Arsenal win sale clause battle against FIFA at Court of Arbitration for Sport

Arsenal faced FIFA and beat them in a sell-off battle at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the club were accused of seeking to influence other clubs

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Arsenal have won a battle against FIFA in the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the use of sell clauses in several transfers.

In March, the Gunners appealed a decision by FIFA, which fined them £ 34,000 in July last year.

They were warned of their future conduct after it was claimed Arsenal were using sell clauses in transfers which gave them undue influence over other clubs.

However, FIFA’s problem was not only the existence of these clauses, but also the fact that Arsenal had not declared them in the transfer matching system used to conclude such transactions.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta


Stuart MacFarlane / Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Three years ago, in 2018, they sold striker Chuba Akpom to Greek team PAOK and winger Joel Campbell to Italian team Frosinone.

Sale clauses were included in both transactions.

For Akpom, it was reported that if PAOK sold him Arsenal would receive 30% of the fee, but that would drop to 40% if he was sold to a UK club.

Campbell had a similar clause stating that 25% of the fee would be returned to Arsenal, rising to 30% again if he left for a British club.

The argument was that the clauses encouraged clubs not to sell to UK clubs.

Last year Akpom was sold to Middlesbrough for £ 2.25million, while Campbell plays in Mexico for Monterrey on loan from Leon.

In their appeal, Arsenal claimed they never had a “real or effective ability” to influence transactions in part because the fees involved were so low.

They also claimed that the wording of the rule they were accused of breaking was unclear and that other clubs had acted in the same way.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled in favor of Arsenal, saying Arsenal did not have undue influence over the transfer.

Chuba Akpom (right) was one of the players at the center of the fury



The tribunal said: “Overall, and based on the wording of the sales clauses and the circumstances of these particular transfers, the Panel, on a balance of probabilities, is not convinced that Arsenal, at the time of the conclusion of Contract 1 and / or Contract 2, has acquired the capacity to materially influence other Clubs in matters of employment and transfer, their policies or the performance of their teams.

“In addition, and even if such an influence were to be considered as acquired when signing the respective contracts, quod non, the Panel notes, in these two transfers, that this influencer has not reached the threshold required to potentially limit unduly the independence of the Clubs.

“For the sake of order, the Formation notes that, according to the information received during the hearing, the player Joel Campbell was in fact transferred to a club in the English championship, which only supports the opinion of the Formation. according to which no element limiting the influence has ever been acquired by Arsenal.

“On the basis of the above, the Panel concludes that the sales clauses of the first contract and of the second contract do not violate the prohibition set out in article 18bis of the Rules.

“As such, the decision on appeal should therefore be overturned and the sanctions imposed on Arsenal lifted accordingly.”

The court erred in the above, claiming that Campbell was returned to England, when in fact Akpom was.

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