Why was Ashton paid £370,000 to quit?

PUBLISHED: 11:39 25 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:09 14 September 2010

Fans' groups have reacted angrily to the news Dean Ashton pocketed £370,000 from the Canaries for quitting the club. The Carrow Road club, which is about £18 million in debt, has revealed the 22-year-old star was entitled to the six-figure sum as part of his record £7.25 million switch to West Ham.

Fans' groups have reacted angrily to the news Norwich City's former striker Dean Ashton pocketed £370,000 from the Canaries for quitting the club.

The Carrow Road club, which is about £18 million in debt, has revealed the 22-year-old star was entitled to the six-figure sum as part of his record £7.25 million switch to West Ham.

The club has admitted it agreed to the massive pay out as part of its plans to lure Ashton to Norwich in the first place.

Roy Blower, spokesman for the Norwich 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.”

Ashton joined the Canaries from Crewe for £3 million in January 2005.

As part of the deal the striker was given a clause in his contract that entitled him to a whopping 10 per cent of any profit the Canaries made on his transfer value - in this case £400,000.

A spokesman for the football club said: “The sell-on clause formed a crucial element in the negotiations both when he joined the club last year and for his contract extension last summer.

“He waived £30,000 of this, and also waived certain other monies owed to him by Norwich City in order to make the move happen, including all bonuses for December, his January salary and bonuses and the whole of his outstanding signing-on fee.”

Ashton said in a press conference at West Ham on Monday that it was his decision to leave the Canaries.

Despite the fact the player's desire to leave was against City's wishes, he was legally still entitled to pocket the cash.

As part of the deal Ashton's former club Crewe received £350,000 outstanding from the original £3 million fee, plus £800,000, which represents 20 per cent of the £4 million profit.

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!”

City chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "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."

What do you think about the pay-out to Dean Ashton? Write to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk, or visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/forums

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