UEFA and the Courtois saga
Now UEFA has reared its ugly head with a ruling that is all too baffling. No we are not afraid of what protection Courtois might offer Atletico Madrid. No we do not want to deny the tournament one of its rising stars. No we do not intend to bring the game to disrepute, but a contract is a contract and is legal especially when it wasn’t signed under duress. I do not have the full law mumbo jumbo crammed but I don’t believe a ruling body can just decide whatever it likes and void a written clause.
UEFA if I believe is all too aware of transfers and negotiations and must have been privy to Courtois’ contract or rather Atletico Madrid’s agreement with Chelsea. To wait till this moment to make a ruling on it is bad faith (maybe Platini didn’t think Chelsea would get this far). A statement from UEFA said: ‘The integrity of sporting competition is a fundamental principle for UEFA. Both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations contain clear provisions which strictly forbid any club to exert, or attempt to exert, any influence whatsoever over the players that another club may (or may not) field in a match.
‘It follows that any provision in a private contract between clubs which might function in such a way as to influence who a club fields in a match is null, void and unenforceable so far as UEFA is concerned.
‘Furthermore, any attempt to enforce such a provision would be a clear violation of both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations and would therefore be sanctioned accordingly.’
Now that’s just a load of balderdash. Atletico would have to cough out that money. I believe it just might be part of the cash we use to broker a deal for Costa. UEFA wants to set a precedent that could do more harm than good for football deals. I want Courtois to play more than anything and I would gladly remove the clause but we have to do what’s best for business and Chelsea. He plays and they pay in whatever form Chelsea deem fit.