Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel has launched a bitter attack on Manchester United over the signing of Paul Pogba this summer, claiming the player’s parents were paid off.
The French club are angry with United over what they see as the poaching of one of their brightest talents.
It is alleged that United paid €100,000 to each of his parents, as well as a house. And the player was promised bumper wages once he turned 17.
Le Havre have asked FIFA to take action against United, and want to see a repeat of the punishment handed out to Chelsea over their signing of Gael Kakuta from Lens. The Blues have been banned from signing players until 2011.
Louvel said: “They got to the parents, it was simple. €100,000 to the mother, €100,000 to the father and a house.
“I don’t see why the Pogba case should not set a legal precedent. There was an agreement that no-one should poach young players. French clubs respect that rule but English clubs do not respect anything.
“FIFA does not allow contracts longer than three years before a player has reached 18. We respect that in France, in seems that in England they don’t abide by that rule. “
The club’s managing director Alain Belsoeur claims to have proof that United offered inducements to Pogba’s parents, and is ready to present it to FIFA.
“We are still pursuing our case,” he said. “It is a very serious case. We are confident that we’ll win because it is in the best interests not just of our club but of sport. We spend €5m on our academy every year out of a turnover of €12m. It is a huge investment.
“We do that to give a chance to our players to develop for our first team, not to be an academy for others. What is the point of investing in an academy if the players leave at 16? This is clearly a message from FIFA to protect the education system.”