Ricky Alvarez Case Set for Player Status Committee - What does this Mean for Sunderland?

Italian media reported last week that the the case of Ricky Alvarez is due before FIFA’s Player Status Committee this week for the first in a series of meetings in the saga to decide his future.

by Brandon_Rawlin Monday, 14 March 2016 01:03 PM Comments
Italian media reported last week that the the case of Ricky Alvarez is due before FIFA’s Player Status Committee this week for the first in a series of meetings in the saga to decide his future. 
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Italian media reported last week that the long-protracted dispute between Sunderland and Internazionale will have some kind of progression this week.

With €10.5m at stake Sunderland can ill afford a less than favourable outcome and will be especially keen to avoid further boardroom embarrassment. The 27 year old has featured in seven Serie A matches for Sampdoria this season. The Blucerchiati are unbeaten in their last three games, in which Alvarez has started in a forward position behind the strikers.

Reportedly settled in Genoa, Alvarez has received praise in the Italian media for how he has handled himself during the protracted dispute between Sunderland and Inter Milan, regaining match fitness, form and confidence.

The Player Status Committee is FIFA’s tribunal for adjudicating on disputes over the ownership of the registration of footballers. It may yet decide that Sunderland hold the registration of Alvarez. The committee follows a court style format whereby parties will present evidence leading to a final decision and will typically pass judgement on up to fifty club vs club disputes each year. 

The Committee is made up of members from FIFA countries, the two English representatives being Ivan Gazidas, Chief Executive of Arsenal and Geoff Thompson of the FA. Thompson was recently seen on the BBC’s Panorama exposes of FIFA corruption where he was described as ‘Uncle Albert’ and a ‘useful idiot’, such was his seemingly naïve and oblivious stance to what went on around him.

The debate will rest upon the agreement made between Sunderland and Inter and the nature of the option to buy clause. It will take a few more weeks yet before the FIFA committee make a decision. Sunderland likely arguing the player’s injury status at the time of the option rendered him ‘unfit for purpose’ and that they retained the right to assess his physical condition before committing to a permanent transfer. 

With the exit of Margaret Byrne it remains unclear who is heading the Sunderland case. Ryan Sachs, recently promoted from Club Secretary to Football Operations Director, is now the most senior member of staff at the club with responsibility for footballing business and administrative matters but it may be that the club have a ready-made scapegoat in the form of its former legal eagle CEO.
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