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Rangers’ Kerkar move on hold due to compensation claim

FC Gueugnon are prepared to challenge Rangers' attempt to sign Salim Kerkar on a free transfer.

On hold: Salim Kerkar's hopes of moving to Rangers could be in jeopardy, with Gueugnon claiming they are due cash.
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Rangers' continued attempts to complete the signing of Salim Kerkar have been delayed by a planned compensation claim by the player’s former club. FC Gueugnon, who play in France’s third tier, believe they are entitled to a figure of up to 360,000 Euro (£314,285) from the SPL side for training the player over a period of six years.

Kerkar, who has been training with Rangers since August, is a free agent, having left the Championnat National side in the summer when his contract expired. However, under FIFA rules, the French club could be entitled to payments for having trained the player since 2004 until shortly before his 23rd birthday on August 4 this year.

Under the world football governing body’s regulations on the status and transfer of players, Gueugnon believe they are entitled to money for their role in Kerkar’s development, despite allowing his contract to lapse at the end of last season.

Rule 20 of the regulations state a club who has developed a player are entitled to compensation every time his registration transferred until the end of the season which his 23rd birthday falls within, regardless of whether the player is under contract to the claimant club.

The Algerian midfielder turned 23 on August 4 this year, two days before the new season officially started for Gueugnon. However, FIFA’s definition of when a new season begins is the day on which the first match is played, unless a club can state a case otherwise.

As far as Kerkar’s former side are concerned, their former player’s birthday fell within the confines of the 2010/11 campaign. For that reason, they are preparing to present an argument to FIFA for compensation to be paid to them upon Kerkar completing his transfer to the SPL.

There remain several contestable issues within FIFA’s regulations as to how much Rangers would have to pay to sign Kerkar, if Gueugnon’s argument is accepted. The minimum they would be asked to pay is 180,000 Euro (£157,148) but that figure could be as high as 360,000 Euro (£314,285) depending on the calculation of the player’s training period and the categorisation of the two clubs.

However, FIFA's dispute resolution chamber have the power to adjust any amount claimed, if they deem the level of compensation is "clearly disproportionate to the case under review".

Rangers have continually cited issues with the player’s paperwork as the reason for the transfer not going through, having first attempted to push the deal through early in September.

The SPL club are still able to register and play Kerkar if they so wish but, if FIFA rule that Gueugnon are entitled to compensation, Rangers would be liable to pay out within 30 days of the date the registration was processed by the SFA.

Rangers have been trying to force through the transfer of Kerkar for several weeks, with the player himself even travelling back to France in order to try and resolve the situation.

Additional reporting by Andrew Coyle and Caroline Henderson.

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