As Brown joins Blackburn for free, drugs feel out of pocket

The free transfer signing of Blackburn Rovers wing-back James Brown faced the wrath of Drogheda United chairman Conor Hoe after the 23-year-old signed for English Championship title contenders without paying a single percentage of compensation to the Boynesiders. Did it

Even with the player’s desire to play professionally at a higher level, Drogheda was resigned enough to lose him at the end of the 2021 season, the only question being whether he would transfer to the Second League of Ireland club. Will – maybe St. Patrick’s Athletic – or a deal across safe waters.

A trial with Blackburn proved successful, and Drogheda thought he would be compensated as Brown was 23 in that season when the English club approached the player.

However, unknown to Drogheda – and, it seems, other clubs in Ireland – the FIFA transfer status rules were changed sometime last year and now state that compensation is payable if a club is held from the end of its calendar year. calls first. 23rd birthday. Given that Brown will turn 24 in June, he no longer falls into that category.

The development has upset Hoi, especially as Blackburn was also unaware of the rule change until the 11th hour.

Describing his position, Hoe said: “I am not pleased with Jimmy Brown’s position and that there is something fundamentally wrong with the system when we see a player being entitled to compensation when he goes to St. He doesn’t go to Blackburn Rovers.

“I went to Blackburn and said we were on the wrong side of a rule change and tried to give them a sell-on clause, but they just said they could come and play a friendly against us and that is not really going to make money for us.

“Look at how much we’ve invested in helping Jimmy become that player.

“I was very disappointed because we have a lot of history with Blackburn. Gary Tallon, who used to play for Drogheda, went there in the 1990s and when Alan Shearer and Kenny Dalglish came we played a game against them.

“But they are not breaking the law and it has happened now.

“It’s not Jimmy’s fault. He’s a great lad and we wish him all the best.”

Coincidentally, Drogheda continued to pay Brown even after his contract expired in November, because under a new FAI player retention rule he would not otherwise be entitled to compensation for losing a U23 player in the Second League of Ireland. .

Brown, incidentally, could be brought directly into the Blackburn first-team squad for Saturday’s big league match for Cardiff City.

Just four days after signing a six-month deal at Ewood Park, Brown began Sunday’s U23 match against Manchester City and was a replacement for first-team boss Tony Mowbray after his regular right winger, Ireland international Daragh Lenihan. could be an option. At half-time in a 3-2 FA Cup defeat at Wigan Athletic the day before.

It had been planned to bring in Brown, the 2021 Drogheda United Supporters’ Player of the Year, who was also included in the season’s Premier Division squad through the U23 side, but Mowbre said he had opted out of training with his first team. Organized his own during During a three-day trial in December and depending on how severe Lenihan’s injury is, his arm could be forced.

Either way, Brown believes he’s in a good position to take advantage of the opportunity he gets.

After the unveiling, he told Blackburn Rovers TV: “Many boys go to England when they are young and then back to Ireland.”

“It was different for me. I had a few tests that didn’t work, but everything happens for a reason and I think I’m mature enough to take up the challenge.

“I had offers in Ireland and there was pressure to make a decision, but that was the number one goal. I had to hold the trial with both hands.”

Mowbre’s first priority has been to improve Brown’s fitness level since his campaign with Drogheda ended in November.

“I hope he impresses our team somewhere, but first he needs to be fit, he needs to put in extra work,” he said at Brown’s unveiling.

“He’s been great in the League of Ireland. For me, he’s coming to play some U23s football.

“Young (Dan) Pike has gone out on loan to Fylde and he can fit in and we’ll see where he is in six months’ time. I look mindlessly at what I saw in three days .

“He will join the first team squad and then we will arrange for some extra physical work so that it feels like pre-season for him.”

Meanwhile, last season’s Drogheda United Player of the Year Dan O’Reilly has had a dream start to life with Hamilton Academics in the Scottish Championship.

O’Reilly went straight to the starting line-up for the game at Queen of the South on 2 January, which ended with a 3–0 victory.

And the 26-year-old centre-half held his spot with title contender Partik Thistle for last Saturday’s game, in which the Axis pulled back from a goal twice to draw 2-2.

Those four points in two games lifted Hamilton in mid-table after tinkering with the relegation zone prior to O’Reilly’s signing.

Back in the FA Cup, another former Drogheda player, William Hondermark, helped Championship club Barnsley reach the fourth round, with a dramatic 5–4 victory over Ligue 2 outfit Barrow on Saturday afternoon.

Hondermark, who made Drogheda debut in 2018 as a 17-year-old, came on as a second-half deputy with Barnsley leading 2-1, but Minnow Barrow eventually made his way to level 4-4 before the Tykes grabbed it. Made it Winner in extra time.