Earlier today, in an attempt to quell the firestorm around Frank Lampard's murky contract situation, his agent, Steve Kutner, did an interview with talkSPORT's Jason Cundy. In that interview, Kutner claimed that he signed a contract with New York City, and that he'd be coming in July.
"Steve assures me that Frank has signed a contract with New York City that will start on July 1," said Cundy, as he read quotes from his conversation with Kutner.
"He also assures me that Frank will not be at Manchester City next season. He will go to America on July 1 and will then be a player for New York City."
Obviously, that contradicts the news from earlier in the day that Lampard had, in fact, not signed any kind of agreement with New York City. It's entirely possible that he's signed a pre-contract agreement -- the six-month window where that becomes permissible is now open -- but that's different from an actual contract, and most people don't think that's what Kutner is talking about.
The general opinion is that this is supposedly the "contract" that Lampard signed amidst much fanfare. At least, that's what the Times of London's Oliver Kay asserts in three tweets. First, these two:
Pre-scheduled update for USA followers: ignore today's misplaced hysteria after misinterpret'n of PL statement re Lampard. He joins NYC July— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) January 9, 2015
Pre-scheduled update 2: Lampard NYC contract, signed last July, was due to start Jan 1. Since been amended to July 1. He'll arrive in July.— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) January 9, 2015
That raises a few questions.
First, since when do DPs sign with individual teams? The league holds all contracts. Seriously. Look at the MLS roster rules. Where does it say that DPs sign with individual teams?
It doesn't. It says that clubs can "acquire up to three players whose salaries exceed their budget charges, with the club bearing financial responsibility for the amount of compensation above each player’s budget charge." But the league still holds the contracts. That's the whole point of single-entity.
If he signed a contract with New York City, it wasn't for the purposes of playing.
Second, if he signed a contract with New York City, then how could he sign another with Manchester City? Isn't that in direct contravention of the Premier League statement released earlier?
In response to that, Kay says this:
@talkSPORTDrive It refers to agreements (or lack of them, formally) between the clubs, not the delayed arrangement between Lampard and NYC— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) January 8, 2015
If the "delayed agreement between New York City and Lampard" is the same agreement that CFG signed with Lampard presumably binding him to play for New York City at some future date, that's not the same as a playing contract. We've established that, at least with the available evidence.
Now, Kay's reading is a legitimate reading of the Premier League statement, as far as that goes, but that's all it is: a reading, with no greater validity than others. That is, unless Kay has actually seen the contracts, which he hasn't.
It's also the reading that CFG would like everyone to take away from this. Thing is, given their rampant deception thus far, why should anyone, let alone reporters, accept that reading?
Release the contracts. Heck, we'll post them on here for everyone to see.