The Premier League on Thursday revealed that Manchester City has not broken any rules regarding Frank Lampard’s contract extension and that there is no agreement in place between the club or its owners and New York City FC -- which is part-owned by Manchester City -- over his registration.
The former England international was expected to join the new MLS club this month following what had originally been described as a short-term loan with City that would expire at the end of 2014. However, Lampard decided he wanted to stay with City for the remainder of the season, and once the club agreed to extend his contract, confusion has reigned about which club actually owns his contract as well as his future registration.
The Guardian suggests that because Lampard was in fact signed last July by City Football Group [CFG], an umbrella company owned by Sheikh Mansour that runs Man City as well as Melbourne FC and New York City FC, he could conceivably remain at City for the remainder of the contract without ever playing for the MLS club, because his contract was with the Sheikh’s company and not any of its individual clubs. The report also notes that neither City nor NYCFC have commented on the nature of the deal.
Perhaps this is speculation, but the language from league’s statement could be interpreted that way: “Frank Lampard is registered as a Manchester City player until the end of the 2014-15 season. The Premier League has sought and received assurances from Manchester City that there is no agreement in place between the club or City Football Group with New York City FC relating to the player.”