Grassroots clubs missing out

Senrab FC believe they are eligible under FIFA laws on international transfers, and they have submitted evidence that Defoe was registered with them at the age of 12 to their legal representatives.

Club secretary Tony Carroll has told Sky Sports News HQ that for money to be released the FA must include Senrab on Defoe’s player passport – a document listing clubs a player has previously been registered with.

“We need them to look at our evidence and decide because, in our view, the evidence is clear,” said Carroll.

If the national governing body is unable to resolve the matter, a club can refer it to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber.

Charlton Athletic – Defoe’s first professional club – has already received a solidarity contribution following his move from Tottenham to Toronto.

“We have appropriate documentation signed by the FA which confirms that Jermaine Defoe was registered with the club since 1992,” a Charlton spokesperson told Sky Sports News HQ.

“Solidarity has already been paid to Charlton based on the strength of this document following Jermain’s transfer to Toronto FC from Tottenham Hotspur.?? A further payment is also due based on his subsequent transfer from Toronto to Sunderland.?? We are currently in discussions with the FA and hope they will make the appropriate ruling in our favour shortly.”

Carroll says his club’s future could depend on this.

“This could save our football club. We are drowning and we cannot afford to carry on the way that we are,” he said of the club that helped nurture the likes of John Terry, Ledley King and Bobby Zamora.

“We are assisting the FA with further enquiries in to Jermain’s registration history so that his player passport can be updated. He was registered with us during the period protected by FIFA’s rules.”

FIFA laws on solidarity contributions for international transfers are not commonly known in grassroots circles according to Carroll.

“We knew nothing about this until a sports lawyer phoned me to ask if I knew this rule was in place, and I didn’t. From the time of the transfer you get 18 months to make the claim.?? The grassroots clubs I have spoken to know nothing about this ruling.?? I suspect there are clubs out there that have lost out on a lot of money,” he added.

Transfers between England and Scotland also fall into the category of international transfers. Wallsend Boys Club, where Fraser Forster played youth football, did benefit financially from his move from Newcastle to Celtic and then again from Celtic to Southampton.

No junior team gained from Gareth Bale’s reported world record transfer to Real Madrid. That’s because Bale signed for Southampton at the age of nine and the rule stipulates a player must be registered between the ages of 12-23.

An FA spokesperson said: “We are aware of representations made by Senrab, but this remains a FIFA matter at its heart.”

FIFA said: “In case of a dispute on the alleged entitlement and/or payment of the solidarity contribution, a training club claiming such entitlement may refer the matter to FIFA for consideration.”

“However, FIFA will only be in a position to deal with the matter in case of a relevant claim submitted by an interested club against the player’s new club.”

“For the time being, we do not seem to have been formally contacted with respect to this matter.”