David Beckham’s MLS side Inter Miami fined $2MN for violating so-called ‘Beckham rule’ to sign French star Matuidi
David Beckham's Inter Miami have been handed a $2 million fine for violating MLS rules in the signing of French World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi after they were found to have violated the so-called 'Beckham rule' in signing him.
The experienced midfielder inked a deal last August with Beckham's upstart Major League Soccer (MLS) side, ending a three-year stint with Italian powerhouses Juventus.
But it was revealed in April that the MLS had found Inter Miami to have broken league rules by paying the Frenchman more than the league's salary cap rules allowed for – essentially meaning that Inter Miami counted four 'designated players' in their playing squad, one more than is permitted.
MLS rules dictate that each team is afforded three designated player spots on their roster, which means that these players don't count against the league's salary cap rules. However, an investigation found that Matuidi most likely was paid more than the $1.6 million annual salary permissible by the rules.
This effectively meant that Matuidi joined Inter Miami's three other designated players – Gonzalo Higiuan, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matias Pellegrini.
The violation of the law, which has been named the 'Beckham rule', is remarkable given that it was instituted in the MLS in 2007 when former England skipper Beckham moved to LA Galaxy from Real Madrid.
The probe also found that former Inter Miami player Andres Reyes was also in violation of the rule during his time with the team, while the salaries for three other players – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Nicolas Figal and Julian Carranzay – were also underreported.
The MLS indicated that no players had broken any rules but came down hard on the MLS franchise by issuing the sternest financial penalty in MLS history with the $2 million fine.
They have also received a reduction in the amount of money they can spend on players in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
"These sanctions reflect the severity of Inter Miami's violations," MLS commissioner Don Garber said.
"We have worked closely with the MLS to address these issues and have made significant changes in our management structure," he added.
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