Fitton: Robins youngster was tapped up

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Swindon chairman Andrew Fitton has revealed he reported a Premier League club to the Football Association last season for attempting to tap up one of their bright young stars.

His revelation comes following fresh allegations from French club Rennes on Tuesday morning that Manchester City unlawfully signed one of their youngsters, 17-year-old Jeremy Helan. Chelsea were last week banned from registering players for the next two transfer windows after FIFA punished them for inducing Gael Kakuta from Lens, while a number of other cases have also hit the headlines in the past week.

Fitton has refused to name the top-flight side involved, but told the Swindon Advertiser: "We reported a club last season for tapping up. We asked for it to be held on file as we didn't want a fuss made but just for the FA to be aware of it."

He added: "Clubs make offers of houses and jobs to the parents of these kids and take them to the training ground. That sort of thing goes on and we all know it does. But we've got a very watchful eye on it and clubs should be in no doubt that if they misbehave with any of our players we won't think twice about reporting them.

"It's got to stop because it's important that the lower league clubs are allowed to develop players and bring them through the ranks. The truth is that statistically there's no evidence of any benefit of a player going to join an academy of a massive club."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Manchester City
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