Date:Tuesday September 8 2009
Once our best mates in the game Liverpool are now central to the poaching row. After Dario's comments over the weekend, where he revealed that one of the academy's top youngsters had been the subject of an illegal approach from a Premier League giant, the tabloids took the row up a notch this morning.
It'll come as no surprise to most Alex fans that the subject of that illegal approach was the highly rated 15 year old Max Clayton. Clayton was 18 months ago linked with a multi-million pound move to Anfield, a move then Alex manager Steve Holland rejected outright.
Dario claimed at the weekend that he has plenty of evidence to support his claims of the poaching attempt, which has left Clayton wanting to leave the club and as such has reported the club in question (Liverpool...?) to FIFA.
It will probably get a little bit more messy before all this goes away. Liverpool will no doubt try and buy their way out of the accusations, something that may not wash with Dario who's seeing 26 years of hard work slowly slip through his fingers as the rich start robbing from the poor.
It's sad that on various message boards and football sites there are comments from Premier League fans claiming it doesn't matter, players should be with them for the good of their development and little Crewe would only sell them anyway. It's such an ill-informed way of thinking - probably what you'd expect from 70% of armchair supporters.
If the 'big 4 [cheats]' are allowed to walk into our academy and take the cream of the crop without proper compensation or talks with the club then our club as a whole is likely to die.
Like it or not, the academy is our life blood and up to 12 months ago with the sale of Nicky Maynard for £2.5million it's still keeping this club away from debt whilst providing us with some of the best youngsters the Football League has seen in recent years. And yes, it's a shame Gudjon Thordarson doesn't see it.
Without us reaping the awards from transfer fees after spending years coaching these young players then our academy would have to go, taking everything this club has worked for for the past 25 years.
It would effectively rip the heart out of the club, but with all the headlines this week it seems to be a every day thing for these big clubs.
I think it's about time FIFA/UEFA/The FA came down hard on these cheats. Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea... all whinge about each others transfer activity but are all quite clearly as bad as each other. It's time to protect the real heart of English football and that's the clubs down in the lower leagues nurturing the future of English football.
Date:Tuesday September 8 2009
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