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Everton play down Barkley Chelsea transfer controversy after Mayor of Liverpool contacts police

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Chelsea’s behaviour deemed “absolutely immaculate” despite Mayor Anderson taking his Twitter rant to official channels.

Chelsea v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Semi-Final: First Leg Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

There’s never a boring day around Chelsea Football Club, even if the actual football manages to conjure up back-to-back 0-0 draws for the first time in over five years. While all that ... excitement ... was going on, up north in Liverpool, the Mayor (who’s en Everton fan) was getting a little too excited as well, and not in a positive way.

After seeing Chelsea get a good deal on Ross Barkley, and a £20m discount when compared to the the price Chelsea were willing to pay already in the summer, Mayor Anderson had himself a little Twitter rant, as people of all walks of life tend to do these days.

Anderson threatened to contact the FA and the Premier League, and then he threw in the police as well, just in case they don’t already have way too much to do, asking all three to “seriously” investigate for signs of collusion or fraud.

“At best, this represents a very poor deal for Everton Football Club. At worst, it could be seen as a deliberate attempt to drive down a player’s value in the transfer market so as to benefit the player, his agent and the buying club.”

[...]

“There seems to me to be at least a public perception that collusion has taken place. While that may not be the case it is in your interest that this is at least looked at to reassure fans that transfers will be monitored more closely in future and that no individuals are benefitting inappropriately.”

[...]

“I am so concerned about the circumstances surrounding this transfer that I am asking the appropriate police authorities to consider whether any fraud has taken place.”

The full text of the letter can be seen at the bottom of this article in the Liverpool Echo.

(Meanwhile, Anderson just approved a measure to spend tax-payers’ money, which isn’t standard practice outside of the USA, on his favorite club Everton’s new ground, Hmmm...)

The revelation that Chelsea may or may not have paid £7m to Barkley’s agent, or almost half as much as the fee itself, to facilitate the transfer only made those looking for conspiracies that much more convinced that something was not quite right. (The £7m really isn’t all that much, though football agents and the prices and influence they command probably could do with some regulation and reform ... but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Barkley’s agent also turns out to represent John Stones, and some of his negotiating tactics were brought up yesterday by Everton majority owner Farhad Moshiri ... at least when he wasn’t coming up with incendiary and insulting comments about Romelu Lukaku (in response to which Lukaku is considering his legal options).

Finally, perhaps the only reasonable man left in Everton at this point chimed in, so we can probably go back to our regularly scheduled programming and leave the rest of Everton to stew in their disappointment.

“It was a deal we agreed because [Barkley] didn’t want to play for Everton.”

“I’ve got no concerns at all, over what Joe [Anderson] said. I’ve got no concerns at all about Chelsea who were immaculate as they were in the summer, absolutely immaculate.”

-Bill Kenwright, Everton chairman; source: BBC