Manchester City and Frank Lampard have become big news in the transfer market, after it was revealed that the former Chelsea man is actually under contract with only Manchester City and not NYCFC. Over the past summer Lampard left Chelsea on free transfer to go to newly formed MLS team New York City FC and be loaned back to Manchester City until the 2015 MLS season began, but now recent news has revealed that he is not actually under contract with the American outfit but just agreed in principle to join them in 2015.
Although he started his career with West Ham Frank Lampard became a Chelsea legend in his 13 years with the club becoming their all-time leading scorer in the process. In the summer of 2014 he left London on a free transfer to newly formed American team NYCFC that happens to be partly owned by Manchester City. In what seemed like a harmless move he was loaned to Chelsea’s English title rivals Manchester City until the winter transfer market before the March start to the MLS season.
Now City have decided to extend Lampard’s stay in Manchester until the end of the Premier League season sending him to New York in July. All of this activity is not out of the norm except for the fact that it has been revealed by NYCFC that he is actually currently only under contract with City. NYCFC and Lampard have now said that he never actually signed a contract but in fact just had an agreement to join the team in 2015. Now with City extending his run until July he will miss the opening half of the MLS season, if he even decides to go because at this point he is owned by City and has no obligation to ever go to the MLS.
With this saga coming to the news it begs the question ’who in this situation is or was lying’? Did City, who owns NYCFC along with the New York Yankees, go through all these hoops to sign Lampard because they did not know if Chelsea would let him go directly to on of their title rivals? Did their part owners use NYCFC as a ploy? Will Lampard ever actually play for NYCFC, and if so when?
By what Lampard has said since this story has come to light it seems as though he will be a part of NYCFC once this current Premier League season is over. This whole saga really paints the new MLS team in a bad light because it feels as if they used the Lampard signing to sell tickets for their opening season, but now he will only play in about half the season. Fans most certainly bought season tickets and merchandise based on the signings of both Lampard and fellow big name European player David Villa. It is almost a guarantee that if those fans asked for half their money back they would not get it, but the team basically just robbed them of their main attraction for half the season.
It remains to be seen whether this was all a marketing ploy to sell tickets or if the smaller NYCFC was used by Manchester City to try to get a player they otherwise thought they could not get. More is sure to come from this crazy story as time goes on and it will be interesting to see if the public ever truly gets the entire story. For now though Manchester City are the only team with any ownership of Frank Lampard and come the end of the Premier League season we will find out if the agreement to join NYCFC holds true.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius
Photo Courtesy of Paul Bence – Creativecommons Flickr License