D’oh! In 2008, Southampton Cashed In Their 25% Gareth Bale Sell-On Clause For Just £3m

Chris Wright

3rd, September 2013


By Chris Wright

Spain Soccer Real Madrid Bale

Southampton’s top brass had around 20 million fairly good reasons to feel aggrieved when Gareth Bale completed his world record transfer to Real Madrid on Monday morning.

You see, there was a time when the Saints would’ve been contractually entitled to a quarter of the £85.4million (€100.9million) that Real Madrid slung Tottenham’s way in return for Bale thanks to a 25% sell-on clause which was inserted in the Welshman’s contract when he moved from St Mary’s to Spurs in 2007 for an eventual £7million.

Unfortunately for Southampton, they allowed Spurs to buy themselves out of certain elements of Bale’s contract (including the sell-on clause) for a lump sum of somewhere between £2-3million when the club found themselves short on cash just a year later.

And that, kiddiwinks, is how Southampton missed out on £21.3million yesterday!

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Saints were allowed to cherry-pick Spurs’ youth team keeper Tommy Forecast as part of the Bale buy-out bargain. Five years later, he’s now playing for Chelmsford City in the Conference South. He made no first-team appearances for Southampton.


Hindsight can be a cruel, cruel mistress.

Posted in Newsnow, Real Madrid, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Ant James says:

    One of the last great decisions of Rupert Lowe’s ‘legacy’. Mind you, there’s a very good chance Saints wouldn’t have made it to 2013 had that sell-on clause not been… er, sold.

  2. Andy says:

    Your wrong actually. There was never a sell on clause

  3. Joe says:

    Hindsight nothing. Spurs took advantage of a cash-strapped club. Another example of how football is killing itself. Any beneficial trickle-down effect (the system we’ve had since professional football was formed) to the rest of the Football League caused by the money-grubbing Premier League has now been stopped as well.
    Can someone tell me how anyone expects 95% football clubs to exist in five or ten years time?

  4. Matt says:

    Without the 3m there would be no southampton now so…. all in all considering Southampton are the 5th richest team in the premier league it could have been far worse! Losing 20m for bale… or not having a football club… think Southampton are still in a good position thanks!

  5. GOD says:

    Your forgetting to mention a minor not so important point,,, “IF” Southampton didn’t get the £3 million from spurs they would of gone bankrupt! In fact the deal saved southampton from oblivion, not such a bad deal after all, as the saints are back in premier league spending big and still producing top academy wonder kids, #saints.

  6. Paul C says:

    It wasn’t just a case of Saints allowing Spurs to buy themselves out of the clause…At the time Southampton were scraping by, they were on the verge of admin, if it wasn’t for that money who knows what would have happened…Some saying how silly it was for Saints to cash in their sell on clause, well if they hadn’t they might not even be here to enjoy the £20m they would have got. So really the word “D’oh!” in your title is a bit stupid.

  7. Rupert says:

    The Echo spoke to 2 Directors at the time and this is what they said :-
    “However, a boardroom source from the time Bale left for Spurs said a sell-on clause was NEVER actually inserted to begin with.

    Another source, who has knowledge of the subsequent early settlement with Spurs, also said that one never existed and, therefore, did not form part of the renegotiation.”


  8. Steve says:

    This story is not actually true, there was no sell-on clause in the deal – has just been paper talk.

    The deal from Southampton to Spurs was £5m up-front, £5m in appearance-based payments. Southampton took £1m-£2m in an advanced payment instead of those appearance-based payments.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t Bale considered to be a bit of flop too around that time when he was still a left-back?

  10. Tony D says:

    Lol. The southerners are all winkers anyway.

  11. Al says:

    also, if any director at the time had of had the hindsight to predict that Real Madrid were going to be the biggest suckers of all time paying that kind of money for a player whose had a couple of decent seasons then they wouldn’t be working in football, they’d be writing Russell Grants horoscope column.

  12. chris says:

    Should have move to forest when he had the chance –

    He will regret that for the rest of his life COYR!

  13. Inno says:

    How much was the Wigan sell on clause for James McCarthy? Hamilton Accies could in theory be the second richest club in Scotland right now!

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