Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday May 6 2007
Sky Sports reports that the Premier League has confirmed neither Manchester United nor Everton have broken any rules regarding Tim Howard's transfer.
Howard joined Everton on a season-long loan deal last summer, before the move became permanent in February.
Questions were raised over the transfer when Howard did not feature against United in the recent clash between the two sides at Goodison Park.
The League contacted the two clubs to find out why the American goalkeeper was not involved as it would not have allowed the deal to be made permanent if United had requested a clause preventing Howard from playing against them.
However, after investigating the matter the League has cleared both clubs of any wrongdoing.
A statement from the Premier League said: 'At the time of Tim Howard's permanent transfer from Manchester United to Everton, the Premier League ensured there were no agreements in place that contravened our rules.
'As a result of recent comments we had sought further clarification from both clubs and are satisfied that it remains the case that there were no agreements that breached any of our rules.
'Everton were free to play Tim Howard in their fixture against Manchester United had they so wished - and this has been confirmed by both clubs.'
Then my question would be, 'Why didn`t they play Tim Howard`
He wasn`t injured, he was their regular goalkeeper through out the season playing 37 times so far and he was in fine form.
There has been some strange goings on this season, with all the money that is at stake, both for staying in and for being successful in the Premier League, clubs need to be above suspicion.
The rules on loaned players not being able to play against their 'real` club is an area that is open to miss use.
I`m not saying that there is any wrong doing on the part of Manchester United, but the fact that they have loaned out TWO goalkeepers this season, Tim Howard to Everton and Ben Foster to Watford, who were both regulars for their respective clubs, meant that when they faced Manchester United they did so without their regular goalkeepers.
It just seems a little bizarre; maybe the way forward is to stop clubs from the same division from loaning clubs to each other.
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Date:Sunday May 6 2007
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