Dominic Fifield on 20 April 2018
Exeter City have said they are “disappointed for football” after a tribunal determined Chelsea should pay the League Two side up to £2.5m for the promising Wales international Ethan Ampadu.
The club’s chairman, Julian Tagg, has expressed concern over what message it will send to academy staff and lower league clubs developing homegrown players. Ampadu, who is 17, moved to Chelsea last summer and has played seven times
Tagg said: “Above all we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those who are producing talented homegrown players for both club and country.”
Ampadu made his Exeter debut aged 15 years 330 days in August 2016 and has two Wales caps.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has claimed José Mourinho’s eye-catching record over his first century of games in charge of Chelsea reflects the money-flushed ambitions of Roman Abramovich’s early years as owner, with the task the Italian took on at the club “not simple” in comparison.
Victory at Burnley on Thursday left Conte with 65 wins from his first 100 games in charge of at Chelsea, a record that is beaten at the club only by Mourinho with 72. While Although the current head coach admits his team’s toils this season are a source of frustration and regret – his side go into Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton still clinging to the possibility of securing silverware a trophy this term – he was quick to put his predecessor’s record into proper context.
“I could do better,” said Conte of his own impressive tally of wins. “This is my mentality. For sure, this is a good stat but I know that, this season, we could have done better,” Conte said. “Mourinho was 72 in the first 100? We are talking about a great manager, but don’t forget that the first 100 games with Mourinho were many years ago. Now it’s not simple, I think, to have those types of results in this moment, with this present Chelsea … it’s a different era now and a different era in the history of the club. I have to consider this.”