Liverpool have become the latest Premier League club to be involved in the tapping up scandal that has infested English football. Crewe Alexandra have reported Liverpool after it emerged in the press that they had approached an unnamed 15-year-old player illegally.
The news comes shortly after Chelsea were banned from signing any players for the next two transfer windows, Manchester United about to launch legal action against Le Havre and reports of an apparent ban proposal to be put towards Manchester City.
It seems that the only way the biggest clubs in England are going to learn is if they are punished severely. At current it appears that there are holes all over the system that top clubs have been abusing and if these allegations from Crewe are correct then Liverpool could be next in the firing line.
Dario Gradi, Crewe’s Director of Football, said: “We have a situation where one of our 15-year-olds has been approached. He is an outstanding player by any standards and he has come in and told us that he wants to leave right now to join a big club.”
“The big clubs are stealing other people’s players and you worry financially for the clubs where the players are stolen from. What sort of compensation are we going to get for all the work that has gone into developing him? Any compensation is insignificant for the effort that gone in.”
“I’m delighted with what has happened with Chelsea. I would hope all the big clubs are frightened to death. There is no excuse for breaking the rules. We lost a 12-year-old to Everton. He was our best 12-year-old. The lure is that the bigger clubs pay big expenses. This kid will be getting several hundred pounds a week in expenses. We pay expenses but nothing like that. It’s more a case of giving out £20 if someone can pick a kid up en-route.”
Gradi’s point is a very simple one, only until similar situations appear, like the one at Chelsea, will big clubs stop poaching players from the clubs that have developed them. These are clubs that are in no position at all to be able to stop the bigger sides from offering financial incentives as a reward for playesr to break their contracts.
Credit must go for the action that has been brought against Chelsea but there has to be a universal action to stop poaching all together.