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Page last updated at 11:56 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 12:56 UK

No Crewe complaint over 'tap-up'

Dario Gradi
Gradi spent 24 years in charge of Crewe Alexandra

The Football League has told BBC Sport no complaint has been received from Crewe Alexandra over an alleged illegal approach to one of their players.

Earlier in the week Crewe director of football Dario Gradi said they had reported an unnamed Premier League club for tapping up one of their youngsters.

Reports suggested it was Liverpool and the player was 15-year-old Max Clayton.

But Liverpool, who were willing to offer a six-figure sum for Clayton last year, knew nothing about any complaint.

Crewe rejected Liverpool's initial approach in February 2008, but Gradi says the teenager now wants to leave the League Two outfit.

He told the Daily Express: "Max has come in and told us that he wants to leave right now to join a big club.

"You worry financially for the clubs where the players are stolen from.

I'm delighted with what has happened with Chelsea... I would hope all of the big clubs are frightened to death

Dario Gradi

"What sort of compensation are we going to get for all the work that has gone into developing him? Any compensation is insignificant for the effort that gone in.

"It's simple, the big clubs are stealing other people's players."

Gradi made his claims in the wake of Fifa's decision to ban Chelsea from signing any players until January 2011 after they were found guilty of inducing 18-year-old French midfielder Gael Kakuta to break his contract with Lens in 2007.

The 68-year-old, who managed Crewe between 1983 and 2007, brought players such as David Platt, Danny Murphy, Seth Johnson, Robbie Savage and Dean Ashton through the ranks at the Alexandra Stadium during his time in charge.

Gradi has given his support to Fifa's decision to place a transfer embargo on Chelsea, who have already confirmed that they will launch the "strongest possible appeal" to the ruling.

Manchester United could also face an investigation after it emerged that another French club, Le Havre, are going to ask Fifa to look into Paul Pogba's move to Old Trafford in August.

"I'm delighted with what has happened with Chelsea," added Gradi. "I would hope all the big clubs are frightened to death. There is no excuse for breaking the rules.

"We lost a 12-year-old to Everton. He was our best 12-year-old. The lure is that the bigger clubs pay big expenses.

"This kid will be getting several hundred pounds a week in expenses. We pay expenses but nothing like that. It's more a case of giving out £20 if someone can pick a kid up en-route.

"At least Fifa have given the smaller clubs hope."

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see also
Man Utd to face transfer scrutiny
09 Sep 09 |  Man Utd
Man City dismiss 'poaching' claim
08 Sep 09 |  Man City
Taylor supports U18 transfer ban
06 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Transfer embargo hope for Chelsea
05 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Chelsea angered by signings ban
04 Sep 09 |  Chelsea
Crewe dismiss Liverpool approach
26 Feb 08 |  Crewe

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First Post Manchester City, Liverpool & Everton accused of 'poaching' - 2 hrs ago
Telegraph Crewe youngster had 'illegal appraoch' - 40 hrs ago Crewe report wrong approach by big club for it's teenager - 40 hrs ago
Morning Star Online Crewe report club over 'illegal' approach - 41 hrs ago


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