“I thought it was just there for decoration,” said director of football Txiki Begiristain
The Premier League has given Man City a two-year academy transfer ban and fined them £300,000 for improper conduct related to the signing of two youth-team players, ages 11 and 15.
From ESPN FC:
The statement said City “will be prohibited from registering any academy players in the under-10 to under-18 age range who have been registered with a Premier League or EFL club in the preceding 18 months.”
It added: “This ban will last for two years. The period of this ban from 30 June 2018 onwards will be suspended for three years to be activated in the event of any similar breach by the club.
These sanctions likely won’t have much of an impact on City’s first team, as Kelechi Iheanacho is just about the only member of the squad to have spent any time in the club’s own academy. And his spell there was a brief one.
City opened a state-of-the-art £200 million academy in 2014.
“We have players there?!” said a shocked Txiki Begiristain, Man City’s director of football, when asked for comment on the ban. “I thought it was just for decoration. Like a large statue or a bird feeder. I offer the Premier League my personal assurance that we will clear the rest of these kids out of there and we’ll do it quickly. That facility cost a lot of money and we don’t want any children messing it up.”
Asked if the ban will impact Pep Guardiola’s plans for the first team, Begiristain said, “Not at all. We’ll just spend a lot of money on the fully developed products of other clubs’ academies like we always do.”