Jeremy Helan is still trying to establish in the French courts that the pre-contract he signed as a 13 year old with Rennes is invalid. According to The Independent, the case has now reached a French labour tribunal after being rejected by the French League commissions and the French Olympic Committee.
The disputed pre-contract stated that a two year contract would be triggered if Helan represented France while at the Clairefontaine academy. He did, skippering the under-16 side. Speaking yesterday, the Rennes technical director, Pierre Dreossi, stated:
“We had a meeting with Manchester United and they made us an offer about this player.
“We discussed the offer once but United [realised the position] and said: ‘It is not possible to make a deal with you as you do not want to sell.’ They said, ‘fair play,’ and it was closed but the player went in secret to Manchester City.
“Our letters to City said it was not possible to sign him as he was our player. City have played him anyway but they can’t. It’s forbidden. He has a contract with us and can’t have a contract with two clubs. We told them that.”
Apparently letters were sent to City’s George Davies (City’s solicitor), Garry Cook, and Khaldoon al Mubarak. However, City are currently sticking to their guns according to The Independent:
City remain confident that they acted entirely within the bounds of football law in the new case. Legal advice was sought on the validity of the original contract, which HÃƒÂ©lan signed at the age of 13 before heading for the French Football Federation’s (FFF) famed Clairefontaine academy, and the response is understood to include the conclusion that it was void on at least three grounds.
What these grounds are, remains unknown. As I said yesterday, City would look to be ok if Helan wins his latest legal case, but given he has already lost two, this can hardly be said to be a given.
If he loses the case, then City may be in trouble as FIFA and Platini seem to be cracking down on the big Premier League clubs while they seek to pass new regulations on the movements of young players.
One thing to bear in mind is that the Kakuta case, for which Chelsea have just been found guilty, dates from 2007. Dreossi himself said that the Heron case may take years to resolve. If during this time City looked like losing, could we just use our wealth to come to a financial settlement with Rennes, and get them to drop the charges?
It may not be the most ethical solution, but it would surely be better for City than a transfer ban.