There is news in the Daily Mirror this morning that Newcastle are coming close to reaching a settlement with Real Mallorca for Jonas Gutierrez.
Jonas Gutierrez – bought out contract at Mallorca so why new agreement?
The Argentine international bought himself out of his contract with Real Mallorca last summer, to join Newcastle in the summer.
Gutierrez left Mallorca under FIFA Article 17, the Webster ruling, which allows players under 28 years of age to buy out their contracts after three years, by paying compensation to their club.
And that seems exactly what Gutierrez and Newcastle did, so if everything is above board, what’s the problem?
Real Mallorca are annoyed because only a year ago Portmouth bid £8M for the player, but the Spanish club didn’t take it, so it seems the Newcastle deal in the summer was good for Newcastle, and within the law.
Mallorca lost out, but hey, that’s life, and you cannot then go and complain because you could have had £8M for the player eight months earlier.
If there’s something wrong with Article 17 then fix that, but surely if Newcastle and Gutierrez have abided by all the rules, which both parties say they have, then what is Real Mallorca’s case in law?
The Spanish club have hit Newcastle with a £13.2M compensation bill, which has now been pending for months.
So this is difficult to understand, and does this agreement mean there will be a precedent set, so if any player leaves under Article 17, the player’s club will then claim for compensation and cite the Gutierrez Newcastle case?
It seems the problem, if there is any, lies in Article 17 and that’s whether this rule is lawful or not.
The Daily Mirror is is saying a deal between the clubs will be finalized soon, with a fair price for the winger said to be in the region of £3M – £4M.
Only last week, Newcastle Managing Director Derek Llambias had said they paid £4M for Gutierrez, and maybe that was assuming this agreement went through.
But it’s been a mystery whether the deal Newcastle struck for the Argentine was legal or not, and if it is legal that should be it, and it’s unfortunate for Mallorca, but hard cheese on them.
What do you think?