·4 November 2022
·4 November 2022
Leeds United have been left “surprised and disappointed” after losing an appeal against Fifa’s ruling over Jean-Kevin Augustin, which leaves them with a €21 million (£18m) bill to pay RB Leipzig.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) sided with the German club, which should lead to an opening instalment of €6.7m (£5.85m) for the striker, who spent six months on loan at Elland Road in 2020.
The disagreement stems from the initial loan to Leeds ending on 30 June, 2020, with a ‘purchase obligation’ for the player should Leeds achieve promotion to the Premier League.
Leeds were promoted from the Championship, but did so after the traditional end of season due to the Covid campaign, with Augustin returning to his parent club.
A Fifa hearing in June 2021 sided with Leipzig’s claim, with a Cas statement reading: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has issued its decision today in the arbitration procedure between Leeds United Football Club (LUFC) and RasenBallsport Leipzig GmbH (RB Leipzig) concerning the decision issued on June 1, 2021 by the Single Judge of the Players’ Status Committee of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) (the Challenged Decision) which upheld RB Leipzig’s claim to be paid a transfer fee by LUFC in accordance with the “Purchase Obligation” included in the loan agreement concluded between the clubs and the player Jean-Kévin Augustin (the Player).
“The CAS Panel in charge of the matter has dismissed the appeal filed by LUFC and confirmed the Challenged Decision in its entirety, including the obligation of LUFC to pay to RB Leipzig the first instalment of the transfer fee, i.e. EUR 6’740’174.”
It added: “Following an exchange of written submissions, the CAS Panel held a hearing with the parties on March 15, 2022. Further to its deliberations, the Panel held the Purchase Obligation had been triggered at the end of the 2019-2020 season, even though the season had concluded later than expected due to the disruption caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and confirmed the Challenged Decision in full, including the obligation of LUFC to pay to RB Leipzig the first instalment of the transfer fee, the two other instalments being not due yet, at the time of the FIFA procedure.”
A Leeds statement said: “Leeds United are surprised and disappointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision, which not only contradicts the language and meaning of the contract but also the practices adopted in European football under FIFA regulations, due to the unique impact of the extensions to the season necessitated by Covid postponements.
“The club will now review carefully all of its legal options with a view to an immediate appeal. We will make no further comment at this time.”
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