Everton may not receive agreed fee from Al-Ettifaq for Demarai Gray as European rules emerge
Everton have confirmed the transfer of Demarai Gray to Saudi club Al-Ettifaq for an undisclosed fee, bringin an end to his two years at the club.
There had been an ongoing feud between the Jamaica international and manager Sean Dyche about his future, but a resolution has been found and Gray has now left the club with the club making an official announcement on Thursday morning.
But a story in The Telegraph (7 September) has set alarm bells ringing for Toffees fans, as there is nothing stopping the Saudi’s from not paying up by a certain date.
It’s been widely reported that Everton will receive around £8m for Gray, who was in the final year of his contract at Goodison Park before his exit.
Usually football club transfers are paid in instalments over the length of a player’s contract, and there are agreed dates for payments to be made. Those dates cannot be missed, as all European clubs fall under the same agreement that means if a payment isn’t made on time then the club in question is banned from domestic and European football.
This is to ensure that clubs in financial issues can’t bring other clubs into problems too by not paying them, which could then have a domino effect.
However Saudi clubs do not fall under that rule as they are not a European league, and that means there are currently no rules in place if they were to default on payments.
This summer the Saudi league combined for a total of 11% of fee paid to European clubs for players in the transfer market, a whopping £753m.
That’s a lot of money committed to being shelled out, and if over the coming years the money dries up or interest dwindles then there is nothing to stop them taking their time to pay up the remaining monies owed.
Obviously there will be contracts in place and clubs will be able to take them through the courts if it ever got to that point, but Everton’s financial situation will mean they are relying on receiving their money from sales on time and in full.
While it’s obviously unlikely that this will be an issue, the fact that the loophole is there means it can be exploited and that would be a nightmare for Everton and any other club waiting.
In other Everton news, Dyche must make DCL decision as strongest XI needs to be decided.