Man City admit getting it wrong communicating Lampard deal
Manchester City have admitted making mistakes in their communication of Frank Lampard’s move to the club.
The former Chelsea midfielder was reported to have joined City on loan until the start of January after penning a deal with Major League Soccer side New York City FC during the summer.
There has been confusion over the precise nature of Lampard’s contract status in relation to both clubs since it was announced on New Year’s Eve that he would remain with the Barclays Premier League champions until the end of the season.
That announcement has delayed his debut with sister club New York until midway through their first MLS campaign, to the anger of many fans in the United States.
On Thursday, the Premier League announced that, after reviewing Lampard’s status, it was satisfied his contract was solely owned by Manchester City with no agreement in place between the two clubs – which sparked fresh speculation he might never play in MLS.
But Lampard issued a statement via his representatives which said he does have an agreement in place with New York and will move there in the summer.
Quoted in the Guardian, City said: "The statement on the NYCFC website in July saying Lampard’s two-year contract took effect from Aug 1, 2014 was a mistake. [The] initial statement on City’s website that it was a loan was also an error.
"There was a head of terms commitment from Lampard to join NYCFC from Jan 1, 2015. That was extended to the end of this season. Any contract with NYCFC will now take effect from July 1, 2015."
Manchester City and New York City, both part of the City Football Group, have been criticised on both sides of the Atlantic for their handling of the situation.
With Yaya Toure heading to the African Nations Cup, City were understandably keen to keep Lampard after his return of seven goals, largely as a substitute, but in doing so they have angered the fan base of New York City before they have kicked a ball in competitive action.
Lampard has been the face of New York City’s marketing campaign ahead of their inaugural season and many fans demanded a refund on their season tickets after it was confirmed he would remain in Manchester until the summer.