West Brom and West Ham are likely to escape any serious punishment for a private agreement which meant new signing Robert Snodgrass did not feature in Tuesday's clash in London, Sky Sports News has learned.
Snodgrass moved from the Hammers to West Brom on January 8, but Baggies boss Sam Allardyce said just before kick-off at the London Stadium that the winger would not play in the game because of the agreement.
The FA has the power to charge either club, but in this instance, the governing body is allowing the Premier League to take the lead.
League officials are investigating. Competition rules say that no club should have control over a player that is not contracted to them.
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While written agreements of this type are commonplace in loan deals where the parent club still holds the player under contract, it is forbidden in substantive deals, to ensure the integrity of the competition.
In mitigation, it is likely that both West Ham and West Brom would point to the unique calendar that football is experiencing. Usually, by the time the January transfer window opens, teams have played each other once.
However, the late start to this season because of coronavirus meant that West Ham would have come up against Snodgrass twice before the end of the season.
The private agreement was an attempt to avoid this anomaly, and had it been written into the contract the Premier League would not have sanctioned Snodgrass's transfer.
While breaching the Premier League's rules can lead to serious punishment, Sky Sports News has been told this is unlikely in this case, with a written warning or a small fine the likely outcome.
There has been no comment from the Premier League or either club, while the investigation is carried out.