The Professional Football Compensation Committee has ruled Liverpool must pay Burnley £6.5m plus a potential £1.5m fee in add-ons following Danny Ings’ move to the club last summer. Although a record figure, it seems a relatively paltry sum for a 23-year-old England international who would have expected to gain further honours had his season not ended in October when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during training.
The tribunal has a history of underestimating the true value of young English players. The player who previously held the record for the highest fee was Daniel Sturridge who moved from Manchester City to Chelsea for £6.5m in 2009. He is worth comfortably more than that now. The same applies to another starlet, Tom Ince, whose move to Hull City in 2014 cost the Tigers only £2m.
The premium on British players is likely to rise if the UK votes to leave the European Union. As transfer fees continue to escalate across the football world, more must be done by the tribunal to reward clubs that have nurtured young players. Otherwise the clubs will lose the incentive to invest in their academies and ultimately this will be to the detriment of the national side.