Bayern Munich ‘fear wantaway Robert Lewandowski will simply TEAR UP his contract and leave for just £20.5m’, by using the rarely-used 2004 ‘Webster ruling’ which allows players over 28 to buy out their deals
- Bayern Munich fear Robert Lewandowski will ‘tear up’ his current contract
- Polish forward is pushing for an exit from Germany – with Barcelona interested
- Club worried Lewandowski will use 2004 ‘Webster Ruling’ to escape his deal
- Law allows any player over the age of 28 to terminate their long-term contract
Bayern Munich are growing increasingly concerned that star-striker Robert Lewandowski will take legal action as he continues to push for a move out of Germany.
The Polish striker made his desires to leave the club clear with the Bayern hierarchy after refusing to extend his current contract that comes to an end in summer 2023.
But with Lewandowski trying to force an early exit in the upcoming transfer window, and with Barcelona interested in his services, the German club are worried the striker will take legal action.
Bayern Munich fear Robert Lewandowski could take legal action to escape his contract deal
According to Bild, Bayern fear that Lewandowski will resort to legal means that no top star has dared to use before.
Article 17 of FIFA’s Regulations states any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 can buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed – a fact that Lewandowski’s agent Pini Zahavi knows well.
The term has been labelled the ‘Webster Ruling’ after Andy Webster set the precedent during his move from Hearts of Midlothian to Wigan Athletic in 2006. The rule states that any player that does chose this option, must provide the club with a form of compensation.
If Lewandowski were to terminate his deal, he would only have to compensate Bayern with the salary of his last year of the contract – estimated at €24 million.
This would be considerably less than what Barcelona are willing to offer for the Pole, with the Catalan side said to be ready to fork up a €32m fee.
Andy Webster (right) was the first player to invoke a loophole in Article 17 of FIFA’s regulations
Lewandowski has made his intentions to leave the club clear – after refusing to sign a new deal
Lewandowski’s intentions to join Barcelona were made clear after his agent Zahavi told Bild: ‘For Robert Lewandowski, FC Bayern is history. Robert wants to leave FC Bayern after eight years in which he gave the club everything.
‘Now, at almost 34, he has the opportunity to fulfill a lifetime dream and join the club he always dreamed of.
‘Why is FC Bayern denying him this opportunity? For Robert, the matter is very clear: he wants to leave FC Bayern this summer. Nobody cares about money here, neither Robert nor me.’
The 33-year-old forward has contributed to eight of Bayern’s 10 straight German titles and has been the Bundesliga’s top scorer in six of those campaigns.
WEBSTER RULING EXPLAINED
- ‘Webster Ruling’ refers to the 2006 case where Andy Webster became the first player to exploit the updated transfer regulations of FIFA in his move from Hearts to Wigan.
- Article 17 of FIFA’s Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players outlines the provisions which apply if a contract is terminated without just cause, and the requirement for the party in breach (the player) to pay compensation to the club.
- It states that any player who signed a contract before the age of 28 can buy himself out of the contract three years after the deal was signed. If he is 28 or older the time limit is shortened to two years
Lewandowski has won eight Bundesliga’s and one Champions League during his Bayern tenure