Championship side Birmingham City are only set to get 5% of the revenue generated from Borussia Dortmund’s future sale of English teenager Jude Bellingham, according to the Die Dortmund-Woche podcast (via Fussball Transfers and Sport Witness).
Bellingham, 18, came through the ranks at local side Birmingham City and made an incredible 41 league appearances during the 2019/20 campaign despite only just turning 16 when the season started.
However, his senior career at St Andrew’s didn’t last very long and he was whisked away to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund last July, signing for the German outfit for a £25m fee and with that, becoming the most expensive 17-year-old player ever.
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Sky Sports also reported the deal included multiple performance-related add-ons depending on how successful his spell at Dortmund is, with the midfielder making an exceptional 46 competitive appearances in his first season and continuing to be a key player at the Signal Iduna Park this term, even playing regularly in the Champions League.
He made Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championships in the summer to cap off a successful 2020/21 campaign, but even with add-ons, Birmingham’s financial reward for his sale now looks to be limited with this latest report on their sell-on clause.
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As per Bild, the Bundesliga side are holding out for €100m for his services amid interest from Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, which would leave the Blues with only €5m (around £4.2m) from this potential nine-figure deal.
Although £4.2m is still a decent amount of money to bring in as a Championship side wanting to abide by the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules, this latest report is a hammer blow for Lee Bowyer’s side.
They may have been able to generate £25m from his sale, securing their long-term future and allowing them to invest in several players in the summer, but a 20% release clause would have provided them with a figure close to what they received for him last July.
The initial £25m may have been lower if they wanted to include a higher release clause, but they may have benefitted from lowering their valuation and inserting a bigger percentage for the sell-on clause, which would still have been tempting for Dortmund.
In that respect, you could criticise Birmingham’s negotiators.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing and even though the 18-year-old showed real quality in the West Midlands, many people wouldn’t have expected him to make the impact he did in his first season out in Germany, with new teammates, a new setting and a new language.
It’s also surreal to think he’s made eight England caps since leaving St Andrew’s, also participating in the European Championships.
When he does move on from Marco Rose’s side, the Blues will be hoping to generate as much revenue as possible for him despite this reported low clause.