Date: 22nd November 2006 at 9:17am
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Dario Gradi has revealed that he may risk keeping Billy Jones until the summer, and potentially receive a much lower fee for the youngster. The 19-year old has signalled his intent to see out his deal with the club but there has been no interest as yet apart from an enquiry from Cardiff.

Should the club keep Billy until the summer, he would be free to join another club without Crewe’s say so. However, as Billy is under the age of 24 and has been offered an improved deal at the club, any suitors would have to agree a compensation package with the club, or go to a tribunal who would set the fee. Tribunals are reknowned for being harsh on the selling club, who typically receive small sums. For example, Lee Cook’s move from Watford to QPR went to the tribunal as QPR wouldn’t meet the £1m asking price. The tribunal then set the compensation fee at £150k, and Cook is now being linked with a multi-million pound move to the Premiership. However, David Bellion’s move from Sunderland to Manchester Utd was valued at £2m by the tribunal, offering a glimour of hope to Crewe should they risk keeping Jones.

Jones’ record at England youth levels would certainly go in Crewe’s favour, but it would be surprising if the club rebuffed any decent offers in January. Ironically, the club had said that they would definitely allow Billy to leave in January if he signed a new deal, but by refusing to sign a new deal, he may have actually delayed his departure.