Exeter City has reluctantly accepted an offer from Fulham for first-year academy scholar Jay Stansfield.
Jay, 16, was a talented member of our under-18s side last season, helping the team to the final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup and a credible third-place finish in the south west league standings last season.
However, following an offer from Fulham, Jay will now link up with the London side.
The fee agreed is undisclosed at Fulham’s request. However, while it is more than what the club would likely get in an arbitration fee and also includes add-ons and sell on, it is below what Exeter City feel is Jay’s true value.
Chairman Julian Tagg said: “While Fulham have payed above what we would likely to get in an arbitration fee from the Professional Football Compensation Committee and therefore it was sensible for the club to accept, the ability for football clubs, with much bigger resources at their disposal, to take young players from successful academies like Exeter City at a fraction of the cost of which they are valued, is a problem that football still needs to solve.
“We, like many clubs, feel the Elite Performance Player Plan’s rules – which fix transfer fees between academies – is heavily weighted in favour of sides higher up the football pyramid and ignores clubs like Exeter City, which do a tremendous job in producing talented young footballers.
“We, of course, must praise the fine work of all of our staff at Exeter City Academy who continue to work tirelessly to develop the next group of excellent footballers and well-rounded young men.
“However, those efforts are being undermined by the current system in place and we will continue to work with the Football League to find a solution to this. And that is not just for our academy, but for all those coaches and staff around Leagues One and Two, who continue to work hard to produce the next generation of talented footballers for the English game.
“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Jay and his family for their hard-work and dedication to Exeter City and we wish them all the very best for the future.
“Every effort was made to keep Jay at the club, but our ethos has always been to put the player’s wishes first and the move to a category one club in Fulham was what was felt best for Jay, by both him and his family, and we look forward to following his continued success in the game.”
Whilst we are on the Stansfield subject, following some questions from supporters, the club would also like to confirm that the No. 9 shirt of our much-loved striker Adam will not be used this season. The shirt did come back into circulation following nine years of retirement out of respect to Adam and his huge contribution to the team whilst wearing it.
It will be made available for use next season.