City boss is angered by clauses

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant says the controversial buy-out clause - which saw him lose leading scorer Robert Earnshaw for a cut-price £3.5m - is one of the biggest obstacles facing today's managers.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant says the controversial buy-out clause - which saw him lose leading scorer Robert Earnshaw for a cut-price £3.5m - is one of the biggest obstacles facing today's managers.

Derby County kicked in a clause in Earnshaw's contract which saw him leave for the Premiership new boys for around £1.5m less than his true market value.

And the way the deal was conducted has clearly left a sour taste in Grant's mouth.


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"Earnie has come right out of the blue," he said. "We got an offer on Wednesday, but it set alarm bells ringing in my mind - obviously someone was selling him behind my back.

"I think the way things moved as quickly and Earnie ending up having the medical as quickly, you can sense that it had obviously been going on, which is the modern day game, unfortunately. It's disappointing in the respect of the way it happened."

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However, Grant admits it's the nature of the beast - and it is becoming more and more common.

"To attract the very best players sometimes it's the get-out clause that you have to have with them," he said. "It is not just here - look at Celtic and Nakamaura - all the top players have buy-out clauses. Unfortunately agents don't keep that quiet.

"As soon as it suits them they'll use that because they know they will make finance from it as well.

"It's the biggest problem you have with players now. When I used to play you were just delighted to sign for a club, it was negative if people were talking about when you leave. But that's the way it is now, especially players who come out of the Premeir League. If they come to your club they are going to say to you, 'well, there's going to be a buy-out clause'.

"They are saying if you are in the Championship and not going to be in the Premier League in two or three years time I want to play Premier League. I don't mind that ambition, as long as when you put it in you feel there is a reasonable value about it. It is part of life - sometimes it can be that small detail to win that guy around.

"Unfortunately it is not just this club - all 92 clubs, even the smallest clubs, there will be the same thing: permission to speak at x, y and z amount of money."

And while the clause has worked against Grant this time, he admits he used it to City's benefit in January when Simon Lappin joined City from St Mirrren.

"We used it with Simon Lappin because we knew he had it and we had information that he had a buy-out in his contract - that is the nature of the beast, although pre-warning is not a bad thing."

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