Chelsea and Liverpool have inadvertently helped to save the futures of struggling EFL clubs due to sell-on clauses being included in deals between them, according to reports. The most talented young players from England’s lower leagues are often hoovered up by top-flight clubs, who can offer more money and better training facilities to the best up-and-coming stars.
Many of those deals include sell-on clauses, allowing clubs to claim a percentage of any future transfer fee on a player if he is sold again at a later date. Jordon Ibe’s move from Liverpool to Bournemouth eight years ago helped to secure the immediate future of Wycombe Wanderers, who were entitled to part of the £15million fee paid by the Cherries.
Ibe’s move to Bournemouth came four years after he left Wycombe to join Liverpool, where he showed plenty of promise but ultimately failed to make the grade. The fee received by the Chairboys allowed them to pay off a £1m loan to former owner Steve Hayes, according to The Athletic, which secured their future under the control of the Wycombe Wanderers Trust.
Exeter City have also reaped the rewards of sell-on clauses after finding themselves in the money due to Ethan Ampadu’s move from Chelsea to Leeds United. The Welshman went to Elland Road in the summer for a transfer fee of around £7m plus add-ons, with Exeter entitled to receive at least 20 per cent.
The Grecians previously scooped £4m through Ollie Watkins’ move to Aston Villa from Brentford, with the 28-year-old having initially burst onto the scene at the Devon outfit. It was twice the sum they landed for selling him to Brentford three years earlier and was roughly the same as the club’s entire turnover in the 2018/19 financial period.
The money Exeter have raised from sell-on clauses has helped them to pay for a new training facility at Cliff Hill, which reportedly cost them around £2m to build. Carlisle United, meanwhile, recently lined their pockets following James Trafford’s move from Manchester City to Burnley for a transfer fee of £19m.
Trafford originally started out at Carlisle before joining City’s academy at the age of 12, with the Cumbrians negotiating a 15 per cent sell-on clause into the deal. Their chief executive, Nigel Clibbens, recently explained that Trafford’s move to Turf Moor will benefit the club over a longer timeline, with their payments staggered due to City receiving their cash from Burnley in instalments.
“Even at big, double-digit millions, it’s not going to help us too much,” said Clibbens at a fan forum in June. “You get paid your money when the seller gets paid their money. Say a player is transferred for £20m and it’s paid over four years, you get your instalments over four years. So anything we get on that kind of deal might be quite small, and a long time in the future.”
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