Dean Smith today said Walsall will use the Will Grigg windfall to further tie down their young stars.
The Saddlers will receive £325,000 in compensation from Brentford after the striker’s summer switch to the Bees, but it could rise to more than half a million with add-ons.
Smith has already used some of the money from Jamie Paterson’s sale to Nottingham Forest to give midfielder James Baxendale and defender Paul Downing new three and two-year contracts respectively.
And with the Grigg tribunal finally complete, more deals could soon be in the pipeline. Smith also sees the cash as key to further improving the club’s academy, which produced and developed the likes of Grigg and Paterson in the first place. “What we are trying to do has been shown by Paul Downing and James Baxendale signing new contracts, which we’ve been allowed to do with the money from Jamie,” said Smith.
“We’ll be speaking to a few more now as well.
“But it also allows us to invest the money lower down, into the youth system with a new academy, where we are trying to attain category three status.
“We have invested heavily into two new gyms down at the ground for the younger players to do the same sort of physical work the likes of Andy Butler and Adam Chambers do at the training ground.”
Smith added: “Players move on but what it has done has allowed us to invest into the future.
“You only have to look at Jamie Paterson who was brought into the club at 10-years-old and came through.
“We know we have a system that works. But it can be improved as well.”