Manchester City have been accused of creating a “fake” job for the father of a young player they were hoping would sign for the club, sending thousands of pounds to his family.
The Athletic reports that Brazilian playmaker Gabriel Fernando Almeida, now 24 years old, joined City as an academy player in 2011, aged 14, where he was regarded as one of the world’s most exciting young players.
He had previously trained with Sporting Lisbon and Tottenham Hotspur and even occasionally trained with the senior team at the age of just 15.
But he only stayed at the club for three years before moving back to Brazil to play for Corinthians and his career petered out when he signed for English non-league side Stretford Paddock in October of last year.
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However The Athletic claims that City could have breached Premier League rules by handing Almeida’s father a fake scouting role in the academy as a way to send money to their family.
They say the role was created to increase payments to the player’s family while he was under the age of 16 and they have seen payslips between September 2011 and June 2012 confirming a payment of around £1,000 ($1,755) each month.
Almeida Snr told The Athletic: “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 there at the course. It was inside Manchester City.”
In a statement in response to the story, Manchester City said the club “refutes any wrongdoing and entirely rejects the claims that have been made”.