Checks on trio to avoid Grabovac situation
It really was quite the coup for Colin Hendry. In 2005, a monster of a Dutch striker, Zarko Grabovac, rocked up at Blackpool with the raw talent the manager said would yield goals galore for a team who struggled horrendously going forward (and backwards actually - great times).
'I've been around the town and I like to look at all the birdies,' or broken English words to that effect, were what pronounced Grabovac to the supporters. He was a joke, managing to play just one league game in tangerine.
But nobody at Bloomfield Road was laughing. It transpired today, in an interview published in the Gazette, that this languid character cost Pool several hundreds of thousands of pounds because of the contract type he signed.
Grabovac was on an amateur deal at his previous club. When he penned professional terms for the Seasiders, they had to pay fees dating back years.
That is what they are trying to avoid at the moment. Ian Holloway has agreed deals with players from PSG, Lille and Athletico Madrid - believed to be Banvo Anderson, Brice Irie-Bi plus another - but the club are performing background checks on the trio to make sure they aren't lumbered with big bills in the future.
'The first club to offer them [the player] a professional contract is liable to get hit with training and compensation costs for that player, which can go back to the age of 12,' Matt Williams explained to the paper.
'We got hit with a huge bill [for Grabovac] and we don't want to fall foul of that again - especially for young, unproven players who aren't guaranteed to develop the way we want them to over the next 12 months or so.'
That is the risk Pool take when attracting younger players. It is likely that maybe just one of the three will turn out to force his way into the first team. Most of the gambles turn out to be similar to Grabovac, and it's only right and proper that Karl Oyston et al guard themselves against paying over the odds.