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Sturridge fee set

The tribunal to decide the transfer fee of Daniel Sturridge has of course now announced the fee we would receive to compensate for the loss:
CHELSEA must pay Manchester City an initial fee of £3.5m for Daniel Sturridge and the striker's transfer could eventually cost the Londoners around £7m. The Professional Football Compensation Committee hearing ruled a compensation payment of £3.5million was due, with additional payments of £500,000 due after each of 10, 20, 30 and 40 first-team competitive appearances in all competitions. A further payment of £1m will be due if Sturridge makes a full international appearance, while City will be due a 15 per cent sell-on fee if the 19-year-old leaves Stamford Bridge. Sturridge joined Chelsea in July on a four-year deal after his contract expired at City.
I thought that the fee that would be decided upon by the tribunal would be in the region of what was announced, yet thought that the initial 'up front' fee would be more in line of the £5-6 million mark, with a far lower 'add on' figure dependent on appearances, goals and international appearances.

I have been throwing this around and can't unequivocally decide whether the fee is a fair one. As a 'selling' club, we were hardly in a position of strength as we weren't receiving a transfer fee to buy out the remainder of a contract, merely receiving a compensatory amount so would of course not be as high as if we were selling a player under contract. The amount based on future appearances etc did surprise me though as tribunals don't overly make a habit of including this element as such a high figure.

Of course, when compared to some fees, the initial fee appears a low one. £3.5 million clearly doesn't buy you much in the transfer market these days, and compared with fees paid for the likes of Theo Walcott (or even Giorgios Samaras or Felipe Caicedo), it is a low figure.

Yet transfer fees that are paid are to buy out a players contract, and for whatever reason (and both club and player were culpable to some degree) Sturridge was no longer contracted to us. In addition, up until the end of the 2008/09 had been nothing more than a bit part player for us - showing glimpses of his undoubted potential, but at this stage really only that.

Sturridge could go on to be a superstar, or he could ultimately sink without trace. But he will do so as a Chelsea player, not a Manchester City player. It is a huge shame that he walked away from the club, but - and as the club confirmed - it is in truth, a figure that is probably one to be content given the circumstances involved.