Grant hits out at PFA

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant has taken a sideswipe at the Professional Players' Union over their representation of City's teenager star Chris Martin.


Peter Grant has taken a sideswipe at the Professional Players' Union over their representation of City's teenager star Chris Martin.

The 18-year-old is in talks with the Canaries over his professional contract - talks that are being handled by his representatives from the PFA.

But the Canaries boss says he was surprised to learn of their apparent long-standing interest in the Beccles youngster, who has hit the headlines since his first team debut at the end of January.

“I read with interest that his agent knew all about him prior to him being in the first team - it's interesting I had to introduce him, so that disappoints me a wee bit,” said Grant.

“It just disappoints me when people say things like they knew the player before he got into the first team - interesting that he never knocked his door down to represent him prior to that.”

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Grant says talks with Martin are on-going and said the offer made to the teenager was “excellent”.

“Chris Martin knows what I think of him, he knows I see him as a top quality prospect, he knows we want him to stay with Norwich City,” said Grant. “We have given him an excellent offer. Not a good offer, an excellent offer.

“I know the boy wants to stay here, the boy wants to play for this club and the club has matched that, there is no doubt about that.

“Anybody that knows Chris' offer knows it is an excellent offer the club has given him, excellent. Now it is up to Chris to go and speak to his representatives and the most important people in his life, his family. Agents don't get you a contract, performances get you contracts.”

Grant said all home-grown talent would be treated with the same respect as transfer players.

“I was a player myself at Celtic for many, many years and I always felt I got let down when they were offering contracts because all the big guns came in and kept getting contracts so I end up thinking like everyone else, I was not accepting it, saying I wanted to be treated as well as the boys that got brought in,” he said. “That is one thing I can guarantee everybody who comes through the ranks here, they won't be treated with disrespect, they will be treated with the greatest of respect because I will judge them as Norwich City players, not because they come through the youth ranks.

“Somebody comes in he will be treated with the same respect as somebody who comes through the youth ranks. I think it is very, very important that we look after our own.”

Grant has a number of players either out of contract in the summer, or with the club holding one-year options, but said all his playing staff know where they stand.

“The boys already know,” he said. “There will be contracts offered, there will be contracts not getting renewed, the boys already know that.

“But obviously if we want to go where we want to go I have got to bring in quality to go with the quality we have here. I have to add quality to it if we want to get back to the Premier League.”

It's been a task which Grant admitted he doesn't enjoy.

“You are dealing with human beings, they have families,” he said. “Even at the youngest level it was very difficult. I had more sleepless nights about that than anything else because I always knew I was fortunate to have a career where I wanted to be, so I know the disappointments that come along with it.

“It is tough because every one of the guys since I came through the door has been magnificent. Their attitude has been spot on, not one player has let me down with his attitude. That makes it more difficult, because they are good people as well as good professionals.

“Because I am not offering them a contract doesn't mean that they are not good players or indifferent players. In my opinion with the team I am trying to build I maybe don't see them as part of that. That is tough because some of these guys are very good players - but not in the set-up I am trying to create here.”