Leeds lose CAS appeal and face €21m transfer fee for Augustin, a player they never owned

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November 4 – Leeds United have lost their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and will have to pay a transfer fee to RB Leipzig for French striker Jean-Kévin Augustin.

The first instalment of €6.7 million to be paid by Leeds is due immediately. Leeds are on the hook for €21 million even though Augustin left the club at the end of 2019/20 season and joined Ligue1 Nantes. He now plays for FC Basel in Switzerland.

In January 2020, Leeds took Augustin on loan for the period to June 2020. There was a further clause in the loan agreement that said that if Leeds were promoted at the end of the 2019/20 season, a purchase obligation would be triggered and Leeds would buy Augustin for €21 million.

Covid then caused the suspension of the season in March 2020, pushing the end of season beyond June 30, the end of the agreed loan period.

RB Leipzig argued that even though the loan period was ended, the purchase obligation had been triggered. Leeds were promoted to the Premier League in July 2020.

When Leeds refused to accept that the transfer fee demand – the player had already moved to France – RE Leipzig to the FIFA Players’ Status Committee who ruled that a fee was due.

Leeds appealed the decision to CAS who have backed the FIFA decision in full.

Leeds are not letting the matter end there. A Leeds statement said: “Leeds United are surprised and disappointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision, which not only contradicts the language and meaning of the contract, but also the practices adopted in European football under FIFA regulations, due to the unique impact of the extensions to the season necessitated by Covid postponements.

“The club will now review carefully all of its legal options with a view to an immediate appeal. We will make no further comment at this time.”

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