Liverpool is under investigation by the Premier League over allegations it breached rules governing the transfer of youth players in a failed attempt to recruit a schoolboy from Stoke City, according to reports in the British media.
If the allegations, which were first reported by the Daily Telegraph, are proven, Liverpool could be hit with a transfer ban on academy players or a fine for offering a banned inducement to the player under rules introduced last year.
According to the reports, Stoke had a contract with the player under which it had agreed to pay his private school fees and the boy's parents wanted Liverpool to do continue doing so.
Liverpool initially agreed to continue paying the fees until the boy turned 16 but withdrew its contract offer after learning that new rules meant it would have to begin paying school fees of all school children on its books.
As a result, the boy was left without a club and his parents left liable for his fees, leading them to complain to the league, which launched the investigation earlier this year.
Liverpool are cooperating with the investigation, but the boy cannot sign for another club until Liverpool pay Stoke 49,000 pounds ($61,142) in compensation, the reports added.
($1 = 0.8014 pounds)
(Writing by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien)