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Lottery of the tribunal system?

Paul Fletcher | 12:11 UK time, Sunday, 13 July 2008

Love him or loathe - and he is generally a man who divides opinion - no one can question that Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan is a man who speaks his mind.

And on his mind last week was the outcome of the Football League tribunal that decided Tottenham must pay his club £700,000 for teenager John Bostock.


The fee could rise to £1.25m depending on appearances, way short of the £2m rising to £2.5m that Palace wanted.

In case you don't know, Bostock is a 16-year-old midfielder who became the youngest first-team player in Palace's history when he made his debut against Watford last October at the age of 15 years, 287 days.

Having won a place at the Palace Academy as a seven-year old, Bostock has since been mentioned in the same breath as Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona.

Former Palace boss Peter Taylor has said of Bostock: "He can be a great player."

Needless to say, the colourful Jordan was less than enthused by the tribunal's decision.

"For a tribunal to reward a purportedly bigger football club in Tottenham to take one of the most gifted young English players in the country for a sum of £700,000 is nothing short of scandalous," he said.

"I have an academy who have produced a world-class footballer for someone else and got paid two-and-sixpence for it."

Jordan, never afraid of a touch of hyperbole, added that Bostock had been "nourished and cherished" for nine years at Palace.

And his major gripe was that the tribunal completely failed to reflect the current transfer market, citing the transfer of Welsh teenager Aaron Ramsey, who moved from Cardiff to Arsenal for £5m in June.

You could claim that Jordan's argument is one of self-interest and that to use the example of the Ramsey transfer is disingenuous since Arsenal have clearly gambled on potential, as they did with Theo Walcott, and may have paid handsomely over the odds.

But I can see Jordan's point.

I'm not saying that Bostock is currently worth as much as Ramsey, but does the decision of the tribunal really reflect his current worth in the transfer market?

And if the tribunal system in general does not accurately reflect what is happening in the real world then is it not something to be feared by every selling club?

Especially if that selling club exists outside the top flight and is parting company against its will with a home-grown player.

Please prove me wrong, but how many tribunal decisions can you name where the valuation of a player has seemed ridiculously high?

The argument is often put forward that a sound strategy for lower league clubs is to develop their own talent, but if Premier League clubs can then come along and purchase them for, as Jordan put it, "two-and-sixpence" then what is the point?

In football's financially top-heavy world, the tribunal system must protect clubs outside the top flight otherwise we will be hearing a lot more from unhappy chairmen in the Football League.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Get Sepp Blatter on the case, there'll be no more contracts, no more enslaving players, they could play for a new team each week!

    Seriously tho, it's a major problem within football, and indeed any industry - the best recruits from the smaller clubs will be taken by the bigger clubs who they will want to play for, smaller clubs get screwed - I can't even see a solution though, the smaller clubs can't really bargain if the player wants to move up

  • Comment number 2.

    Simon Jordan is right, 100%.

  • Comment number 3.

    The problem is with who is advising these kids. They think once they get a move they've made it.
    They are playing first team football at there club but choose to move to sit in the reserves, how many of these players then make it into the first team on a long term basis???

    The should be getting advised stay where you are getting a game then once you are ready to move to a bigger team then go. Bostock will go to tottenham and maybe get 1, 2 games in the next 5 years then get punted to a championship team. If he stayed at palace he would be a first team regular and would be improving as a player playing competitive games rather than reserve games

  • Comment number 4.

    The tribunal was 100% correct

    It's time to stop paying silly money and wages for players

    Artificially inflating the prices as Simon Jordan would like will further lead to the domination of the game by a handful of clubs (Barcelona/Real Madrid/Man Utd/Chelsea) as no one else can compete financially

  • Comment number 5.

    I think one of the problems is the agents advising players to takea step up too soon so that they ca\nmake more money. Simon Jordan is a **** but he has a valid point.

  • Comment number 6.

    The tribunal system isn't working - unless you're a top team pilfering the lower sides. There is only one way to really make it fair - the club forced to sell its player automatically gets 10% of future transfer fee (in this case, if and when Spurs decide to sell Bostock on), plus 5% of the player's wages for the length of his stay with that first club (not deductible from the player's wages). This should be on top of a flat tribunal fee.


    Tribunal orders £500,000 from Spurs to Palace for John Bostock

    By the time he's 21, they're paying him £50,000 a week. Palace net £2,500 each week as a result.

    At 24 United offer £25m for him, which is accepted by Spurs. £2.5m of that goes automaticallly to Palace.

    In this scenario I've posited, Palace only get paid what the buying club thinks Bostock is worth, added to the realisation of his potential. If he does a Routledge, they don't get much. If he does a Rooney, they get a fair amount of money. For the example I've stated above, Palace would get around £4m - which would be a fair reflection of their input, and a good incentive for making Academies as good as they can be.

  • Comment number 7.

    Chelsea did it to Leeds 2 or so yrs ago for two of our kids, offered us like 1million for the pair, Bates kicked off and apparently we got something like 2.5 million for each (i do stress apparently)

  • Comment number 8.

    Well we are planning on campaigning against the system as it so unfair to lower clubs. The Fa are killing the game.

    See our group.

  • Comment number 9.

    I often find myself agreeing with Jordan... I suppose that says alot about my personality (in a bad way!).

    However, his... what can only be described as rants, are often founded upon what seems to be good ground. His disagreement with people blaming the "restriction of kids being able to play footall in the streets restricting the quality of their game" was spot on! In this instance Palace have brought through a player who has the POTENTIAL to be worth millions.

    Yes the players talent is 75% of what makes him but the believes, training and player will ultimately be what Palace made him. A person can have bags of talent but give them the wrong direction at an early age and that talent can be wasted.

    Even as a supporter of Liverpool i hate the way the bigger clubs are stopping the 'smaller' ones growing through poaching their players. United are now maoning because one of their players wants to move to what he believes is bigger and better things yet they continuously snatch players from smaller clubs.

  • Comment number 10.

    Much has been talked about the sums involved, and this is important. While everyone can argue about how much Bostock is really worth, the fact remains that his selling chairman feels hard done by.

    So, why bother having an academy at all? Palace are not the biggest club, but are certainly not the smallest. This tribunal sends out the message that they should trawl League One clubs, and lower, for promising youngsters as the tribunal will value the player on their side. So, the development is pushed further down the scale and the smaller clubs get rolled-over, yet again.

    So, if medium-sized clubs are not developing young players, will the small clubs be able to fill the void, as the Premier League clubs, generally, just seem to buy young players these days, rather than develop them themselves?

    Lastly, what of the players themselves? Bostock is 16. In his eyes he is unbeatable, he will be in the Spurs first team regularly next season or the season after next, earning huge money every week. He does not need to fulfil an apprenticeship because he will go to White Hart Lane and they will be blown away by him. He has an agent who's been onboard for a few months who agrees with him wholeheartedly and who has £70,000 to show for his work so far, based on a 10% fee.

    This is unlikely to happen. We only have to look at what happened to Routledge. He just has not developed properly and has learned his trade in the stiffs, probably always believing he has been hard done by.

    A developed player should have to sign a two-year contract with his existing club when he hits 16. Then, when he is 18, normal rules should apply.

    Why is there a tribunal anyway? Why can't market forces justify the price, as they do with all other transfers? Looking at the history, Spurs were more than happy to let this go to tribunal. They knew it would lean more heavily to their valuation than to Palace's, both of which were probably exaggerated anyway.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    the last two paragraphs of the above post is typical fan in the Premiership showing breathtaking ignorance and demonstrates perfectly all what is wrong with football in this country. Why do you think Football League clubs ask a lot of money for their players? All of the money is in the Premiership, the majority of clubs outside have to sell to survive, so of course they will ask for as much money as possible as they can, who can blame them. The problem all comes about because of the lack of money being filtered down.
    Quite frankly, blaming this on the FL clubs is ludicrous.
    As for Jordans comment, he is spot on..why would a club run an academy and develop youngsters and then a big club comes in and takes them for peanuts. It costs a lot of money for a club to run an academy so when you see players getting taken from under your nose and not properly compensated then there really is no point.

  • Comment number 13.

    For clarification, i was referring to the post above which has now been removed

  • Comment number 14.

    Simon Jordan is a fascinating character.

    Flash, brash and all geezer. It would be all too easy to get the wrong impression. he is a man who talks a lot of sense about the state of the game and does not suffer fools.

    I thought that the column he had in The Observer was brilliant.

    This example seems particularly relevant:

  • Comment number 15.

    i'm a forest fan, not a premiership fan,

    i also agree with your point about money not being filtered down through the leagues fairly.

    there is, like it or not, a bigger picture here than boo hoo poor palace.

    i'm not saying the deal itself was or wasn't fair, i tried to balance the point before some communist sympathiser had it removed, but jordan has a long history of throwing his toys out of the pram and his comments about youth are totally unacceptable from a man in his position.

    the premiership has killed the dream, neither of our clubs is likely to return to europe or get 'glad all over' on a cup run anytime soon, we are all feeder clubs for the premiership elite and thats the way it is likely to stay. the reason we have so many crap foreign players in england is, in part, due to the cost of english players.

    i would like to see a fairer distribution of funds, not just to league clubs but to grass roots as well, definately.

    not going to happen though is it? and for england to have a half decent team we need english players breaking through to the premiership.

    like i said, it's a hard call

  • Comment number 16.

    I read your previous post before it was removed.
    Surely if England to have a half decent team, these youngsters need to play regular first team football in order to develop themselves. Do you really think Bostock will play many first team games for Spurs next season if at all? He may be at a bigger club, with better players etc...but regular first team football is surely more beneficial for Palace at this stage of his career than in the reserves at Spurs. If Bostock had stayed at Palace for a year or two and then moved on i would have had no complaints whatsoever. And this is the problem which filters up to the national team. Premiership clubs are grabbing these talented up and coming youngsters from lower league clubs and sticking them in the reserves, thus they dont play regular first team matches and dont get to fulfil anywhere near their potential. Chelsea signed two young players from Leeds a couple of years ago, Michael Woods and Tom Taiwo. Have you heard any mention of them since they joined? I havent.
    What good is it for the national team to keep allowing this to happen? The pool of English players each year is becoming smaller and smaller.. youngsters are being lured by the money of the big clubs, smaller clubs arent being properly compensated and most of these players just seem to disappear off the radar.
    As for Jordans comments he is spot on. He pumps money into this year in, year out..and to see Bostock taken away and getting peanuts in return, i think he has every right to say what he did. What is he supposed to do, just say 'ah well' and just move on..and just accept things the way it is. I know Jordan is not everyone's cup of tea, to put it kindly, and there has been times where ive cringed the way he has spouted off, but he does speak sense from time to time and is straight to the point, and at least someone has the balls to speak out.

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm not a palace fan but I think Jordan is absolutely right. The top clubs take the brightest acedamy prospects at a knock down price and the club with the academy is left with the ones that don't make it. Can't blame the youngsters for wanting to move to a premiership club, but the lower league club must be properly compensated. "Top ups" based on appearances and a good slice of future transfer fees would also help.

  • Comment number 18.

    From a Spurs point of view I'm delighted to have one of the brightest prospects in English football joining us.

    But as an England fan it's not such a good thing. This scenario is not uncommon (as people have commented above) and may stop FL academies from bothering to grow players for the national team, which will damage England a great deal. The FA have to change the way the tribunal system works.

    And from a competition point of view how are clubs from the lower leagues ever going to improve themselves if the bigger clubs cherrypick their best prospects?

    Not that the FA will do anything of course.

  • Comment number 19.

    Same happens in Scotland. Zurab Khisanasvilli (now of Blackburn) used to play for Dundee, left on a free to Rangers, who were due to pay Dundee compensation. The tribunal decided that no fee was necessary, Dundee went into administration 6 months later. Disgusting.

  • Comment number 20.

    There's a very simple way to put an end to this kind of thing. The player can be "bought" by anyone who can afford him for 50 or 100 or 200 times his salary (or whatever figure the panel agrees upon). His salary at Palace really reflects what Palace think he's worth. I'd love to know what Palace were paying this guy (or his parents), and what "value" they've had on him since he's been there as a seven year old.

  • Comment number 21.

    I agree with Jordan it is scandelous. but how can you put a value on potential?

    I think perhaps a sum should be paid then hefty Sell on, Apperance clauses should be added. this will sure repay the smaller clubs if these players fullfill the potential

  • Comment number 22.

    Unfortunately this happens to a lot of clubs, Bostock and Palace just being a more famous example.

  • Comment number 23.

    i personally think the whole tribunal arrangement should be scrapped.

    transfers of the teenagers would be conducted in the same way under contract players are dealt with lower league clubs would get what they value their player at then

  • Comment number 24.

    It is all too common, the big clubs taking the best prospects from the smaller clubs, and getting them for an absolute snip because of the ridiculously low valuations put on them by the tribunal.

    For another example, look at Ryan Bertrand. He was poached from Gillingham by Chelsea at the age of 15, before he'd even played a first team game. Thanks to a tribunal, Gillingham got the princely sum of £125,000 for him, plus a few add ons. Three years on, he still hasn't played a single first team game for Chelsea, and has spent most of his time on loan at other clubs, yet there was talk in all of the papers this week of Hull being prepared to pay Chelsea in the region of £2m for him. How is that fair on small clubs struggling to survive, when the big clubs can just snap up all the young prospects, and not even bother trying to negotiate a reasonable deal with the selling club because they know the tribunal will make them pay a fee much less than market value, and then they can just plonk them in the reserves or loan them out, until they can sell them at a profit a few years down the line.

  • Comment number 25.

    I'm a Spurs fan and I have to admit I think the Tribunal screwed up. I was expecting us to pay somewhere between £1.5m and £2m. The tribunal does seem to have a very tenuous understanding of today's transfer market.

  • Comment number 26.

    Tribunals shouldn't decide fees for players

    what is it for a bunch of impartial (or maybe even partial to a certain way) people to decide how much someones worth. i think it's ridiculus

    was it platini that said he was gunna put in a law that says you can't buy out a player under 16 to stop teams like man u nicking youngsters from madrid etc?

    if you ask me that's the way forward, i think the youngsters shouldnt be allowed to leave lower league clubs until their 18 and under contract, then its never left to a tribunal, lower leagues get the right money for their homegrown talent, and the players themselves will have had a year, maybe 2 of first team action as opposed to being shoved in the youth teams of bigger clubs.

  • Comment number 27.

    The FA/FL making decisions in the interests of the bigger club - that's a first.

    There are countless examples of lower league clubs going into administration. Selling young players if a lifeline for lower division sides. They are producing English players who can go on to the national team. Hart is a great example of this.

    The narrow-mindedness of the FL on this matter is staggering. More clubs are going to struggle if you lower the amount of money lower league clubs get. If there is no money to be made, clubs will have to cut back on their youth system and therefore fewer of our young talents gain the skills they need.

    If you want to know why there is a shortage of good English players, don't look at the overseas players in the Premiership. Look at the way the lower leagues are struggling to finance youth strategies and put more funding into that.

  • Comment number 28.

    I can see where Jordan is coming from,considering Bostock has been part of there academy from the age of seven the sum of £700,000 doesnt seem to reflect this. Maybe FIFA need to intoruce an age limit such as 18 before academy players can move on. This would give buying clubs a clearer picture of the players true potential and make it easier to see the value of the player for transfer. This would also help the club that nurtures the talent of the player as they keep the player to the age of say 18.

  • Comment number 29.

    I heard somewhere that Michel Platini is thinking of introducing a law that would prevent the transfers of players aged under 18.

    Could this provide a solution to the problem?

  • Comment number 30.

    completely agreeing with ''histon4europe''

  • Comment number 31.

    The 100 x his wages idea is ludicrous. Apart from the fact that he's just 16, he plays for a championship club, even if they thought he was gonna be Maradona crossed with Pele there's a limit to what they'd pay him. There's a limit to what they'd pay him at 25, with CL medals let alone at 16. To say that shows what they think he will be worth in naive at best.

  • Comment number 32.

    i have got two opinions on this issue. firstly being a tottenham fan i am very excited to have signed bostock, but i belive jordon is right. £700,000 for a player that has the potential to be an england regular is outrageous. personally it should be 1.5m up front for such a talent, but then, and this should be with all tribunal decisions, a percentage of between 15 to 50% should be contracted as a sell on clause depending on how long the player was at the previous club.

    in this case being there for 9 years they should get 50% .

    the second thing i would like to say is about the whole deal with routledge. if you look at a few of the players that tottenham have taken from lower league clubs, huddlestone, lennon, bale, gunter 2 of which made 40+ appearances last season and at just 20 are pushing for england call ups, the other is a regular welsh international and was in amazing form before his injury. so he could havee signed for a lot worse?

  • Comment number 33.

    I thoroughly agree the system is stacked in favour of the premier teams,
    I have always thought that, since days of the mega bucks transfers a small percentage should go into a kitty by the relevant FA and when the smaller clubs are in serious trouble, like dear old Gretna, can be assisted. Although I am not a regular Scottish football follower, I did keep an eye out for Gretna and their climb to the SPL and it is very sad to see what happened to them. Too much money has corrupted football.
    Finally on the Bostock matter It is great to see Jordan upset because I hate the sight of him, he makes my skin crawl and the sooner he's away from football the better

  • Comment number 34.

    I think perhaps the most important point has been left out here, although it has been alluded to.
    It's English talent which will suffer as a result of this.
    Half the Premier League clubs have scrapped their youth systems because they're "not financially viable", or something to that effect.
    The ruling of this tribunal will act as further discouragement for clubs like Palace who have an excellent history of turning out top quality players and showing the conviction to blood them into first team football.

    Tottenham's record is nowhere near as rosey as Palace's on this front. I fear for Bostock.

  • Comment number 35.

    Everybody is missing the point.

    The cause of the problem is the absurd law that prevents under 16s from signing contracts. If Palace had been allowed to sign Bostock when he was 14 for (say) a 5 year contract, then Tottenham would have had to agree a transfer fee in the usual way and none of these problems would have arisen. What's the problem with that?

    And please, no blather about exploitation of children, slavery and chimney sweeps!


  • Comment number 36.

    I agree about the contact thing.
    Thankfully we have Platini in charge of UEFA, who actually has some sense, unlike Blatter - what an idiot.
    (Blatter's been biased against English football since the word go and completely out of touch.)
    Thinking about it though, it's difficult to assign that much responsibility to such a young person. How many 14/15 year olds do you know who are ready to make a decision which is effectively deciding their future for the next 4 years...
    We all had to make similar decisions at that age but nothing was contractual.

  • Comment number 37.

    Its a disgrace ! I'm a Palace fan and I've effectively paid (albeit in part and not so much as Mr Jordan) for Bostock's development. I and the club, have been mugged !

    Is the Tribunal and football's governing body in the pay of the bigger clubs? If this was any other industry there would be an investigation from the Competition Commission! The top clubs are trying to ensure their pre-eminence and the footballing authorities are party to this crime! Out with the lot of them !

  • Comment number 38.

    I dont care what anyone else says, Ive worked alongside Simon Jordan and hes a prime idiot. A true plonker.

    He should come out of the game - hes no good to anyone - not least Palace supporters - who deserve better.

    Although being the media luvvie that I believe that he is, there are not many places where his enormous ego would fit.

    Its the same story for Ken Bates (whom I also worked alongside). Another prime prat.

    I think he should get one of those cement trucks that he first brought to the UK and get it to cover himself in it - then Leeds can be a normal Club again.

  • Comment number 39.

    The only way around this as far as I can see is to have Platini's new idea come to fruition - players under the age of 18 cannot be poached by other clubs. Sadly, this would probably be successfully challenged in the European courts as a restriction of an employee's right to freedom of movement within the EU or similar - especially in the case of a player like Bostock who had no contract.
    What people don't get here is that the whole system of football is hierarchical - you can develop all the promising players you want, but if they want and are able to move upwards, you can't stop them (and should not be able to).
    In the case of Ronaldo, two things are in conflict - Utd's right to be compensated for their "asset" and Ronaldo's right to freedom of movement. Unfortunately (for Utd) the right of the individual, if this were to be challenged in a court of law, would supercede any claim Utd might have to him. Players should be allowed to buy out their contracts at any stage of the deal.

  • Comment number 40.


    So not only do the FA have to properly secure these lavish academies from poaching and stop agents crawling all over young kids on England duty; more fundamentally, they must ban agents dealing with teenagers full stop. In the simplest terms, agents must be outlawed from representing players under the age of 20, and that role should be served by the PFA. The bottom line is this. There's no way an agent can tell a young player what the right move is for them - they don't know what it is, and, more than that, they often don't give a toss what it is. So why on earth are we letting the futures of this country's most promising young athletes rest in their hands?

    This was written by Simon Jordan, who apparently is unbearable blah blah blah. I'm with Paul Fletcher, Jordan talks sense. Anyone who has a problem with his personality needs to get some perspective.

  • Comment number 41.

    Of course Jordan is a plonker...he appointed Colin!

  • Comment number 42.

    I agree with Simon Jordans comments ,however as a Vice Chairman of our local junior and senior club, I would like to ask did Mr Jordan pay anything toward the local club that his young players came from in the first place,all too often we see pro club scouts turning up at Junior games and tournaments looking for the next David Beckham.
    They see some one who they think could make the grade and lets say they sign them on,they pay absolutley nothing back into the grasss root football club, but moan if some one does the same to them in the pro game,I hope Mr jordan and other club chairman start and practise what they preach,grass roots clubs need funds more than any other tier in the English game,they could start by getting the F A to hand back some of the money it gets from fining pro players who mis behave.
    The Fa should bring in a rule that the Pro club pays the grassroot club a finders fee for every player who is taken on .
    Come on Mr Jordan put you money where your mouth is.

  • Comment number 43.

    I can only really see 2 ways to sort this out:
    1. Allow youngsters to sign contracts, so that the developing club has a choice whether to sell them or not.
    2. Compensation based on how the player develops

    Given that 1) would fall foul of all sorts of labour laws, I suspect we can rule that one out.
    So there should be some sort of minimum fee for the player at the moment he's poached (say £100,000 for each year of development), followed by extra payments based on I guess appearances, wages, caps, transfer fees until he reaches 21. And possibly a share of transfer fees throughout his career.
    No idea what the numbers should be though...

  • Comment number 44.

    Partly playing devil's advocate here, but can anyone explain to me why Palace should receive anything more than a nominal sum? Why should there be a lottery for the smaller clubs as to who happens to have the best talent (not spotted by someone bigger, natch) crop up on their turf so that they get a windfall?

    Doesn't it make much more sense to take some amount of money away from the top clubs each year and distribute it fairly to everyone, with a small amount extra (the tribunal fee) on top for particularly outstanding players? I mean, lets not forget that Palace are receiving His van annual subsidy to develop players, just as every minor team does in England.

    The other question is why Bostock should want to stay at Palace, and what he owes them. He's clearly going to receive a better footballing education at a top club (even at Tottenham ;), and he hasn't got anything from them that he wouldn't have got at any other club. His parents did all the hard work so far, and I bet it didn't take more than a few minutes in bed 16 years ago... If Palace had anything to offer him, they could persuade him to stay until he signs a contract - as it is, why should he want to? If they had more chance of not losing him at the end of any contract he (hypothetically) had signed, then he'd be worth more. As it is, though, even if he was contracted to Palace, he is still young enough to wait the contract out.

  • Comment number 45.

    Josh - You seem to be assuming that all players with talent deliver upon it. That is not true. The Golden generation of United players - the Neville's, Scholes, Butt and so on weren't just 4 England-quality players who happened to be brought up within miles of each other. Celtic's European Cup winning side wasn't just a statistical oddity of them generating a lot of international-class players from the area at the same time. The reason Liverpool have stopped producing Scousers isn't because of a sudden lack of good youngsters in the area.

    Players are nurtured by clubs, which enable them to deliver. United had a great system in the early 1990's, which they've never been able to reproduce. Celtic's in the 1960's must have been immense.

    Clubs like Palace are creating good players, not merely being the club that signs the future Premiership stars who would have made their name anywhere. Its not a lottery which clubs deliver the talented players, its decided by who has the best scouts, best training facilities and are able to play the kids in their first team.

    Crewe are not a very, very lucky lower league side who just happen to have fallen upon many great players down the years. They are a very successful club at nurturing and developing talent, explaining why they've contributed players to many England squads over the years. Teams who are producing the great players deserve to be properly reimbursed for that.

    Authors don't write good books and then receive no money when they are made into a film. They might have no say over the production or direction, or make any financial input, but they are rewarded for creating the opportunity for the film to be made. Nurturing clubs shown be viewed as the same as authors of novels made into films, and receive credit for their part in the players development.

  • Comment number 46.

    It's Blatter's fault - and in 2 years when Chelski want to buy him for 15 million, and Spurs have no desire to sell, he can wail on about the "slave wages" etc etc.

    But, let's get real. The kid is 16, has no top-flight experience, and is a rough diamond. Possibly a diamond none the less, but in great need of polishing.

    Who is going to provide that polish - a team like Palace ? Doubt it.

    In the best interest of the youngster, and English football, the move is a good one.

    While I understand Palace wanting more cash, how much has he really cost them? They are making a good profit.

    If the youngster had some premier league experience, or even a year or two more experience with Palace - and had proven himself during - as an example - a good cup run, then maybe.

    As it stands, I am not too sure that the money paid is really a "bargain".

    Spurs are taking a risk, and for any risk there has to be a good potential reward.

  • Comment number 47.

    If Tottenham wanted to play him in the first team, they wouldnt have signed Modric for 16m. I have no idea how much the kid is worth, but surely he needs first team football to gain experience and improve as a player. He won't get that at Tottenham so the best option for him was to stay at palace.

  • Comment number 48.


    I agree with you to a large extent, although I have to point out that the United team of the 90s perfectly fits the profile of a statistical quirk. I don't know much about the Celtic side of the 60s, so I can't really comment, but I would say that the extent to which you expect statistical clustering of this type is far, far higher than gut instinct would tell you. Without passing judgement on Crewe's ability to produce talent or otherwise, you'd expect that out of 92 Football League clubs, one would have got consistently lucky over the years.

    There are other factors at work as well, presumably - I would have thought that the proximity of major clubs would impinge on the number of promising youngsters available to train, and so on. Even so, there is an extent to which you have to get lucky with the local talent. Yes, the Ronaldo, Fabregas, Henry type players need training - but without that potential, they'd never be where they are.

    Ultimately, I think your arguments point towards rewarding clubs for the work done, rather than for the final product, which I'd agree with. That's the system we have at the moment, although it could maybe use some tweaking. Then, when clubs do get lucky with the talent, they get a small windfall on top of that, in the form of a transfer or tribunal fee.

  • Comment number 49.

    Actually, what I said above is wrong in one significant respect - clubs aren't paid for the work they've already done training a player: they're paid to do work each year. The difference is that they get the same amount regardless of how well they do, simply because it's impossible to tell how much is training and how much is natural talent.

  • Comment number 50.

    Thinking about it a little more, I'm not sure that this issue of scouting isn't a red herring - why are we using subjective analysis to find talent, when it could be measured objectively? If every kid in the country was measured for things like reaction time, natural throwing/kicking skill, aerobic fitness, muscle-learning ability, and so-on, every sport in the country would know exactly where the natural talent was. Obviously, you still have to assess for attitude and the like, which can't be measured objectively, and you'd have to be careful not to exclude those whose mental attributes would make up for physical shortcomings.

    In fact, why not go one step further and say that all these issues are as a result of clubs having the responsibility for training young players - why not have a proper centralised coaching system for all kids who want it, instead of just those who scouts think will be good in years to come?

  • Comment number 51.

    It is certainly "nothing short of scandalous" to make a 700,000 - 1.25m valuation for a teenage ball-kicker. No callow sprite is worth that much! For all his 'nourishing' and 'cherishing'. Jordan's "gripe" should actually be seen as a compliment to the tribunal system. It's one of the rare instances recently where a modicum of common sense has been introduced into a football bazaar gone mad with hyperinflationary pricing of overhyped players. By NOT accurately reflecting the insane fees of the transfer market in the current UNreal world of football, the tribunal system has performed a great service and it is something not to be feared but to be applauded and should be expanded to cover all transfers. 'Please prove me wrong, but how many transfer fees outside of the tribunal system can you name where the valuation of a player did NOT seem ridiculously high?' Football exists in a bubble economy detached from the cares of the workaday world and it's high time to bring it back down to earth.

  • Comment number 52.

    The tribunals have always done this. The same happened with Jermain Defoe in 1999 when West Ham got him from charlton with a fee rising to a maximum of £1.4m.

    The fact is, the player in question was not worth what Palace wanted for him. No player is worth the fees they cost. If a tibunal was invloved in every transfer, then you would see this kind of fee for everyone - even the likes of Ronaldo. As far as the tribunal is concerned, a fee can only represent the cost of developing that player (I think) and paying the remainder of his contract, rather than intangible values such as future potential. I beleive this is correct and should apply across the board for all transfers. It would stop the ridiculous fees some clubs charge for 'potential' talent. This kid might never even make the Tottenham 1st team!

  • Comment number 53.

    Well, lets decide are transfer rates too high or not? If the complaint is upheld, then a tribunal forcing a club to pay, say, £10m for a 16 year old is totally hypocritical, as they then buy into the ridiculous over-pricing of the market. Yes, there needs to be a change but who has a better system? The only solution I can come up with concerns the additional money clauses, and the chance of these rising ever higher dependant on the players success. Therefore the initial 700,00 could be raised to 2.5m in further payments if the player reaches the potential Palace claim he is capable of. This may take time, and a new manager/chairman at the selling club may benefit further, especially if the clauses extend, but at least the selling club would eventually receive the players worth.

  • Comment number 54.

    It's is tangibley unfair that a club has spent nine years developing a player, only to have him legally snatched away when he reaches the final stages of his development and will begin to reward the club for their contribution to what will be a very lucrative career. That situation is compounded by the ridiculous tribunal award which is, at its very best, naiive.

    In this case, Bostock has been badly advised, I think there is widespread agreement on that. Despite his youth, he should be mindful to avoid causing the kind of public consternation that this action would inevitably cause. He should weigh very carefully the advice given by agents who are conflicted by the desire to maximise and regularise their commissions, and the 'real' best interests of their clients.

    The player himself is guilty of a misjudgement.

    Tottenham must recognise that the figure awarded is out of sync with real market conditions and in my opinion the management of that club look a little bit shabby. It is encouraging to see that even Spurs supporters have expressed the view that the player is undervalued and the system is flawed in the responses above.
    Spurs should recognise the controversy this action has caused and volunteer an earn out/sell-on clause, because this issue leaves SUCH a bad taste in the mouth.

    Frankly, the decision of this tribunal is so deeply disturbing for the game because it appears to highlight a severe degree of ineptitude in the highest echelons of the administration of our national sport. The ramifications of a decision like this can only be negative. It brings the game itself into disrepute, if football supporters are forced into the belief that the administration of the sport is counter productive to the long-term benefit of itself, insofaras the effect of the decision is to discourage investment into acadamies and grass roots, and if it leaves heavy duty investors wanting to walk away.

    It either shows complete ignorance of the business of football or raises the spectre of corruption. It has to be one of the two. The footballing authorities have come in for some stick in the past from Simon Jordan and maybe they regard this as their only viable route to have a dig back. Or maybe they have some implicit sympathies for Spurs. Maybe its a combination of the two. The problem is that the decision has forced us into speculating about these things because it seems so blatantly wrong, and consequently it has inherently harmed the game.

    If you love football, you can not fail to be angered by this.

  • Comment number 55.

    I don't usually agree with Simon Jordan most of the time, but here I think he is right. Clubs that don't have huge amounts of transfer money are told they need to develop young players in order to survive. When one decent player comes through there ranks they get snapped up on the cheap by a big club. I don't think the system will change but it should.

  • Comment number 56.


    Do you not think you are over-reacting just a bit?

    So the tribunal are either corrupt or Tottenham supporters are they? What planet are you on!

    The fact is, the fee the tribunal set is the ACTUAL worth of the player. Never mind all this 'potential star' rubbish. This method of player valuation should be applied accross football as, if anything, it gives a wake up call to everyone as to just how overpriced players are. The only thing I would support in this case is acheivement based payments so that, if the player (although unlikely) makes it big, Palace will get a reward.

    By the way, I love football and am not angered by this in the slightest Oh, and I am not a Tottenham supporter either.

  • Comment number 57.

    i think the fee as a whole has robbed palace if bostock goes on to achieve his rated potential.

    maybe a new structure of payment could be made so that an inital fee is given and then if these young players go on to achieve that potential they get a lump sum maybe

    this way a correct value could given to the club that develop talent

  • Comment number 58.

    *get another lump sum

  • Comment number 59.

    common on you spurs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 60.


    You are clearly missing the point and of course the potential of every player is a key factor in the value of their transfer. To suggest otherwise is utter nonsense.

    But it's a distraction form the main point which is that the impact of what is a considerable under valuation (precisely because it does not take account of the potential of the player), will destroy confidence in investment into youth. That is my main point.

    As you see it, apparently it is OK for a big club to swoop on a smaller club and snatch their most valued players in exchange for token sums. To you that is fair, sensible and good for the future of English Football, is it? What planet are YOU on??

  • Comment number 61.

    As a Charlton fan, I have no love for Jordan or Palace but he is right in this case. It is no good trying to value Bostock, the question should be did Palace want to lose him? The answer is no, so if compensation is going to be paid it should be extremely high. This will put big clubs trying to nick youngsters from smaller clubs which I think is a scandal. Tottenham have taken the opportunity to get a highly promising player on the cheap. As he will not feature for them next season, why not wait and buy him in a year or two....because they can rely on the idiots who run these tribunals, that's why. We have a very special player at Charlton who will be the next Gerrard in Jonjo Shelvey. I'm terrified we will be mugged like Palace as he is only 16 as well.

  • Comment number 62.

    Jordan is just sour because he did get his way; had he been more realistic and agreed earlier, they'd have got more for him.

    Palace are lucky to get anything anyway - he was out of contract and had he been older he'd have walked on a Bosman.

    Should Spurs chase the Gooners for money for Sol Campbell? He came up through their academy and DID fulfill his potential.

    Get over it - this is the way our beloved sport is run, it's not going to change; money is too much a part of it now.......

  • Comment number 63.

    Everyone is forgetting that the kid has only played 5 games ever. He still has loads to prove and spurs will still have to put loads of effort into making him into a prem regular. If Jordan is so gutted about the price then he should have accepted Chelsea's offer of 4.5million a while back. He's just gutted he's lost money on the deal and is using this as an excuse to maybe quit football. Jordan has been developing media interests outside football for sometime.

  • Comment number 64.

    Whats more, Arsenal did the same with Fabregas and no-one mentioned anything about it.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think alot of people are fogetting something. This isn't about Crystal Palace and it's not about Tottenham either. This is about the CHILD. That's right...Bostock is only 16 years old! If tribunals set a price based upon potential the ability to move clubs as a child would be seriously jeopardised, and that would be massively unfair to someone who's legally seen as unable to be mature enough to sign a binding contract. You also have to remember that these tribunals have no basis in law and are carried out by mutual consent between the clubs and the FA. Be thankful that you do get at least something because if this was done through normal employment law, and given that he's returned some of the investment put into him by playing games, you might not be entitled to anything.

    And 5 million? Tottenham have only spent just over 6 million on Dos Santos, a player with potential who's also proved himself over the course of a season with a massive, and far more competitive team in Barcelona. You really think 5 million is a realistic valuation?

    Having said that, I think a far more fair system would be to pay a fee as well as the initial tribunal-set sum after so many games are played. This should be dependant on the league he's moved to and capped at a certain amount so the buying club isn't left with a completely unexpected overhead.

  • Comment number 67.

    Jordan is right. Crystal Palace have been mugged and should call the police. The point isnt just potential ( Walcott hasnt justified the world cup debacle by Ericksson) but the current transfer fees for English players. English players going to Premier clubs are going for stupid fees, nearly £20 mil for Gareth Barry, do me a favour. so £700,000 is a joke for a player they spent 9 years nurturing. Crystal Palace invested a lot of time and manpower in this teenager and got nothing back.

  • Comment number 68.

    i dont think the answer is to crank up the price of young academy prospects. then as mentioned above by someone, they wll simply be bought by the big 4 with the big money, thus unbalancing the premiership even further.

    tottenham is hardly a small club, granted, but if teams like them, villa and everton are outpriced, what chance have hull, sheffield utd or other lower prem/championship sides? 700,000 is a lot (in laymans money) but quite affordable for any such clubs.

    the main problem is that top end players are too expensive and as are their wages. a wage cap or even price cap should do or soemthing likewise.

    on a side not, even for me a villa fan, 18mil for garreth barry is absurd. however considering 18 mil each for carrick and hargreaves last season it seems par for the course for a midfielder who has been more consistent than either. in short to villa he is (or was since hes now unsettled) worht 18mil (as in 18mil of other players to recuperate his loss for example), being so influential as captain and stalwart. he is not worth 18mil as a player to buy however. i hope im clear as to what i mean.

  • Comment number 69.

    Isn't the point of an academy to develop players for your own squad? If Jordan is complaining abou the value then he sees the academy as a feeder system where profits can be made. You don't base your academy business case on selling 5 youngsters a year for £2m each. You base it on what you save in transfer fees later because you have players in house.

    Now this brings to a head the key point - if the club has no hold on the player until they sign a contract and he cannot sign a contract until he is 16 then as a Premier League team, I know what to target - promising 15 year olds. Your business case as a premier league club is probably that 1 in 5 will make 10 times their cost and therefore they always double their money.

    The role of the tribunal is one of knife edge balance. You cannot overvalue as it distorts the market and you need to reflect the investment made in the player.

  • Comment number 70.

    this is exactly why Notts County FC abolished their academy 3 years ago. The club were shelling out huge sums of money to develop these kids and then a premiership or championship club (don't they sound grand!) would come along and wave a massive wad of money in front of the kids (and dads!) faces... wallah!... another potential English player wanders off to obscurity in the reserves or "reserves of the reserves" of these clubs.

    Lower league clubs have always made money selling talent onto bigger clubs but its gone too far. Its abundantly clear that "some" premiership clubs now buy these players just to deprive the competition of doing the same. They have no intention of using them in the first team squad, because its full of foreigners and when they are too old to be of any use any more, they dump them... back to the lower leagues, where they can wander around at the end of each season, hoping that someone will give them a 1 year contract.

    When is the FA going to realise that the whole,thing is unsustainable and that English football is going to suffer as a consequence?

  • Comment number 71.

    I mostly agree with what Jordan says but when he calls Bostock a "world class player", you have to laugh.

    Playing a few games for Palace makes you world class does it?

    Tottenham don't exactly have a good history of turning young players into top players do they?

    He'll turn out to be another Routledge.

  • Comment number 72.

    Even as a Spurs fan who thought Jordan to be a bit of a wally, I have to agree whole-heartedly with his comments.
    The tribunal sets a very dangerous precedent that appears to give the bigger clubs the green light to poach some of the best talent in the country.
    Speaking generally, unless the clubs in the lower echelons are going to be rewarded sufficiently for developing their own young players they have no incentive to do so - which is very damaging for the game.
    The knock-on effects are also that they may struggle financially and even go out of business. In short the rewarding of big clubs and punishing of smaller clubs (re: Palace and Luton in recent weeks) is ludicrous and should not be allowed to continue.

  • Comment number 73.

    I'm sure when Luton Town supporters look at how their club was treated by the footballing hierarchy as compared to, say, West Ham....

  • Comment number 74.

    I rarely agree with Jordan and his many rants, but this time he's spot on.
    The tribunal system has always favoured the buying club, especially if that club is of Premiership class.
    The smaller clubs should be much better compensated for developing the new young talent emerging in this country, as it seems the Prem clubs can't be bothered and just flex their wallets anytime a new starlet is mentioned.
    The agents also have a part to play in this in not turning the youngsters heads anytime a "bigger" club is mentioned. But when has common sense ever prevailed when there's big bucks to be made.
    Case in point being Ben Tozer, who was sold to Newcastle Utd from Swindon at the begining of last season. He had masses of potential and looked to be steady defender.
    In my opinion, Ben would've been better off playing competitive matches for Swindon, building strength, stamina and getting that extra competitive edge before making that step up the leagues.
    It's Swindon's loss and Newcastle's gain, but is it Ben's gain? To my knowledge he's yet to play a competitive game for Newcastle, which must surely hamper his personal progress and his chances of playing top flight football for club and country.
    Surely the point of buying a player is to improve the squad, so he has to be the same or better quality than the player currently in that position?
    Yet so many of our promising youngsters at Premiership clubs are rotting in the reserves or just being loaned out, while the first team is filled with overseas players.
    For all those posters saying that this will, in future, have a detremental effact on the English national team. Too late!
    The showpiece of European club football was this year contested by two english clubs.
    The showpiece of European international football didn't feature England or any other of the home nations national teams.
    Draw your own conclusions!

  • Comment number 75.

    I agree with the post made by Spurs fan Giordie. The whole Bostock sends out the message to smaller clubs that investing heavily in a youth academy could well be a waste of time if, as Jordan put it, they lose players of big potential for a packet of crisps. I dont blame Spurs for their efforts in poaching Bostock, they've simply used the system to their advantage and good luck to them. The system needs to change to protect clubs like Palace. The only hope clubs like Palace have is producing home grown talent in the hope that one day they'll produce a team that could achieve some form of success. The Bostock saga proves there isnt much hope for the smaller clubs to achieve this, so no wonder Jordan feels like packing up and going home. Its a waste of his time and money. And its no suprise England are suffering on the international stage, we are simply not producing good young players anymore because the system from top to bottom is flawed.

  • Comment number 76.

    There is some truth in What Jordan says but equally, there are some players who do get chances, Aaron lennon, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone to name but a few at Spurs, these guys came as youngsters, some via tribunal and some via standard transfer and have made the grade.

    The undoubted difference at a premiership club is that the facilities, coaching and exposure to a far higher quality of player will bring them on. if he is as good as Crystal palace claim then he will florish, if however he is like Wayne Routledge who was probably over rated then he won't. The tribunal system won't effect that either way.

  • Comment number 77.

    See post number 4, says it all. I agree with Jordan, football's making me disillusioned too.

  • Comment number 78.

    If Jordan quits because of this deal then the whole of football should be thanking Spurs. I don't think anyone will shed a tear to see the back of him. Send your messages of thanks to THFC, 748 High Road, London, N17 0AP!! Jordan should have taken chelseas big offer and he knows it. The TRUTH is that he wants to be involved in the prem league but isn't a big enough fish to survive in those shark infested waters. If you can't stand the heat....

  • Comment number 79.

    As much as Jordan can be a bit of an idiot at times, he's got a perfectly valid point here. Admittedly, the guy is essentially a businessman and is concerned about losing out on money but, I think, in the circumstances this is actually a fair stance.

    The problem for smaller clubs (no disrespect to anyone intended) is that they need to produce good young players to survive. They can then benefit in one of two ways. First, the player develops, stays, improves the first team and makes the whole process worth while. The club either benefit here on the playing front (with possible promotion if enough good young talent is used) and the players may well move on for a price nearer their market valuation if they're successful with their club.

    Second, the player is sold before he plays any meaningful number of games for his club but the price again reflects the market value (ie £5m for Ramsey). The club benefit here and it makes the process worth while for them. Sure, the buying club take a gamble but is not any big fee a gamble?

    The current system is poor. I know there's no guarantee that any good young player will make it but for the past couple of years everybody who knows Bostock has been saying he's got a hell of a chance. Maybe employment law prevents somebody under the age of 16 signing a contract of any meaningful length but there should be a more suitable system in place to reimburse the selling club. Effectively, the situation at present is that the clubs that are producing these players are just academies for premiership clubs if the premiership club picks the player up before they're 16.

    I don't blame Spurs one bit for this. It's not the most moral of moves on their part but all they're doing is exploiting a flawed system. Oh and can people stop admiring Aresenal in this? Sure they paid big money for Walcott and Ramsey but they had no choice in the matter. Those players were contracted and Arsenal had to pay the going price. I don't recall them offering to pay the going rate for Fabregas or Merida.

  • Comment number 80.

    With so much money in the premiership, the gap in class between the premiership and the rest is getting larger. The gap makes it very hard for young, British kids to break through with so many top class foreigners in the game.

  • Comment number 81.

    to Josh23 earlier, you make some sensible points but I take issue with your idea that the 'top clubs' pay a small amount of money each year which is then distributed amongst the smaller clubs. An additional sum could then be paid (decided by tribunal) for outstanding talents. There are a couple of problems that I can see here:

    1. Who are the top clubs? The whole of the premiership? The 'Big 4'. If the whole of the premiership, why should newly promoted clubs who in more recent times have not been so 'big' (stoke for example) pay a tax for being in the premiership?

    2. for this to be worthwhile, it would probably have to be more than a small amount of money. If all 20 teams in the Prem were to pay, this would then be split between the remaining 72 (or 73?) clubs in the league. This would probably not be that much and I supect would not go a great distance in paying for numerous overheads.

    3. In principal, the smaller clubs receiving the payment from the 'big clubs' would be liitle more than academies for the paying clubs. Why is this fair? Sure, some would be happy to receive a small amount of money each year but if this meant that all their decent players were being poached, I doubt that they would be happy for long. Indeed, most, I imagine, would stop spending money on their own academies.

    4. The worst thing about football at present is the ever increasing gap between the top 4 and the rest of the prem and the prem and the championship and the championship and everything below. Why does everyone seem intent on preserving this gap? Why should any system be put in place to prevent so-called smaller clubs from building a good team without a load of money and maybe getting a promotion or two. Josh, that's not a personal thing but I don't see how your proposal would help any smaller clubs who produce their own talent.

  • Comment number 82.

    Simon Jordan is completely right. The money that Spurs have been ordered to pay is scandalous, especially considering the amount Palace were expecting. Sure, Palace may have over-estimated how much he's worth, but it is more likely that that price reflects the time, money and effort put into nurturing his talent, his importance to the squad and the current market trends. A tribunal is never likely to consider all the intricacies of the players development when deciding on a sum. And they certainly won't consider sentiment or a desire to retain a prized asset.

    The saddest thing about this whole saga is the way the player has acted. Even as a 16 year old you should understand the meaning of loyalty. His agent should hang his head in shame for advising him to move and his parents should have vetoed it. This is a player who was courted by Barcelona and Manchester United yet next season he will be playing on the bench for Spurs. Why not play your first few full seasons for Palace? Repay the faith they've shown in you and get some match experience. Then, when the big clubs come knocking again, you might actually have a chance of succeeding there. At Spurs next season he will have to oust Jenas, Huddlestone, Modric, Zokora etc. from the centre of midfield. Unless there's a major injury crisis he'll barely get a run-out.

    Jordan cited Ramsey's transfer to Arsenal. At least in that case there are precedents for making a move that young. Look at how the careers of Fabregas, Clichy, Walcott etc have benefitted from playing at Arsenal. They have a proven recent history of nurturing the young talent they purchase. Their Carling Cup team is made up almost wholly of youth players, offering them experience and guaranteed senior competition. Spurs will no doubt try to retain the Carling Cup next season and are therefore unlikely to play youngsters like Bostock, so he will barely get on the pitch next season.

    Look at the way Wayne Routledge's career floundered after his move from Palace to Spurs. Spurs are not obliged to continue Bostock's development the way Palace would have been. And a couple of seasons down the line Spurs aren't guaranteed to have the same manager. Jol was only there for three years, and given the interference from the likes of Comolli behind the scenes who's to say Ramos will be there much longer or that millions of pounds won't be spent on more players next season pushing Bostock even further down the pecking order.

    This move was surely motivated by money on Bostock's part. It makes no sense any other way. All the evidence suggests he will disappear into obscurity. But at least he'll have a few quid in the bank and some lame excuse of how he was never given a chance. Yes you were, Palace could have built their team around you. Instead you're a bench warmer. Worst move ever!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    I have to say, Jordan is a complete barn-pot, but I have to admire his passion for his club. He clearly loves palace to bits.

    I do agree with him on this, sadly I can't see things changing any time soon. Even though United, Arsenal and Cheslea are all getting a taste of there own medicine with other clubs courting their players I doubt this will make them think twice in the future.

    I hope he changes his mind about selling up, like him or not Simon Jordan is one of the most interesting people in the English game.

  • Comment number 84.

    "Please prove me wrong, but how many tribunal decisions can you name where the valuation of a player has seemed ridiculously high?"

    The final amount West Ham got for Liam Ridgewell from tribunal (including additional fees for appearances and a sell on percentage) was well more than he's worth. Can't remember the exact figures now but once we got a sizeable chunk of the £2m that took him to Brum, he was our best bit of business in years.

    I think the initial fee for Bostock is fair for a player of such little experience but perhaps the add ons could have been greater. Anybody remember the hype surrounding Simon Davies before he left Posh? I'm sure we can all think of great players in the making who weren't so great away from the page.

  • Comment number 85.

    I'm a Spurs fan and, whilst I'm chuffed to have signed as promising a talent as Bostock, I agree completely with Simon Jordan.

    The truth is that, although the argument is based upon "potential", Palace should have got more. Fair enough Bostock may not go on to fulfill that potential, but there are clauses that could've (and should've) been included to safeguard against the possible outcomes for both Spurs and Palace; with fees depending on the player's development and progression in the game.

    There's a very good point made previously about the free transfer of Sol Campbell to Arsenal. Tottenham invested hugely into the nurturing of Campbell's undoubted talent only to see it stolen by our rivals exploiting the system, aided by a greedy agent.

    The truth here is that all clubs are vulnerable, regardless of their size, as there will always be someone bigger and better to snatch the most promising talent. It happens from grass roots all the way through to the top.

    There are obviously problems with the system that need to be addressed, but unfortunately there's no simple answer and the opinions portrayed here are testament to that. However, I think Platini's ideas could go a long way to resolving some of the issues.

    It's a shame that Simon Jordan is turning his back on football as the game needs characters like him who are willing to challenge the authorities and, to be fair, he can talk a lot of sense even if it is rather amusing.

    I guess there's only so much the guy can take after being shafted continually by those throughout the hierarchy of the game. He's obviously very passionate about the sport and has contributed greatly to Palace, who very nearly went out of business thanks to the uneven spread of finance that develops from issues like this.

    These issues are constantly happening within the game and it needs people like Jordan to raise awareness, otherwise things will not change. I can't think of any other figures in the game who are willing to test the system so vehemently.

  • Comment number 86.

    Simon Jordan is a flash git who is full of self importance out to promote himself as a bit of a smooth criminal. It is because of this fact that i am annoyed in myself for agreeing with him 100%

    Football has no back-bone and seems to punish lower flight teams and help those 'bigger' clubs. Look how after the Italian match fixing scandal Lazio, Fiorentina and AC Milan were allowed back in the Seri A and in European competitions, Milan went on to beat Liverpool that season in the final, how is that justice in any way shape or form.

    I am a West Ham fan so it may seem a little rich me ironically asking that, do you honestly think a Premier league club would ever start with a 30 point deficit at the start of a season like Luton Town?

    As a club who has had to sell the majority of its talent to survive; the Ferdinand's, Lampards', joe cole's to name but a few, i have empathy and sympathy for Palace fans and Jordan who have recieved pittance for one of the most talented youngsters in England. Furthermore i am upset as an England fan who may see this talent go to waste instead of developing and flourishing at Palace.

  • Comment number 87.

    Mouser Dem:

    Liam ridgewell was a villa player. never has played for west ham at any far as im aware....

  • Comment number 88.

    Who knows how much any player is worth? A player is only worth what another club will pay for him. With Walcott and Ramsay there was competition and at least 2 clubs out there genuinely willing to pay what it took to get them (and offer the right terms to the player to be the best deal for their careers). That no-one other than Jordan valued Bostock at anything like £2m so that the Tribunal had to rule suggests that the Tribunal probably got things just about right. Perhaps Palace should have touted him to Arsenal and Man U who seem to have a pretty good eye for young talent. Or maybe they did and both clubs, not through any lack of money or interest in such deals, laughed it off.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think the main problem is that there is no real way to determine how much potential a player could have.

    A highly rated player might go for more than a lesser rated player but what if the lesser rated player ended up being far more successful?

    If you say that this youngster is worth more than 700,000, how much would you rate a player who wouldn't get on the CP youth reserves team? less than 700,000?

    This Bostock kid could turn up to training today, slip on a banana skin and be paralysed from the waist down, just like unfortunate career ending injuries can happen to anyone regardless of career.

    Then what do you do? If the kid was bought for a few pennies and told the club his fee will be inflated by how well he does in the future then a club has ruined a player with potential and another club has lost a good chunk of future earnings.

    But lets try the other side of the arguement, what if this Bostock kid hadn't signed for Tottenham and instead said he wanted to play for CP, a few weeks later the same unfortunate injury happens, what do you do then having signed a player to such a long contract only to be out of pocket for as long as the players contract allows?

    I know it's a kinda flawed arguement but i'm saying that potential doesn't mean anything because anything can happen in football, in a blink of an eye a player with huge potential can be reduced to tears from a hamstring injury and never play the same again, a player could just lost the motivation to play and turn out to be awful or it could just turn out that the valuation of a player was just far inflated because the club was being optimistic (like many Newcastle youth players with potential that are now at QPR >_>)

    At the moment the system favours the bigger clubs by only setting a fee that is universal regardless of player. But the only reason that amount of money isn't much in the eyes of the club is because of the amount of money Premiership clubs get from TV coverage, European tours, and cup money compared to the relatively low amounts a Championship team can get for performing well, but not good enough in the league.

    The only way around this is to pretty much leave the system in peace, it's bad for the current generation of players yet once the econemy goes downhill all these debt ridden clubs will have to fold immediately leaving the likes of well managed Championship and below clubs to pick up the pieces. Then again I know this probably is never going to happen considering no-one will let Man Utd fold (unfortunately)

  • Comment number 90.

    I believe that a passport system should be introduced for all young players which would catalogue their development and improvement.
    Recipient clubs who gain young players from lower league clubs should be required to value the player year by year and the original club should receive an nationally or internationally agreed percentage of the valuation.
    Obviously the valuation should reflect the players ability to break into the first team.
    There should also be a percentage received when the player is sold on.
    An overseeing body could monitor the passports and valuations to ensure they are fair.

  • Comment number 91.

    The player is as guilty as anyone in this case he could devlope more playing for Palace's first team than playing in reserves for Spurs. I know you can't blame him for wanting to move but i think hwen a transfer like this goes through Palace should have an option to loan him back for say a season and recieve a given percentage of his next transfer fee.

  • Comment number 92.

    Simon Jordan may be annoying as anything, what with his bleached teeth and orange skin, but he does have a good head on his shoulders. Completely with him on this one.

  • Comment number 93.

    Haven't Palace just raided poor Luton Town for Calvin Andrew? A promising and more proven youngster available at knock down price because of the clubs financial problems smacks a bit of hypocrisy to me. Similarly, so does Man Utd's open persuit of Berbatov show them up for not practising what they preach. It seems as though there are virtually no morales left in the game

  • Comment number 94.

    and now Tottenham are complaining about man u and liverpool going after Berbatov and Keane, slightly hypocrytical

  • Comment number 95.


  • Comment number 96.

    the point is that Spurs will make the money on the youngster not Palace who have trained him for nine is nothing to do with inflating the cost of players..really the tribunal got it wrong as have the FA who have to look at the rules governing the acadamy system...otherwise we get to the situation where small clubs survive by scouting for the big ones..Jordan got it right this time and the boy and his family have got it the way Spurs you have just been raided by bigger clubs ..doent feel good does it !!

  • Comment number 97.

    when a club like tottenham or another big club wants a youngster say from the championship, this means that these so called bigger clubs are just going to purposely not agree a fee with a club for a certain player becuase they know that they would have to pay less through a tribunal if they dont agree a deal

    people can say arsenal or someone steal youngsters but at least they pay a fair price for the players they bring in. eg £5 mill for ramsey, £9.1 mill for walcott and so on

    the law needs to be changed so that the clubs who bring up the player through their academy get more out of any deal.

    i think its time for the law platini suggested, youngsters like bostock should be made to sign their first pro contract with the club that raised them so that the club can then ask for what they want during the length of a players contract. spurs have totally ripped palace off in this case for waht? just so he can disappear into thin air like one chris gunter did? shocking

  • Comment number 98.

    i think simon jordan is 100% correct. it is the same with rugby with small clubs around the country are bringing players up from young ages and then having to let them go to bigger clubs such as 6 years ago my club driffield had a 16 year old make the england squad only to be pached from us by leeds tykes (now known as leeds carnegie). howver some clubs are just there to play football and to bring up youngsters so that they can go on to play at a higher level so basically the club is nothing more than a link for players to make the big time

  • Comment number 99.

    Surely the simple answer is that there is a standard formula which is used to set future payments depending on performance and transfers. Then if a player does well in a top club the training club will get considerable benefit. If the player does not settle then the training club will not get so much.

    The problem with a player's value is that a good player in a lower club is more important to that club than they are to a club which has lots of stars. It even happens within the Premier League. Gareth Barry is much more important to Villa than he will ever be to Liverpool, which is why they cannot agree on the price.(yet)

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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