West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic has called on UEFA to offer more protection for smaller teams. This comes after the club lost Nathan Ferguson to Crystal Palace, which is soon to be announced according to the Croatian manager. A January €12 million transfer fell through and the club now has to settle with training compensation.
The young right-back, who played for Albion his whole career, has a youth contract set to expire at the end of June. “Basically, there’s no point to have the academies, because you can’t tie the player up for long periods until he reaches a certain age,” said an angry Bilic to Sky Sports News. “The player, the agent, the parents or whatever, they just take him and that has to be changed, because we are a good club, and we can’t buy another Nathan Ferguson.”
The manager believes the coronavirus will only make matters worse, as smaller teams have less money available for buying players and need to rely more on their own youth setup for new players. But UEFA has to offer more protection first. “Why should a club have a youth academy if you are not guaranteed you are going to be able to keep that player, for a minimum of two or three years?“
This isn’t the first time for The Baggies, as they’re already in dispute with FIFA after only receiving €4.5 million for Morgan Rogers (Manchester City) and no compensation for Louie Barry (Barcelona) last summer.