Manchester United might be next to face a transfer ban if Le Havre has its way with its claim that the Premiership club induced Paul Pogba to break his contract with the French Ligue 2 side in the same way that Gael Kakuta broke his contract with Lens when he was brought to Stamford Bridge. In Lens case, FIFA upheld their claim and Chelsea has been banned from entering the transfer market for two transfer periods.
A sense of expediency when developing youth programs:
At Chelsea, Frank Arnesen has been under tremendous pressure to develop a youth system similar to that of Arsenal, Man Utd, and West Ham. Roman Abramovich has shown less patience with the slower route of direct scouting for talent which would take ten years to bear fruition.
A more expedited model would involve foreign clubs with reputed youth programs and academies as a ready made source for that talent. The talent has already been developed at considerable expense and the richer and more aggressive English league are ready to move in and entice these young players to spurn their services to the parent club with incentives that border on bribes. Today's Chelsea squad can only boast Frank Lampard and John Terry who have come up the ranks.
Even as highly rated a youth program as Arsenal's suffers from comparison to the ones in La Liga. Cesc Fabregas arrival at Highbury in 2003 came under great controversy as he essentially walked away from Barcelona's La Masia which is considered the worldwide gold standard in developing young players.
Barca received no compensation because he had not signed a pre-contract. Barca was better prepared in Fran Merida's case and he was ordered by a Spanish court to pay €3.2million for failing to sign a pre-contract with Barca. In both instances it was the lure of making the first squad and more money that proved attractive. The Gunners can point to Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs on the cusp of making the first squad as examples of their development program bearing dividends but when you compare to Barca it is slim pickings indeed.
In comparison, Barca boasted seven players in their squad from La Masia that won them the CL title.
The English in short have resorted to expediency preferring to use oversea surrogates to spend money and develop talent so that they can swoop in and pick up these players at very little cost. In doing so, they undermine their own youth systems and gain notoriety as poachers.
Other additional factors.
A new economic model:
A corollary to the first one. The new model is to catch players when very young, paying a pittance and in about six to seven years while at his peak, sell him off for millions of pounds. Man Utd has gone about formalizing this process by imposing a 26 years of age cut off for player transfers. Dimitar Berbatov was the last one to be taken over the age limit.
The big sums of money made through transfers is an effective and proven way of writing down debt and adding to the transfer budget without taking out loans. Arsenal has already made it clear that this is how they will conduct business in future by selling off players to the highest bidders at the right time. So far it has brought rich dividend for both Man Utd and Arsenal. Chelsea and Liverpool have yet to hit such high notes.
Players like Gael Kakuta, Paul Pogba, and Fran Merida are part of this new business model. If you can poach cheap foreign talent and get a 500% rate of return by slapping on a Chelsea club label, then why not. Compunction is over rated.
The inflated transfer market:
The new vulnerability for these clubs is that they will always lose in the bidding wars with newly rich clubs like City and their bottomless coffers or to a club like Real Madrid that is granted ridiculously low interest loans, pays less taxes, which frees up enormous amounts of transfer money. The Premiership other than City made relatively low key purchases.
Instead over the years players players with enormous talent have been brought in as viable candidates for future first squad selection, for e.g., Rafael at Man Utd is already seeing considerable action. The supply and demand keep the system lubricated as older players retire or change clubs.