MLS opens investigation into Matuidi’s contract

In a statement, Major League Soccer announced on Friday the opening of an investigation into the signing of Blaise Matuidi at Inter Miami, in order to determine whether his salary complies with the rules set for clubs.

He had been left on the announcement of the birth of his fourth child, we find him for a potential contractual problem. Blaise Matuidi, 33, sees his signing at Inter Miami in August 2020 subject to an MLS investigation, which says he wants to know « if the player’s signature was in line with the salary budget and guidelines. » The North American League sets a payroll for all clubs, which the top twenty salaries of each workforce cannot exceed. This payroll was set at $ 4.24 million in 2019.

Matuidi is not a « designated player »

The other subtlety specific to the MLS is that, because of this framework of salaries, all the players do not benefit from the same status within a workforce: there are the « TAM players » and the « designated players ». The « TAM players » are subject to salary constraints and benefit from allowances from the League in the payment of salary. The « designated players », at the maximum number of three per team, can have a salary exceeding the framework fixed by the MLS.

This exception to the rule, which appeared in 2007, allows American clubs to recruit famous players, often from Europe or Latin America. Thus, Kaká was offered a salary of 7.17 million dollars per year in 2014 and Steven Gerrard a remuneration of 6.33 million dollars per year, in both cases sums which greatly exceed the constraints of the wage bill.

The question is therefore whether Blaise Matuidi, declared as a TAM by Inter Miami when he arrived in August 2020, would not be paid beyond the salary constraints and should therefore not be considered a ‘player designated ‘. Problem, there are already two such players in the workforce and a third would prevent the club from securing the services of a prestigious player during the next summer transfer window.

Anyway, if the fraud is proven, the club is exposed to financial penalties. Ironically, Inter Miami, one of whose shareholders is David Beckham, could therefore be in trouble because of the ‘designated player’ rule, also known as the… David Beckham rule! Indeed, if this name is not official, it is commonly used because of the fact that the England international was the first to take advantage of this rule, when he arrived at Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007.

Matuidi © AFP

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