Hamilton receive cash boost thanks to Norwich City’s promotion to Premier League
- Credit: PA
Alex Neil's former club Hamilton pocketed a Wembley windfall from Norwich City's Championship play-off final win against Middlesbrough.
Accies' chairman Ronnie MacDonald has revealed his club will bank 'just short of a six figure' sum after Neil guided the Canaries to the Premier League following their epic victory over the Teessiders.
MacDonald and Neil's successor at New Douglas Park, Martin Canning, were guests of the City boss at Wembley to watch him clinch his second consecutive promotion, 12 months to the day Hamilton reached the Scottish Premiership after edging out Hibernian in a play-off final penalty shoot-out.
Neil moved south in January to replace Neil Adams at Carrow Road and took his new club to within one place and three points of automatic promotion, before overcoming rivals Ipswich Town in two memorable play-off semi-final derbies and then completing City's Premier League mission in front of 40,000 fans at Wembley.
'We are due another lump sum,' confirmed MacDonald.
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'It is just short of six figures. When Norwich wanted Alex so quickly, there were obviously a lot of conditions. We will get the money right away, rather than waiting like transfer payments.
'We might also get to have a friendly with Norwich. I was in the Royal Box at Wembley with the Norwich board and went to their post-match party at the Hilton. The Norwich directors were actually very apologetic to me for having taken such a good manager.
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'However, the money will not be used for transfer fees. It will go into the continued development of the club. We have a lot of youth teams to run. That is the way we do things at Hamilton.
'The team which Martin put out in the last league match against St Mirren had 10 graduates in the squad and a 16-year-old making his debut. It was also missing nine from the last Hamilton side that Alex picked in January.'
Hamilton have made a series of astute sales in recent seasons, with the likes of James McCarthy and James McArthur heading to the Premier League for multi-million pound transfer fees after blossoming under Neil's guidance.
MacDonald, however, believes Neil could prove to be the best export after his stunning impact at Carrow Road since his January arrival.
'There is a lot of talent in Scottish football. James McCarthy and James McArthur have shown that with the careers they now have.
'However, Alex Neil could be the best of the lot,' MacDonald told the Scottish Herald.
'It would help our game if clubs that sold players to England did not do it for £150,000 or £200,000 and took the first offer that came along.
'You need to be tough, otherwise they will put in low offers. You have to hold out for bigger fees because if they do, that money will be circulated around Scottish football.'