Gradi glad at Fifa action
Dario Gradi believes it is a good thing for smaller clubs that Fifa are clamping down on poaching youngsters.
Last Updated: 07/09/09 2:21pm
Former Crewe manager Dario Gradi believes it is a good thing for smaller clubs that Fifa are clamping down on poaching youngsters.
Chelsea were recently banned from signing players for two transfer windows after being found guilty of poaching teenager Gael Kakuta.
The Blues induced the youngster to break his contract with Lens, although the Premier League giants have confirmed they will appeal against the ban.
Gradi, who managed Crewe for 24 years, has revealed one of his youngsters was once tapped up and that smaller clubs get a raw deal.
He concedes they simply do not have the financial clout to compete with the country's elite, although Fifa's new clampdown has given him hope.
"We have a situation where one of our 15-year-olds has been approached," confirmed Gradi.
"He is an outstanding player by any standards and he has come in and told us that he wants to leave right now to join a big club.
"The big clubs are stealing other people's players and you worry financially for the clubs where the players are stolen from.
"What sort of compensation are we going to get for all the work that has gone into developing him? Any compensation is insignificant for the effort that gone in.
"I'm delighted with what has happened with Chelsea. I would hope all the big clubs are frightened to death. There is no excuse for breaking the rules.
"We lost a 12-year-old to Everton. He was our best 12-year-old. The lure is that the bigger clubs pay big expenses.
"This kid will be getting several hundred pounds a week in expenses. We pay expenses but nothing like that. It's more a case of giving out £20 if someone can pick a kid up en-route.
"It is so hard to protect your players. All this goes against the morality of the game - it's the rich robbing the poor. At least Fifa have given the smaller clubs hope."