CD Leganes have been denied an exemption from the Royal Spanish Football Federation to sign another player outside of the January transfer window.
Earlier this month, Leganes lost leading-scorer Martin Braithwaite to FC Barcelona, who paid the striker's $19 million release clause. LaLiga's champions were given permission by the RFEF to sign a forward after injuries to Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele left them short of striking options.
The former Leganés’ forward unilaterally rescinded his contract with the club after his termination clause was payed in order to sign for F.C Barcelona. The RFEF had previously authorized Barcelona to sign a new player according to art. 124.3 of RFEF General Regulations after Ousmane Dembelé had suffered a long-term injury.
According to the RFEF, the reason for the request’s rejection responds to the no existence of legal proceedings (neither by FIFA, RFEF nor LNFP) that allow the C.D Leganés request. In other words, it is not possible for a team to sign a new player because of a current player’s departure through the payment of a termination clause, even if that player left to cover another team’s vacant spot because of a long-term injury. The RFEF remarks that allowing C.D Leganés to sign could lead to a series of transfers and signings out of the regular transfers period and thus affecting not only the competition’s integrity but equality among its participants.
Before responding to Leganés’ request, the RFEF had consulted FIFA about the expectional request of signing given the circumstances presented. FIFA’s Legal and Compliance Division responded that according to article 6.1 of the regulations on the status and transfer of players (possibility to sign players which contracts have expired before the last transfer period expired – January 31st, 2.020) it wasn’t possible to allow the signing of a new player for C.D Leganés.
RFEF has informed C.D Leganés its intentions of retiring art. 124.3 from the RFEF’s General Regulations (permission to sign after long term injuries).
Finally, C.D Leganés reaffirms itself about how unfair this situation is. The current regulation about it harms competition’s equality and integrity. All clubs should be able to compete as equals and this situation has meant and important and relevant damage for the club.