Blackburn sporting director Gregg Broughton has revealed that Ashley Phillips’ release clause would have been a lot higher had the centre-back played more minutes last season.

Phillips is highly thought of within the game, with the centre-back having broken into Blackburn’s senior side aged just 17, and making 14 senior appearances across all competitions for the Championship side last season (Transfermarkt).

Ashley Phillips

(Photo by Mick Walker – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The 18-year-old took home the Apprentice of the Season award in the English second tier and even captained England’s Under-18s in the recently concluded International Tournament of Lisbon.

Football.London’s Alasdair Gold revealed a couple of weeks ago that the teenager is expected to train with the Spurs first-team every week, with the club expected to decide in January whether to loan him out or not.

According to various reports, Tottenham paid just £3m to bring Phillips to North London due to a clause in his contract (Evening Standard).

Blackburn could have got a lot more for Phillips

Broughton has now explained that the clause would have been worth a lot more if the centre-back had made more appearances for the Championship side last season, but he revealed that was not something that the Ewood Park hierarchy forced on their head coach, Jon Dahl Tomasson.

The Blackburn director told The Lancashire Telegraph about Phillips’ sale: “It was difficult but not unexpected. When I came into the building, I was told it was a player who wasn’t prepared to sign a contract. We spent a lot of time and energy convincing the player to sign that contract. 

“Under the current football rules, whether we like it or not, he was a scholar, he hadn’t signed a professional contract. He could exercise a seven-day notice on that scholarship to leave the club on a tribunal fee which was likely to be about £200,000.

“In order to do so, we had to put various clauses in it to get him to sign the deal. One of those was a very complicated release clause, described by our legal team as one of the most complicated they had ever worked on. It had various different triggers and we got to a situation in Easter where we knew he had to play a certain number of games more in order to take that to the next price level.

“We sat down as a Board of Directors and with Jon as head coach and we were completely unanimous that Jon, at that stage of the season, had to be able to pick the strongest team available. Ash had to play his way into the team and not be selected because of a clause triggered higher money. 

“We understand that we could’ve triggered more money by him playing. That wasn’t, by the way, one or two substitute appearances, he had to play a number of minutes to trigger that. Throwing him on for the last five minutes wouldn’t have done that.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Given that Blackburn were fighting for a playoff spot last season, they certainly could not afford to give more minutes to Phillips just to trigger the clause.

The cash influx they could have earned from potential promotion to the Premier League is astronomically higher than the few million more they would have got for Phillips.

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