Everton manager David Moyes has called for an overhaul of the rules regarding the transfer of young players. His side face Fulham today with something of a new-look side with £22million (Dh134m) of new signings available for selection. But it was another transfer, that of 16-year-old Luke Garbutt from Leeds, which caused controversy this week, with the League One club unhappy about the amount of compensation they were awarded by a tribunal.
While Everton acted entirely within the rules, Chelsea were banned from registering any new players for the next two transfer windows after Fifa found them guilty of inducing a French teenager to breach his contract with Lens two years ago. Fifa have also told Chelsea they cannot recall any players on season-long loans under the terms of their transfer ban. The London club's actions led to a slew of allegations against Premier League clubs regarding signings of young players,
And Moyes believes the whole area needs new regulation. He said: "Should clubs be able to take players away from their clubs at such a low age? It has to be looked into. "There should be set prices for younger players. When I managed Preston I got annoyed when we lost players and just got a bit of compensation. "Now I am at a big club, we go to clubs to try to sign their players, so I have a foot in both camps.
"But if we are going to have smaller clubs that prosper, we have to have rules that let them keep their players for longer. "Clubs like Everton and Liverpool used to buy players from the likes of Burnley and Chester. "But that does not happen so much now, and is that because the big clubs are signing the younger players earlier? "Maybe we should do something about the money that goes out of the game to agents. We should legislate to not allow them to control a player until he is 18."
Everton hope to put the controversy behind them and build on their first league win of the campaign a fortnight ago when an injury-time penalty beat Wigan. Moyes will have new boys Sylvain Distin, John Heitinga and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on show at Craven Cottage. Moyes says: "Fulham is always a hard place to go. Roy Hodgson has done a really good job and put together an excellent team that is well organised.
"It did not surprise me that he has produced a good team at Fulham, you just need to look at where he has worked and the quality of teams he has managed." Hodgson expects negotiations over a new contract for highly-rated Norwegian centre-half Brede Hangeland to speed up now the transfer window has closed. Hangeland had been linked with a big-money move to Arsenal while Everton and Liverpool were also reported to be interested, Hodgson has stated no bids were received during the summer, paving the way for a new deal.
"I believe Hangeland's agent, who has been waiting until the end of the transfer window, is quite keen to sit down with the chief executive to discuss his contract," Hodgson said. * PA Sport Fulham v Everton, KO 7.15pm, Showsports 1 & 2