Belfast Telegraph

Linfield refuse to comment over links to 'amateur' deal for Ballymena striker Shevlin

Shevlin spent a spell on loan at Ards in 2017.
Shevlin spent a spell on loan at Ards in 2017.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Linfield have refused to comment after Ballymena United claimed that striker Matthew Shevlin will be joining the champions 'as an amateur player'.

The Sky Blues have published a 'supporters update' to inform fans that the 20-year-old forward is expected to join the Blues but that a 'compensation fee' of around £6k will not be forthcoming.

That's because such a development payment is only due if a player signs a professional deal at another club.

If Shevlin was to join Linfield on amateur terms, as Ballymena claim, such a fee would not be required under FIFA and Irish FA regulations.

Under Irish FA rules, a player registered as a professional may re-register as an amateur 30 days after his last game as a professional and after his previous registration has either expired or been cancelled.

If the player re-registers as a professional within 30 months of being reinstated as an amateur, compensation is due.

Ballymena confirmed that, in line with FIFA rules, compensation of £3,000 was paid to Shevlin's former club Carniny Youth when he signed his first professional deal.

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Linfield have advised that any statement will be made through the club website.

The relevant Irish FA and FIFA regulations are available to read here:

Irish FA - See articles 5.0 and 16.0

FIFA - See articles 3 and 20

United had confirmed last month that Shevlin would not remain at the club past the end of his contract this summer. He scored seven Premiership goals in the 17/18 season but endured an injury-ravaged 18/19 campaign.

Here's Ballymena United's statement in full:

"Following the confirmation of transfers of Albert Watson and Jonny McMurray to Larne, we can also confirm that Matthew Shevlin will be departing at the end of his contract, with Linfield advising they intend to sign him as an amateur player.

"Shevlin signed from Carniny, with the Sky Blues paying a £3,000 training development fee when he turned professional. Ballymena United offered him an improved 3 year professional contract to stay, which he turned down citing a desire to continue his career elsewhere - a decision met with the clubs best wishes.

"A compensation fee of around double what we payed to Carniny would be owed to Ballymena United upon Shevlin signing professional elsewhere, unfortunately for supporters we can confirm that at this time that won’t be forthcoming.

"In line with the training development compensation process, Shevlin’s contract will run to its conclusion on the 31st July 2019."

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