Given that the phrase ‘money is no object’ is a commonly used idiom, I thought I could use transfer fees as our latest ‘object’. Of course, as we all know, this hasn’t been an overused term in the history of ECFC, but the recent sale of Matt Grimes to Swansea City has generated a lot of excitement and pride, as wells as much welcomed funds to sustain our club. With a reported £1.75m fee being paid for our former playmaker, it is clear that our latest dealings have outstripped the previous official transfer fee of £500k, paid by Manchester City for the services of Martin ‘Buster’ Phillips in 1995. Prior to Phillips, the record transfer was the £105k paid for by Blackpool for Tony Kellow in 1978, although just two years later we would spend our own record outlay of £65k to get him back. While these figures may be relatively large given the size of the club, and the period in which they were paid, one particular transfer fee, from the 1920’s is perhaps the most significant of all. In 1921 Bolton Wanderers paid £5k for goalkeeper Richard ‘Dick’ Pym. In modern currency this amount is the equivalent of £195k, and the money generated by the sale allowed the club to buy the site and ground of St James Park outright.
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