Manchester City have been banned from signing academy players for an initial 12 months and fined 300,000 pounds ($390,000) for breaching rules governing youth transfers, the Premier League said on Friday.
The club were given a two-year ban, the second year of which was suspended for three years, the league said. While it is in force they will be unable to sign any academy players who have been registered with other Premier League or English Football League clubs.
The ban is same as that handed down to Premier League rivals Liverpool last month for a similar offence. But the fine for City was three times higher, as the Manchester club were found guilty of offering prohibited inducements to two youth players.
"The breaches concern approaches to two separate Academy players," the league said in a statement.
There was "evidence of contact between the club and members of each academy player's family while those academy players were still registered with their previous clubs."
The players in question were an 11-year-old who joined City from Everton last year and a 15-year-old midfielder from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
($1 = 0.7721 pounds)
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by John Stonestreet)