Lampard lambasts ‘lies’, says he will play for New York City
Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard has moved to clarify his contract situation to end the “lies and nonsense” he says has been written about his move to New York City.
On Thursday night the Premier League confirmed that Lampard is only contracted to Manchester City, and that the former England man did not have any formal contract with the new MLS franchise.
The League statement came in response to the confusion over Lampard’s status amid continuing silence by both clubs.
The New York team, which debuts in Major League Soccer in March, announced last July that Lampard signed a two-year contract, and used it to promote the sale of jerseys and season tickets.
Shortly after that, Manchester City announced Lampard was returning to the Premier League on loan to stay match fit for his New York debut.
Lampard’s seven goals have been valuable to City’s defence of the Premier League, and the English club announced Dec. 31 that he was staying in Manchester for the remainder of the season.
MLS claimed that although Lampard had not signed a contract with New York, the former Chelsea midfielder had a deal with City Football Group, the umbrella company for the clubs owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour.
The Premier League statement read: "Frank Lampard is registered with Manchester City FC 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."
And on Friday Lampard issued a statement of his own, in which he insists there has been no issues between the two clubs.
“I want to make it completely clear about my situation as I have read a lot of lies and nonsense over the last few days. When released from Chelsea last year at the end of my contract I signed a commitment to play in NYCFC for two years starting 1 January 2015. I was then offered the opportunity to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York," he wrote.
“This period has since been extended by Manchester City and I will now start playing for NYCFC at the end of the current Premier League season. There has always been a constant dialogue between all parties in this time to find the best solution for everyone. I can say that I am very excited about arriving in New York and giving everything to the team to make us a success in the MLS as soon as possible.”
There has been criticism in the United States over Lampard’s failure to start the MLS season with New York.
The New York City supporters’ group, The Third Rail, said it was "outraged" by Lampard’s prolonged stay in England.
"Many fans, including our members, decided to support the team, committed to season tickets, and bought merchandise under the impression that Frank Lampard would be playing for New York City Football Club, not Manchester City," a statement from the group read.