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The Wonderful Plus Side To Paul Pogba's Seemingly Outrageous Transfer Fee

The Wonderful Plus Side To Paul Pogba's Seemingly Outrageous Transfer Fee
By Gavan Casey Updated

Somewhat inexplicably, much was made of the fee Manchester United paid Juventus to secure the services of French midfielder Paul Pogba when the deal finally concluded last week.

Being a world record transfer fee, £89m is obviously a metric shit-ton of cash to fork out for one player, and the after-effects of the move are already apparent; in 2009, £30m - an absurd amount of money in its own right - would have bought you Karim Benzema. Now you'd be lucky to land a Yannick Bolasie, with the greatest respect to the Palace winger.

That being said, fans of both United and rival clubs criticising the sum of money spent is extremely curious; it's not your money, lads, so you know, take it easy. Sure - it's obscene relative to pretty much everything else in life, but if a football club spends a gazillion quid in an attempt to find success, who cares? The money stays within football, generally speaking, which leads us to the positive side of Pogba's mega-move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_zq6EnI5GE

The Telegraph's Chief Football Writer, Sam Wallace, penned a superb piece on Pogba's childhood and background (which, if you're a United fan or just generally interested in Pogba, we'd recommend you check out) where he visited the 23-year-old's boyhood club.

For any youngster in Pogba's hometown of Roissy-en-Brie, explains Wallace, there is only one place to go for organised 11-a-side football. From the top of the 16-storey tower-blocks of Renardiere, where Pogba grew up alongside his two brothers and adoring parents, you can see the small stand and pitch of the Stade Paul Bessuard - home to US Roissy. This is the grassroots club which set Pogba on his way towards stardom as a boy.

Wallace explains how at the centre of the wall in the club's office is one of Paul’s Juventus shirts, signed with the message, “For my first dream club … Roissy-en-Brie”.

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“Paul comes back to visit a lot,” the club's under-17s coach tells him. “He was here on Sunday”.

Yes, Sunday - the day before his Manchester United medical. Doing, according to Nicolas Moressee, "what he always does, playing football with his mates.”

Moressee is also the club's treasurer, and his appreciation for Pogba must surely be at an all time since his move from Turin to Manchester.

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Under FIFA regulations, any club who develop a player at 12 or older is entitled to 0.25% of his transfer fees, for each year they spent coaching this player. Pogba was at Roissy from six years of age to 13, and so the club estimate they could earn as much as €400,000 for the one year they spent training him over the age of 12.

Wallace reports that Roissy's annual budget for the 30 teams that they run is €60,000, and so almost half a million euro more will transform the club and its infrastructure. Roissy will be able to buy a new minibus, kits, washing machines and subsidise trips to play away games – the latter of which being arguably the most important as not many parents in the area have cars to give kids a lift to away grounds.

The €400,000 will secure the future of a club which has birthed one of the world's best midfielders, along with his two professional footballing brothers, as well as PSV's 24-year-old defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin. It certainly makes Pogba's transfer fee more bearable to those who are averse to such figures being thrown around to beat the band. Plus, when he inevitably moves to Real Madrid in 2020 for €350m, Roissy will probably hit the big time.

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Or maybe he'll stay. The club's under-19s coach Brahim Tlili, a civil servant, knows Pogba very well and explains how the French midfielder was reluctant to leave Old Trafford in 2012.

I wasn’t surprised he went back to Manchester. He was always saying it was like his second home when he was there. When he first left [in 2012] he was really sad. It wasn’t what he wanted to do.

Check out the full piece over at The Telegraph.

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