Barcelona in more off-field bother: Bolton Wanderers claim Marcos Alonso development fee
Bolton are the second club to call into question Alonso’s move from Premier League club Chelsea to Barça last summer.
Barcelona have yet more off-field bother to contend with as former Premier League club Bolton Wanderers have joined Madrid-based Unión Adarve, who play in the fourth tier of the Spanish soccer pyramid, in reporting the Catalans to FIFA following their signing of Marcos Alonso from Chelsea last summer. The defender played for the two clubs earlier in his career and both claim they are due a development fee from his current employers, which they haven’t received. FIFA have already heard the cases put forward by Barça and Adarve but haven’t yet reached a final ruling.
Didn’t Barcelona sign Alonso on a free transfer from Chelsea?
The current system deployed by FIFA means that a small percentage of any player’s transfer fee must go to clubs he or she represented at youth-team level after the age of 12. Alonso spent the majority of his youth career at the Real Madrid academy but also turned out for Adarve, while he later left Los Blancos to sign for Bolton when he was 19, an age at which he still qualified as a youth player. The English side, who now played in League One, two levels below the Premier League, now claim they are due training compensation, even though Barcelona announced the arrival of Alonso on a free transfer from Chelsea. Neither Bolton nor Unión Adarve believe that to be the case, however.
Aubemeyang and Alonso: one deal or two?
Adarve filed a complaint to FIFA over a month ago, with their case handled by Jorge Vaquero, previously a legal advisor to the Spanish Soccer Federation and FIFA who now runs V Sports Legal Firm. They believe Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure to Chelsea and the arrival of Alonso at Camp Nou were part of the same deal and not two separate ones, arguing that the €12 million fee that the Blues paid for the Gabonese striker is significantly below his market value, which means that Alonso must also have been included in a cash-plus-player transfer.
As AS has discovered, Bolton have followed in Unión Adarve’s footsteps and also lodged a complaint with FIFA. Alonso signed for the club aged 19 in 2010 and stayed until 2013, which means they would be entitled to a development fee. FIFA could now opt to merge the two cases, with its Dispute Resolution Chamber having already heard evidence presented by Adarve and Barcelona, who could be forced to compensate both clubs.