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Brooks Lennon’s Liverpool contract wasn’t cancelled, despite UK tabloid report

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No, Brooks Lennon hasn’t joined Real Salt Lake on a permanent transfer, in spite of what a Daily Star report is saying.

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Is Brooks Lennon no longer a Liverpool player? That’s what the Daily Star, a UK tabloid, is reporting, after a document from The FA was posted indicating Lennon is one of many players whose registrations have been cancelled.

But first, let’s take a step back. Remember the source: the Daily Star. Yes, they do link to a document from The FA, who would be a definitive source in cases like this. But they’ve likely misinterpreted a heading here, so let’s parse that out.

The way they’ve read the title would seem to indicate that contracts have been cancelled. In fact, they indicate that directly in their headline: “Contract cancelled by mutual consent.” But let’s go to the source:

List of Players under Written Contract Whose Registrations have been Cancelled by Mutual Consent

This makes it pretty clear that the things which have been cancelled are, in fact, registrations — not contracts. Sure, in some cases — or many, in fact — contracts for players in that list have ended early. But other players on the list appear simply to be on loan, and the Daily Star has done the same lousy reporting job there.

Take, for example, Miro Muheim — the Daily Star has said his Chelsea contract was cancelled, but everything indicates that he’s actually on loan to FC Zurich.

Why might Lennon’s registration have been cancelled, you ask, and why isn’t he listed as a temporary transfer — or, if you will, a loan? There’s actually a fairly easy answer to that.

First, the category “List of Temporary Transfers of Players under Written Contract Between 01/02/2017 and 28/02/2017” holds players that have moved from one team under The FA to another team under The FA. Because Lennon is on loan, there is no reason for him to be registered as a player eligible for play in England — in fact, by Real Salt Lake requesting his International Transfer Certificate, Lennon’s registration had to be cancelled. A player can’t be registered under two associations.

Whether the Daily Star is purposeful in this misreporting — it would hardly be the first time — or they’re simply misreading some headings, it’s pretty clear what’s gone on here.

We’ve sought confirmation from Real Salt Lake, of course, but I don’t think that will be strictly necessary.