Barkley joined the champions last week for £15m having rejected a £35m move to Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in August. The move so incensed Joe Anderson, Liverpool’s elected mayor and a lifelong Evertonian, he posted a series of tweets on the day criticising Barkley and the player’s agent while calling on the Football Association and Premier League to investigate the deal.
Barkley had six months remaining on his Everton contract and could have left on a free transfer at the end of this season. He pulled out of the move to Chelsea in August having ruptured a hamstring. Anderson describes the stated reason as “a groin strain”, yet Barkley needed surgery to reconnect the hamstring and has not played this season as a consequence.
In his letter to Scudamore and Clarke Anderson writes: “I believe the circumstance of his transfer now warrants serious investigation. There seems to me to be at least a public perception that collusion has taken place. While that may not be the case, it is in your interest this is at least looked at to reassure fans transfers will be monitored more closely and no individuals are benefiting inappropriately.
“Football fans are often treated as the forgotten minority and the Premier League would not be the fantastic product it is without them. Those committed fans pay exceptional ticket prices to watch their team play which I believe gives them a stake in this whole process, and they deserve the right to a degree of transparency.
“I am so concerned about the circumstances surrounding this transfer I am asking the appropriate police authorities to consider whether any fraud has taken place.”
Barkley’s £60,000-a-week wage with Everton is believed to have at least doubled at Chelsea, where he has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract.
Anderson was widely criticised on Twitter last week for using his mayoral position to criticise a transfer between two Premier League clubs. Everton have not registered any complaint over a deal they sanctioned but Anderson defends his efforts in the letter. He adds: “As a politician – and someone who supports and rightly welcomes scrutiny under the Nolan Principles – I feel it is right the public receive an assurance on this matter and that transfers are monitored more closely. I hope we can count on the sport’s governing bodies to provide those assurances.”