The Examiner wrote a piece on transfer deals in the Irish league and how they’re not realising their potential in the market. During it, the paper revealed Celtic paid an Irish record transfer fee to get the layer in the door at Celtic Park.
‘Each of the stopper’s four appearances in Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign earned Rovers a six-figure sum. The bonuses will be capped once he retains his place for next month’s trip to Azerbaijan. Rovers grossed an Irish transfer record of €600,000 from fellow Hooped outfit Celtic for Liam Scales last month too but the domestic product still lags behind similarly-sized nations when it comes to realising value for personnel assets.
‘For example, Everton snapped up Ireland captain Seamus Coleman from Sligo Rovers for €80,000, the same price Wolves paid Bohemians for Matt Doherty. Rovers lost the league’s Player of the Year Jack Byrne to Cypriot club APOEL in January.
‘A policy of granting longer-term contracts strengthens Rovers’ bargaining power in the market, as exemplified by the Scales fee, but their new chief executive believes the league’s reputation continues to be a factor.
“There are too many good, talented lads who have gone to the UK or elsewhere for frankly derisory transfer fees because that’s what people think League of Ireland players are worth,” said Denis Donohoe, the supremo who began his role in June.
“Until we get to the situation where clubs are going: ‘Oh there’s a really good player in the League of Ireland’ and the starting negotiating point for a top-quality League of Ireland player is €1m, €1.5m or €2m, the only way is slowly growing the basic transfer fee and put in as many add-ons as you possibly can.’
Scales has yet to make an appearance for the club after missing out on the squad altogether against Ross County at the weekend.
It’s thought the Irishman will travel with the Celtic squad for their Europa League tie against Real Betis – the defender was included in Celtic’s Europa League squad and is eligible for the group stages.
Scales spoke to Celtsarehere last week about looking to emulate former Celtic star Virgil van Dijk when we asked him if there was any Celtic player he would like to model himself after.
The Irish league now has a new standard when it comes to fees after Celtic shelled out a decent amount of cash for Scales. There’s talent in the league for sure and if Liam can do the business for Celtic over the next couple of years, it will strengthen the league’s resolve when it comes to negotiating with bigger leagues.