Burnley Decided Against Signing Michael Essien After 1999 U17 World Cup

Posted On Tuesday, 30th July 2013

Michael Essien could have been snapped up by Burnley as a youngster.

Michael Essien could have been snapped up by Burnley as a youngster.

Burnley owner Brendan Flood has made the extraordinary revelation that the club passed on the opportunity to sign Michael Essien as a young prospect due to a stringent financial policy in place at Turf Moor.

He’s now one of the world’s leading defensive midfielders, but he was deemed too expensive for The Clarets when he arrived as an apprentice prior to establishing himself as an international star.

It comes as something of a surprise however that by ‘too expensive’ The Clarets meant a whopping £60 a week was too much for them to fork out for his weekly wage.

He wouldn’t have commanded a transfer fee either.

It seems bizarre, but a lack of communication at the club meant they had to reject the Ghanaian on a club policy – no apprentice was deemed valuable enough to be afforded a £60 a week wage. So Essien was shown the door.

It’s a decision that may have cost the club potentially millions of pounds. Brendan Flood explained the situation in The People today.

“I discovered Michael Essien had been on trial here for a few days – One of the best players in the World Cup – and we hadn’t signed him.

“The club policy meant we wouldn’t pay an apprentice more than 60 quid a week.

“It smacked me in the face that the problem was a lack of communication within the club that stopped our youth guys making an exception to the rule.”

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