Major League Soccer

Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner fined by MLS for Bale, Chiellini comments

Chris Smith
MLS took issue with Tanner's comments about Gareth Bale & Giorgio Chiellini.
MLS took issue with Tanner's comments about Gareth Bale & Giorgio Chiellini. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Philadelphia Union sporting director Ernst Tanner has been fined an undisclosed amount after being found to be in violation of MLS' public criticism policy, the league announced Saturday.

The fine relates to comments Tanner made regarding LAFC's signings of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini on TAM deals, rather than the Wales and Italy internationals taking Designated Player (DP) spots.

In an interview published in the print version of the German soccer magazine Kicker, translated into English, Tanner suggested that it 'takes a lot of good faith' to believe Bale and Chiellini are TAM players, limited to earning $1.6m per season.

Tanner later attempted to clarify his comments, saying in a statement to ESPN: "Several parts of the various quotes were not in response to the question that is printed and was not represented in the manner I intended. I said in the interview, and will reiterate again, that I believe everything was done in compliance."

However, Major League Soccer have still found Tanner to be in violation of their public criticism policy, handing out a fine as punishment.

A short league statement read: "Major League Soccer today announced that Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner has been fined an undisclosed amount for comments made to media that called into question, without factual basis, the integrity of Major League Soccer and Los Angeles Football Club.

"Those comments were without merit and are in violation of the league’s public criticism policy."

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