Article in the Telegraph about Watford/Jadon Sancho

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Levon, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. Levon

    Levon Squad Player

    Article written by Sam Wallace for The Telegraph.

    They often get forgotten in the story ofEngland’s latest new prodigy, but Watford were there at the beginning of Jadon Sancho’s career, the club who signed him at the age of 10 and were powerless to stop him leaving four years later when the buzz around him became so great.

    He was found by the club’s then academy director, Chris McGuane, now at Nottingham Forest, in Sancho’s native Battersea, south London, which is on the doorstep of Chelsea – the most powerful force in development football for a decade. He was the classic south London prodigy footballer who had played most of his football against older boys in the hard-court park cages and it was Watford who oversaw the critical next stage of his development.

    By the time he left Watford for Manchester City around his 15th birthday in March 2015, Sancho was out of Battersea and living as a boarder at Harefield Academy in Uxbridge, west London, which has a partnership with Watford. Harefield is not an independent school of the kind that City offer to their scholars, but it has a partnership with Watford that means boys affiliated to the club can board – an option taken by Sancho.

    Then Watford’s academy was category three status under the Elite Player Performance Plan and even had it been category two, which it is now, the chances of keeping Sancho were slim – although the club, then in the Championship, did try. The problem Watford faced was that the new tariff system laid out by EPPP meant them losing a player for a fraction of what they believed was his true value. Given that Sancho is in Gareth Southgate’s England squad little more than three years on, it is hard to argue.

    Watford were looking at a basic fee of £3,000 per year for every year Sancho was with them up to the age of 11 and then £12,500 for the three years after he was 11 – around £43,500, with some add-ons after that. Watford would earn £150,000 if Sancho made 10 Premier league appearances at his new club, £300,000 if he made 20, right up to a maximum of £1,300,000 for 100 appearances in the top division. In March 2015, Luke Dowling was Watford’s recently appointed director of football – now doing the same job at West Bromwich Albion – and he points out that £300,000 hardly reflects the scale of such an achievement. Had Sancho not left for Borussia Dortmund and by some miracle made 30 appearances for City, his old club Watford would have seen their add-ons rise to £450,000. “What would a teenager with 30 appearances at City be worth?” Dowling asks. “£20 million? £30 million? When it comes to EPPP, it benefits the big clubs.” As it turned out, City’s then academy director Mark Allen, now at Rangers as director of football, recognised Sancho’s singular talent and Watford’s frustration. He sanctioned a basic fee of £250,000 with add-on payments.

    Most importantly he agreed to a sell-on fee of 10 per cent which earned Watford just less than £1 million when the teenager went to Dortmund in the summer of last year. All told, the hard work that went into scouting, coaching and schooling Sancho earned Watford just shy of £1.25 million which is more than the club would have got under EPPP.

    There is an acceptance looking back, Dowling says, that Sancho made the right decision to go to City just as he made the right decision to leave for Dortmund. The issue is whether McGuane’s hard work and that of his staff to spot a talent and develop him was adequately rewarded. “There are many times when big clubs sign players from academies just because they can, or to stop others having them,” Dowling says. “It was not like that in this case – City got it right. But other times clubs can say ‘Even if he doesn’t make it as a player then signing him doesn’t make any financial impact’. A fee of £60,000 under EPPP is nothing for them.”

    Watford were a different club then and now they, too, would not think twice about taking a good youngster from a smaller competitor. Dowling can laugh at the fact that the day in October 2014 he and McGuane made a big pitch to Sancho to stay, they also invited him and his family to Vicarage Road to watch a home game against Forest. Having told their young player there was a pathway to the first team, Dowling looked at the team-sheet that evening and realised that there was neither a home-grown nor a British player in the starting XI.

    “He has shown the potential we all thought he had,” Dowling says, “and then he had the personality to make that move to Dortmund. You have to admire him for that. From everything we heard, Pep really made a fuss of him and wanted him to stay. But he was brave enough to move to Manchester from London and|do it again from Manchester to Germany.”

    As the first player born in the 21st century to be selected in a senior England squad, Sancho will also be something of a poster boy for EPPP, which has had many positive effects on English football too. The 72 members of the Football League voted to accept EPPP in 2011, the year of Sancho’s 11th birthday, albeit as part of the deal that saw them earn solidarity payments from the Premier League.

    Many of Southgate’s Russia World Cup squad began their careers in the Football League, at a parent club or on loan – and in a way Sancho did, too.

    He was scouted, coached and nurtured by a then hard-up Championship club coming out of a bad period in their history but still employing dedicated academy coaches to find talented boys. If Sancho turns out to be as good as everyone thinks he is, £1.25 million does not sound enough.

  2. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

  3. Guy

    Guy Squad Player

    Disgraceful that this article fails to acknowledge or even mention Watford's part in Sancho's development. We were done over by the ridiculous EPPP regulations on this one.

    Could become Watford's most famous academy recruit but not many will know it, will as the headline of the article suggests be someone who Man City let get away
    Levon, wfc4ever, RookeryDad and 2 others like this.
  4. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    We’re you the one partying on their own on 31st December 2000, like it was 1999?
  5. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Typical lazy, timid, agenda driven bilge from
    Jumbolina likes this.
  6. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Yes but where’s the full stop?
  7. Chumlax

    Chumlax Reservist

    Not only does that article essentially ignore the fact that he is a Watford youth product, but I can't help but get irrationally annoyed whenever an article describes him as having joined City at 14 years of age. Now, don't get me wrong, that is factually accurate; I can't deny it. But it was literally about two weeks before he turned 15. If you ask me, and perhaps I'm crazy, but the wiggle room between 14 and 15 is actually fairly broad in the mind and perception of Joe Public; I know I can see it in my own mind.

    If I was writing an article about Sancho, I would couch it in a way that referred to him joining City 'just before his 15th birthday' (or similar). This gives a more accurate perception, in my humble opinion; just like Raheem Sterling, say, Sancho is not in any way a City youth product. Yes, he spent a certain (relatively brief) time in their youth team ranks, but he is not a 'product of their youth academy'.

    I even saw an article earlier this week that only credited us with having him from the age of 10. Bah Humbug.
  8. Squibba

    Squibba Predictor Choker 14/15

    "The England youth international joined City from Watford at the age of 14 "

    Isn't that enough for you? Does anyone other than Watford fans really care what he was doing when he was 10? It's a BBC article not a super detailed look at his life. Had we played a more significant role then yeah it'd be mentioned but as it goes we probably had naff all to do with it, he was just great?

    Michael Bryan, Matthew Whichelow, Sean Murray, Mingoia and the hundreds of failure that have come out of Harefield show it's much more likely we did very little to make Sancho the player he is today. Sensitive bunch you lot.
    Rozerhorn and Moose like this.
  9. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina Squad Player

    Don’t agree with that. The hundreds of failures just show if any club has a genuine superstar youth product then they will be stolen by the Big 6. Sterling and Sancho. Even ones who fail like Izzy Brown are nicked. In short, there is not much point having a youth academy.
  10. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    So, by that standard, Tommie Hoban isn't a product of our youth academy. He was released by Arsenal at 14. And what about Britt Assombalonga, who signed at 17 having never been at a club before? Is he a product of our youth academy? What if Ryan Cassidy goes on to make it? Is he not a product of our youth academy just because we signed him from his home country aged 15?

    There'll be others - they're just the three who immediately spring to mind.

    Logically, Sancho is a product of Watford and Man City's youth academies. Both can claim credit for parts of his development. But only Watford get the credit for spotting him.
  11. .
  12. No - I was doing volunteer work in Hogimiyau back then. The locals there don't really do time.
  13. Moose

    Moose First Team

    You are on a wind up of course?
  14. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    Not even the kick-off time of Man Utd matches?
  15. Guy

    Guy Squad Player

    Article in the Sun today with picture of him in Watford football kit
  16. Being kanakas in a maunten ples they don't really do kikbal - ManUre to them would be something they get from a pik to put on their gaden...
  17. Unhappy bunny

    Unhappy bunny Squad Player

    Didn't we sign Bryan after he was released by QPR?
  18. Unhappy bunny

    Unhappy bunny Squad Player

    More fake news from the Murdoch press, I'll wager
  19. UEA_Hornet

    UEA_Hornet First Team Captain

    Great signing! Gotta love the way Gino does everything in secret.
  20. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    I believe they have found photographic evidence that he was a high-ranking official in the KGB and didn't, it seems, just come to Watford to " for the football team and visit their world famous John Lewis store....".
  21. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    When he joined us, very few were interested.

    When he left us, most of the big names in football were sniffing around.

    I'm sure receiving a top footballing education from City helped his development, but we made him and deserve the bulk of the credit, thank you very much.
    Chumlax likes this.
  22. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    Admittedly it’s down to Arab finances, but Man City have a very fine and successful youth system in these times. And look at the prospects that our own system has brought through in the last 5/6 years? It’s churlish to deny that his time working at City will have massively progressed him as a player (not that you have said that). We found him, and probably grounded him for a future in the game. From then on, City will have given him the basis of a future at the top of the game. So I’d say it’s City that ‘made’ him. We discovered him.

    City would likely never have had the opportunity to do that without us, agreed. But I don’t think one or the other deserves most credit. Most of the credit should go to Sancho for taking the opportunities to further his career when presented with them. Too many players have turned down that very chance.
    Unhappy bunny likes this.
  23. Maninblack

    Maninblack First Year Pro

    Whoever saw him first or decided how much he is worth, is it just me or there is something a little immoral about clubs pulling these young boys all over the place in order to secure their potential rather than their rivals? We know that for every Sancho there are hundreds of kids who are spat out on to the scrap heap after having their dreams built up. Signing up kids at 10? Nah.
    wfcmoog and Moose like this.
  24. Chumlax

    Chumlax Reservist

    I mean, you say that as though I won't say 'No, they aren't'. But I will.
  25. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Here he is.

    Impish fellow on the right.

    Don't know who Mr Bling is.
  26. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    Nice of the opposition in that game to let us play a giant in goal. Needed given the way our youth teams have played in recent years...
  27. Supertommymooney

    Supertommymooney First Year Pro

    Bling man is the Meyer, recently signed for Palace I believe
  28. Cude>2<

    Cude>2< First Team Captain

    Maybe stretching and twisting it a little far.... But bigger than Harry Kane who was once in the academy for a very short time?
  29. Harrow Orn

    Harrow Orn Squad Player

    Looking at this, Stefano Okaka should really count as home grown then?
  30. Harrow Orn

    Harrow Orn Squad Player

    Sorry I mean Kabasele. My bad.
  31. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Er, what?
  32. Forzainglese

    Forzainglese Reservist

    Don't we all think that? (Just not in pidgin, I suppose).

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