Arsenal have been fined £60,000 and warned over their future conduct after breaching Football Agent Regulations in the transfer of Calum Chambers from Southampton, the Football Association has announced.
Chambers moved from Saints to the Gunners in July 2014 for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £11million.
Agent Alan Middleton was fined £30,000 and suspended for three months for his part in the same matter.
A statement from the FA read: “Arsenal have been fined £60,000 and warned as to their future conduct after breaching The FA’s Football Agent Regulations.
“The charge was in relation to the transfer of Calum Chambers from Southampton to Arsenal on July 26, 2014.
“Arsenal admitted part of the breach but denied another, which was found not proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission.
“The charges against Mr Middleton, which he denied, were found proven.”
The written reasons for the sanctions described the incident as a classic case of “fronting”, where an unauthorised and unlicensed agent was involved.
A statement from Arsenal read: “We acted in good faith throughout in this transfer and had no reason to believe that the player’s representative was not authorised to be involved in the transfer negotiations.
“The FA fully recognised that there was no intention to mislead on Arsenal’s part.
“We have improved our procedures to prevent this happening again.”
Middleton was warned to his future conduct, sanctioned for breaching regulations, fined £30,000 and “suspended from all agency/intermediary activity for a period of three months”.
However, the suspension is suspended for 18 months from October 23, 2015 “unless he commits an offence contrary to the agents regulations or The FA’s regulations on working with intermediaries during this time,” the FA said.
Responding to the outcome, Middleton, of Cassius Sports Management, said: “I am pleased that the FA commission found that the only case to answer was a minor procedural error which was a genuine oversight by ourselves and Arsenal Football Club.
“As a company we take our responsibilities extremely seriously and it was pleasing to see that the commission acknowledged that at all times we acted in the best interests of the player and cooperated fully with the commission’s investigation.
“Lessons have been learned and we have implemented measures going forward that would ensure such an error could not happen again.”