Leeds United's Sonny Perkins transfer fee predicted as Whites prepare for legal hearing

Leeds United are close to announcing their seventh signing of this year’s summer transfer window from West Ham United

Monday, 18th July 2022, 4:17 pm

Leeds are hopeful of signing 18-year-old former West Ham United forward Sonny Perkins after the youngster’s contract at the London Stadium expired at the end of last month.

Perkins is a highly-rated England youth international who featured regularly for West Ham’s successful Under-23 side last season.

The player is understood to have turned down the offer of an extension in the capital, in favour of a move elsewhere, with Elland Road expected to be the attacker’s destination.

Sonny Perkins is understood to be close to agreeing a deal with Leeds United after leaving West Ham (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Any move for Perkins will be subject to a tribunal if Leeds and West Ham cannot agree on a compensation fee for the player.

FA rules stipulate players under the age of 24 who move on ‘free’ transfers at the end of their contracts will require the purchasing club to compensate a player’s previous team.

Ordinarily, fees tend to be agreed but in cases where two sides cannot reach an agreement, a Professional Football Compensation Committee (PFCC) tribunal will be called upon.

PFCC hearings are presided over by representatives of the Premier League, League Managers’ Association (LMA), Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) and a chairperson of ‘appropriate legal background’, according to the Premier League rulebook.

Club secretaries or lawyers tend to chair the hearings and tribunal decisions are final, with no right to appeal the compensation payment agreed by the panel.

The status of the two clubs in dispute, age of the player in question as well as contract terms offered by the purchasing club are all taken into consideration by the panel when determining an appropriate compensation figure, along with a number of other costs-related factors.

Additionally, the player’s international and first-team appearances are taken into account, as well as interest from other clubs that can be ‘substantiated’, or is perceived to have been legitimate.

In Perkins’ case, the 18-year-old is already an England Under-18 international and made appearances in the Premier League and Europa League for the Hammers last season.

This is likely to increase the compensation payment West Ham are due, if the transfer is put to a tribunal.

Both clubs will be required to put forth their valuation of the player, providing evidence their estimate is most accurate.

Payments are not mandatory to be paid up front but instead can be staggered based on future performance, as is often the case with normal transfers.

Last year, a PFCC panel agreed Liverpool owed Fulham £4.3 million for Harvey Elliott after the youngster joined the Merseyside club in 2019.

However, this deal saw payments spread out over several years, including a basic £1.2 million fee, some way off Fulham’s £10 million valuation.

Should multiple other clauses be met, the fee could rise by an additional £3.1 million up to the cumulative, reported figure.

"For the full £4.3m to be due, Elliott would need to play more than 100 games for Liverpool and receive a senior England call-up, while Fulham will have a 20% sell-on clause,” a report in The Guardian found.

Perkins’ Leeds switch is not expected to surpass the record compensation fee due to Fulham in the Elliott deal, but is a useful indicator of how payments are likely to be structured if an agreement cannot be reached between the two clubs, independent of a PFCC tribunal.

Leeds have signed a throng of teenagers in recent seasons for small fees including Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood and Lewis Bate.

Former Wigan Athletic teenager Sean McGurk signed with Leeds for an undisclosed fee last summer following the expiry of his contract at the DW Stadium – a move which saw Leeds agree a compensation payment with the Latics.