee received by Mino Raiola after the Dutch agent negotiated Paul Pogba’s £89 million transfer from Juventus to Manchester United last year but, given that it is alleged to be almost half the sum received by the club that Barkley joined as an 11-year-old, the figure may raise eyebrows at Everton.

Maybe there is something to look into after all.

Ross Barkley’s transfer to Chelsea was fishy. Let’s just get that out of the way right off the bat.

The man went in for a medical at the end of August, everyone in that medical knew he wasn’t going to be healthy to play until probably after Christmas, and on the table he backed out of the medical so that he could go back to Everton, spend six months with their medical team footing the bill for his recovering while he was collecting paychecks from them, and then he joins Chelsea anyway when he’s nearly healthy for £20m less than he had before.

In fact, when it happened, I tweeted the following:

Whether or not that’s actually true, I’ll probably never know. But I do know a few things:

1. Chelsea could have outright failed him on the medical and come back in January if he wanted, so the way things played out were weird but ultimately didn’t change anything.

2. Ross had every right to spend six more months being treated by Everton’s staff.

3. If he really wants to be a less intelligent Jack Rodwell this badly, no one can really stop him.

But Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson is convinced that more can be done in this case, and he has reportedly gotten police involved in the investigation of this transfer.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, a mayor of a major city should probably have more important things to do than worry about football transfers but (apparently) you’d be absolutely wrong.

Mayor Anderson has written a letter now made public about the transfer where he refers to himself as a lifelong Everton supporter.

Now, we do owe him a bit of respect here as a fellow Toffee, if you had the political influence to have actions taken against your club investigated by the police and the FA, wouldn’t you? (Oh, you wouldn’t? Well good for you that seems so... professional.)

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

I believe that the player has a contract and it should be honoured by both parties but clearly, the value of a player decreases as the contract runs down. It must surely concern you that the value of this player decreased so sharply, losing the selling club over £1 million per week, (plus the costs of the continuation of the player’s wages).

Had he left at the end of the season, it is clear he could then have departed on a free transfer and I accept that would and could have happened, costing Everton more. However, I believe that the circumstance of his transfer now warrants serious investigation.

There seems to me to be at least a public perception that collusion has taken place. While that may not be the case it is in your interest that this is at least looked at to reassure fans that transfers will be monitored more closely in future and that no individuals are benefitting inappropriately.

I empathize with way Mayor Anderson is saying, and as an Everton supporter I absolutely want what’s best for the club in every single transfer dealing, but I can’t help but think this is ultimately a case of a public figure acting more as a fan than as a person in his prominent role.

Ross is gone, due to his injury and the time left on his contract, Chelsea had all the leverage in this deal. We can’t win them all, but that doesn’t mean we need the FA or the police investigating the ones we don’t win.

I really appreciate Mayor Anderson’s support of the Toffees, but I think his actions here are misguided.