Ashton waived £150,00 goodbye to leave

CHRIS LAKEY Dean Ashton waived a huge amount of cash owed to him to ensure his move to West Ham went through smoothly - although he pocketed a tidy amount at the same time.


Dean Ashton waived a huge amount of cash owed to him to ensure his move to West Ham went through smoothly - although he pocketed a tidy amount at the same time.

The 22-year-old striker's £7.25m move from Norwich to West Ham on Monday was a record for both clubs - and led to City taking the unprecedented step today of disclosing major financial details of the move.

When Ashton joined City from Crewe a year ago, his deal included a 10pc sell-on clause which, when triggered on Monday, put a staggering £400,000 into his bank account.

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The clause, say City, formed a “crucial element in the negotiations both when he joined the club last year and for his contract extension last summer”.

But while eyebrows will undoubtedly be raised at the thought of Ashton walking away with so much cash, there is another side to the story, with the player's eagerness to return to the Premiership costing him more than £150,000.

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To ensure the move went through, Ashton waived £30,000 of his sell-on cash as well as waving goodbye to other money owed to him by Norwich - including all bonuses for December, his January salary and bonuses and the whole of his outstanding signing-on fee.

Canaries chief executive Neil Doncaster has been under fire over the manner of Ashton's departure, but today defended the sell-on clause, which appears to have become a necessary evil in the world of football.

“Sell-on clauses are perfectly normal in modern day transfers,” said Doncaster.

“The fact is this sell-on clause for Dean was a crucial part of the ambitious step of bringing Dean here in the first place and re-negotiating his contract in the summer. Without it, we may well have not got the player in the first place or have lost him for far less money than we eventually received.

“We made it clear in the final stages of the negotiations with West Ham that we needed more money to make the deal happen - whether that came from West Ham or Dean himself.

“West Ham refused to pay a penny more, and Dean therefore agreed to waive around £150,000 of money we owed him to make the deal happen.”

All parties appear to be happy with the outcome, not least Crewe Alexandra, whose nurturing of the young talent will see them pocket £350,000 outstanding from the original deal, plus 20pc of the profit - £800,000.

However, not all supporters are as satisfied.

Roy Blower, spokesman for the Norwich City Independent Supporters' Association, said: “Ashton's agent was his uncle and I'm sure he was trying to get the best deal for him.

“I don't like it, but this is the sort of thing that is going on in football. I'm sure if supporters knew about all these sorts of payments they wouldn't be interested in football anymore.”

Paul Webster, chairman of supporters' group Capital Canaries, said: “I'd rather have seen Crewe get all the money. Considering it was Ashton that wanted to leave, for him to get nearly £400,000 from us, it does leave a sour taste. Whoever negotiated Ashton's contract for him did a damn good job.”

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