Leeds could be hit with a transfer ban if ‘things don’t go right for them’ at their Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing, sports journalist Pete O’Rourke has warned.
The Whites are locked in a dispute with Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig over the transfer of Jean-Kevin Augustin in January 2020.
The loan deal included an obligation to buy if the Whites won promotion to the Premier League. Marcelo Bielsa’s side did win the Championship, but only after a pandemic-enforced suspension.
Leeds believe that the delay freed them of their obligation and argued that ‘financial restrictions caused by the pandemic meant they could not meet the fee’ (via BBC Sport).
FIFA ruled in Leipzig’s favour last summer, demanding that the Yorkshire outfit pay the £18m sum, but Leeds have appealed.
CAS heard the case in Switzerland last week, with a verdict expected in ‘several weeks’.
Speaking to GiveMeSport, O’Rourke pointed out that £18m could represent a sizeable chunk of Leeds’ transfer budget, but worse still, he suggested that Jesse Marsch’s side may even be prevented from doing any business at all.
He warned: “If things don’t go right for them at this Court of Arbitration hearing over the Augustin thing, it could really bite into their transfer budget for next season or there could even be a transfer embargo, which would be a disaster for Leeds United.”
Leeds are currently 16th in the Premier League, so it’s not difficult to imagine the potential consequences of such an embargo.
If their rivals are able to strengthen through recruitment and the Whites aren’t, that could hamper their chances of top-flight survival, assuming they stay up by the end of the current campaign.
One source of frustration for Leeds and Marsch will be that, considering all the hassle over the court case, Augustin barely made an impact at Elland Road. He played just 48 minutes across three Championship appearances, failing to score in his brief stay at the club.
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