PFA to advise in Martin deal talks
DAVID CUFFLEY Striker Chris Martin has signed up with the players' union as he tries to secure his first professional contract with Norwich City. Former City captain Mick McGuire, deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, confirmed he was representing Martin in talks with the club.
Striker Chris Martin has signed up with the players' union as he tries to secure his first professional contract with Norwich City.
Former City captain Mick McGuire, deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, confirmed he was representing Martin in talks with the club.
The 18-year-old Martin, still a second year Academy scholar, has already scored five times for the Canaries in just 12 outings.
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He further enhanced his reputation as one of the brightest prospects in the country when he scored the winning goal for England Under-19s on his international debut against Turkey at Doncaster on Wednesday night.
McGuire, who skippered City to promotion to Division One in 1982, confirmed: “We've had a meeting at Norwich with the manager, the chief executive and the secretary.
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“We've had meaningful discussions and at this moment, those talks are ongoing.
“I am very hopeful that the contract negotiations will be concluded in the very near future.”
Said McGuire: “We were aware of Chris's ability before he got into the first team.
“Once he had broken into the first team, I travelled down to meet him and his family to discuss the possibility of the PFA's agency being given the opportunity to look after his interests, and I'm delighted to say he decided to sign with the PFA.
“I was very impressed when I met his parents. His father is, without doubt, a very principled man and it is clear he has been a positive influence on Chris. He's a fine young man and has clearly benefited from his upbringing. His dad is keen to keep his feet on the ground, as is Peter Grant, who is astutely handling his career at this early stage.
“The PFA can offer a service which, in our opinion, cannot be bettered. Chris will be represented by the agency, which consists of men of such experience as Gordon Taylor, the chief executive, and myself and a number of former players such as Phil Sproson and Richard Jobson. To support our players we have over 20 business partners in all sectors of industry such as legal, insurance and financial to enhance the service we provide.”
It was clear Martin had huge potential, said McGuire.
He said: “You can see why Chris has hit the headlines. You can see why people are making comparisons with Chris Sutton.
“I saw the game against Birmingham last week and even though people said it wasn't his best game, you could see the major parts of his game are already of a very high standard.
“He's strong, two-footed, shows good awareness of what's around him, his movement is extremely good, and he looks a natural finisher.”
The PFA relaunched their agency nearly three years ago after the Football Association rejected their suggestion that the union become the monitoring body for players' agents, which, said McGuire, they felt was the best way to protect the players, many of whom were experiencing problems with agents.
McGuire said: “Gordon Taylor and I decided to re-launch the PFA agency in the summer of 2004 and in two and three quarter years, it has become the fastest growing agency around.
“The first big deal was when we represented James Milner when he moved as an 18-year-old from Leeds to Newcastle for £3.75m.
“We also represent senior stars such as Marlon Harewood, Rob Hulse and Curtis Davies and in addition we have been able to recruit top-class young players such as Chris who are gracing the under-17, under-19 and under-21 international teams.
“Three of our young starlets were in the England Under-19 side on Wednesday night and one of them, Chris Martin, scored the goal that beat Turkey, and a goal of the highest quality.”