When will this ever be over? Newcastle United could still have to pay a fee for Argentine winger Jonás Gutiérrez after his former club Real Mallorca launched a legal challenge against his summer move to Tyneside.
Jonas Gutierrez – two clubs still seeking compensation for him
Both Mallorca and Jonas’ former Argentine side Velez Sarsfield claimed to hold the player’s registration, but Jonas paid out his contract via FIFA’s Article 17, also known as the Webster ruling, and as far as we know both Jonas and Newcastle took advantage of that FIFA rule.
Essentially once the player buys out his contract, he is a free agent and that’s how Newcastle signed him.
Mallorca had rejected an £8M offer for the player from Portsmouth last January, and while that’s unlucky for the hard strapped Spanish club, that’s hardly anything to do with Newcastle. However, Mallorca insist they should have received a similar fee in compensation from Newcastle, when Gutiérrez made his move to England.
That would be nice for Mallorca but unfortunately for them, that’s not what Article 17 says.
Apparently a court date has been set by a judge for February. The case will be heard in Spain and, if successful, Newcastle will be forced to pay the money – but if that’s true then Article 17 should be made clearer.
Mallorca’s lawyer Vicente Morales said:
“Newcastle are responsible. Newcastle have signed Jonas without paying a Euro.”
Well that’s what’s called a good deal, although we must say Article 17 is very hard on the selling club, and the ruling may even be changed. However, we should be clear that as far as we know, both the player and Newcastle have followed Article 17 and done absolutely nothing wrong.
This is looking a little like the Charles N’Zogbia case with French club Le Havre, who pursued compensation for years before Newcastle had to finally pay the French club compensation.