Following the finding that Inter Miami signed a fourth Designated Player in 2020, Major League Soccer announced sweeping sanctions against the club. Tom Bogert of MLS broke the report on Twitter:
MLS announces sanctions on Inter Miami's signing of Blaise Matuidi in 2020:— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) May 28, 2021
-$2 million fine to Inter Miami
-$250,000 fine to Jorge Mas
-Paul McDonough suspended through the end of the 2022 season
-Reduction of $2,271,250 in allocation dollars for the 2022-23 seasons
Bogert also added that Miami signed Andres Reyes as a DP so had not four, but five Designated Players in 2020.
Obviously, the most significant part of that for Atlanta United is that Vice President of Soccer Operations Paul McDonough would be suspended until the end of the 2022 season. The other shoe fell for McDonough shortly after as the team released a brief statement that is not prominently featured on its website stating that he and the club “mutually agreed to part ways.”
MLS released a statement detailing the full results of the investigation that also included that the team underreported the salary amount for Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez. It also noted that Marcelo Claure, Masayoshi Son, Jose Mas, and David Beckham who also own percentages of the team did not play a part in curtailing the rules.
MLS is often criticized for perhaps being too lenient on its “rules,” but clearly in this case the league took a strong stance in response to wrong doing by Inter Miami.