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Manchester United Academy Sales

Following on from yesterday’s article about United’s comparative spend, another point of interest is how much money our club generates from the quality young players we produce.

The Fergie Fledgings were a freak occurrence. To bring though that many talented youngsters, who’d all go on to play for their country plenty of times, as well as win a sackful of trophies for us, is unlikely to ever be repeated. However, that doesn’t mean that our academy hasn’t been producing a good standard of young players before and since then, who, even if they don’t make it at United, are good enough to cut it in the Premier League/Championship, and good enough to command a decent fee.

From 1992 onwards, here are all the players that United have produced and sold on.

Mark Robins – £800k

Darren Ferguson – £250k
Lee Martin – £350k

Colin McKee – £265k

Keith Gillespie – £1m
Richard Irving – £75k
Ashley Westwood – £40k

Gary Walsh – £250k

Ben Thornley – £175k
Grant Brebner – £300k
John O’Kane – £400k
Michael Appleton – £500k
Jon Macken – £1.1m
Colin Murdock – £100k
Simon Davies – £150k
Chris Casper – £300k

Terry Cooke – £1m
Phil Mulryne – £500k

John Curtis – £1.5m
Danny Higginbotham – £2m

David Healey – £1.8m
Mark Wilson – £1.5m

Paul Rachubka – £200k

David Beckham – £24.5m

Nicky Butt – £2.5m

Jonathan Spector – £500k
Phil Neville – £3.5m

Sylvain Ebanks-Blake – £200k

David Jones – £1m
Kieran Richardson – £5.5m
Giuseppe Rossi – £6.7m

Ryan Shawcross – £1m
Phil Bardsley – £2m
Gerard Pique – £6m

Chris Eagles to Burnley – £1.25m
Lee Martin – £1.5m
Frazier Campbell to Sunderland – £6m
Richard Eckersley to Burnley – £500k

Danny Simpson – £750k

James Chester – £300k
Craig Cathcart – £250k
Wes Brown – £1.2m
John O’Shea – £4.5m
Joe Dudgeon – £300k
Corry Evans – £500k

Ravel Morrison – £1m
Danny Drinkwater – £750k
Darron Gibson – £2m
Matty James – £1m
Oliver Norwood – £400k

Robbie Brady – £2m

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. BELIEVE says:

    This is why i enjoy reading articles on here. When the media goes on about how Wenger is the god of producing youngsters it irritates me! United have done so much more consistently than arsenal. Fact.

  2. FletchTHEMAN says:

    While the academy is a source of extraordinary pride. I find it a complete piss take that we don’t get better transfer fees.

    Recent cases in point:
    Darren Gibson: Starter for for Everton, key player for several of their wins.
    CL experience, 1 EPL Winners medal, 2 League Cups winners medals, 1 FIFA CWC medal.
    £2m. Bet only Phil Neville has more silverware on that team.
    Phil Neville (don’t even get me started on why we sold him for £3.5m)

    The list goes on from their. Pogba as well?! Really poor business.

    More like the ManUnited Bargain Basement Club!! :(

  3. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Ryan Shawcross and Gerard Pique could be starting CB pair all last year and WE WOULD HAVE WON THE LEAGUE.

    Sorry, just needed to get it off my chest.

    And don’t come in with they needed to go. To hell with that. Barcellona manages their youngster much better than we do FULL STOP.

  4. kiwwi says:

    that gives £92.155m from our academy + players still in our A-team squad (Fletcher, Giggs, Scholes, Cleverley, Welbeck, Evans) – not bad at all

  5. Rd5454 says:

    Oshear + Richardson earn 10m what a fxxking great business we ever done

  6. Rd5454 says:

    Last yrs cost the title is goalkeeper

  7. belfast red. says:

    Have to agree with fletchtheman on this. Pique for 6 mil was a total bargain. As with P.nev and Gibbo.

  8. BayoRed says:

    What about the French Winger who is at Newcastle, Obertan

  9. realist says:

    Whilst i agree we let players go way too cheaply, i dont see how we could have kept Pique?
    Rio and Vida were in their prime at the time and there was no way he was going to oust either of them. Plus, we had a certain Mr Evans who was maybe a year or two behind Pique in his development which made it a no brainer in my opinion to, reluctantly, allow Pique his wish to return home and actually play!
    Would love to know how anyone believes we could have kept him?!

  10. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Right, Gabriel Obertan is missing from the list (YO SCOTT! ) ;)

    I have a note that we got 2m for him.
    Probably good business that? Interesting that Newcastle are trying to recreate a Ligue 1 side by the look of current transfer activity!

  11. bRed says:

    FletchTHEMAN, I think the club’s been hearing you. So they raised Zeki Fryer’s price but got nothing in return – lol. Slimy buggers.

    Seriously though, I have to agree that we suck at getting good prices for our players. Even Becks, I thought left on the cheap, given that he was at his prime and had such huge marketability.

    As for Nani, if he does get sold (which I’m hoping isn’t going to happen), his value really should be closer to 30m than those quoted in the papers.

  12. kanchelskis says:

    Guys, we bought Obertan from Bordeaux. He’s not an academy product.

  13. Pratyush says:

    Well Pique, while a god defender, is horribly overrated. At Barcelona, and in Spain, the midfielders do the entire work in pressing the ball and winning it back. The defenders are there merely for cleaning up some situations where the ball manages to run through. This is why you see Barca getting away with playing Mascherano in defense.

    Pique’s only been winning places in the World XI because Platini/Blatter have their head stuck up Barca’s arse. He hardly played last year, in a team that won nothing, and manages to make the World XI? Bullshit.

  14. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Might be interesting to see a comparable list of Barca academy sales.

  15. King Eric says:

    RD – De Gea cost us the title? Ha yeah OK. What about the defensive surrender at Eastlands? The Shambolic defending against Everton? Blaming the keeper is a piss take.

    Fletch – Hello mate. I have to disagree. Pique wanted to go back to Barcalona, what could we do? I don’t even think he is all that anyway when put under pressure. He was never gonna get in front of Vida and Rio that season and he wanted to return. As for Shawcross not for me pal. Stoke is his level.

  16. King Eric says:

    realist – Spot on.

  17. King Eric says:

    Pratyush – Also spot on!

  18. Pratyush says:

    while a good* defender. He isn’t godly in any sense ;-)

  19. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Don’t believe what you read….. in the Sun anyway…

    Sun run a story on Dec 18 that Frazier Campbell will sign for Hull for £7m.

    Today he signs for Cardiff for £600k.

    http://www. (remove the spaces after www. to activate this link)

    Think we did well to get £7m for Campbell!

  20. FletchTHEMAN says:

    King Eric, I have made the point about Pique ‘having’ to go many times. Same could be said for Shawcross. Timing not good and Evans coming up behind was thought of as good cover.

    But in hind sight, I was trying to point out that we should have kept one or both, or done something creative. Anyone wonder how Barca have managed to keep a sense of excitement that makes their youngsters want to come back. Where as our youngsters essentially all want to piss off when they leave.

    What to Barca put in their tea that allows them to essentially use United, Arsenal, Celtic and others as loan moves. Never thought Pique was good enough to beat out Vidic, Rio or Evans. But that isn’t to say he could have replaced O’Shea when and been used to effect last 2seasons when the entire back 4 was crocked. Hindsight is 20/20 eh.

    Also, We could do worse than bring back Shawcross. Just sayin.

  21. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Don’t believe what you read….. in the Sun anyway…

    Sun run a story on Dec 18 that Frazier Campbell will sign for Hull for £7m.

    Today he signs for Cardiff for £600k.

    www. (remove the spaces after www. to activate this link)

    Think we did well to get £7m for Campbell!

  22. Ravi says:

    For the most part, this is a good reminder, but it could probably help to define what exactly you mean by “producing” a player… Pique and Rossi, for example, spent many of their formative years at other clubs (Barcelona and Parma). But that’s nitpicking.

  23. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Ravi, Cheers mate.

    Both came to united at 17 when they were allowed to sign contracts. They could have stayed at Parma and Barca, but came here for final academy and entire reserves careers.

    Agree to a point, but most of the sales they are talking about are for players who have finished their Reserve careers and are looking for a senior team.

  24. Wakey says:

    Some of the fees may seem low but when Fergie was talking about Shawcross a couple of seasons ago he mentioned clauses United inserted in the deal and said it was the norm when we let players who came through the academy go. He didnt specify what the clauses were but the most likely case is that the clauses are 1st option/Buy back clauses and perhaps cuts of future transfer fees

    On the Piqué front I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t ever have made it at united. He is way too continental in style to be a top CB in England so while he may have been fine as cover for matches in Europe he wouldn’t have been for League matches. Perhaps he could have learnt to be more an ‘English’ style defender but that would require regular 1st team games not fulfilling a Smalling/Jones/O’Shea squad place. He needed to go somewhere where he would get regular football in a league that suited his kind of defending.

    The thing with Zeki I’m pretty sure United didnt really want or expect to get £6mill but were just protecting themselves from being screwed at a tribunal. Tribunials usually find a middle ground between the two clubs valuations so if it seemed likely that’s where it was heading it makes little sense for United to negotiate at what they believe is his actually value just as it wouldn’t be smart for spurs to offer what they would be willing to pay.

  25. dazbomber says:

    How long did Eric get was it 9 month ban ?

  26. Zalee says:

    From my opinion, I love to see more academy player to make grade to the first team. What I can see now that more academy player will be sold as the first team been accommodate by outside player. Macheda, Petrucci, Tunnicliffe & others will see the exit at Manchester United sooner or later but I love to be prove wrong on this

  27. Wan says:

    Pique wanted to go back to Barca. Not much we could do about that.

    Shawcross was behind Evans and Pique. Had we kept him, god knows how much his progress would have stalled rather than being the player he is today. He’s overrated IMO. Good for Stoke, but thats his level. Backup at best if he’s with us. We have Smalling, Evans and Jones who would be first teamers for us for years to come.

    And last season we had Rio, Vida, Evans and Smalling as CBs. Its just bad luck that Vida got injured for as long as he was and the other defenders except Evra were taking turns visitting the nurses.

    We’re doing fine with our youngsters. Not many left that we wanted to keep or/and playing at the top level. Rossi, Pique, Pogba(agent, $$)..

  28. Ravi says:

    8 months, same as Rio for missing a drug test… Of course, Toure got 6 months for actually failing a drug test, so I’m sure Hazard will get 6 games or something.

  29. Scott says:

    Fletch – Why do you think Obertan is an academy player? We paid £3m for him.

  30. Wan says:

    @Zalee, they need to be good enough for that to happen first.
    I’m not sure why people are complaining..we always give a chance to young ones if they are good enough. Evans, Welbeck, Cleverley have broken through in a few years. Pique got plenty of games before he left. And had Pogba stayed, I’m sure he would have featured a lot more. It’s natural for them to just play a few matches in their breakthrough season, and it will improve from there. Last few years we gave chances to Cleverley, Welbeck..Gibson got plenty of games as well before he moved on. Bardsley got a couple. Evans etc. The Da Silva twins got their chances in the first team the moment they were available for selections. They didn’t come straight from the academy of course but if shows that it doesnt matter how young they are, if they are good enough, they will get games.

  31. Saad says:

    I’d say the best bargain in the above list was Shawcross. Should’ve gotten more for him.


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