Home News How Burnley missed out on Michael Essien over $60,000 a week deal

How Burnley missed out on Michael Essien over $60,000 a week deal

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Michael Essien is renowned for his exploits with Olympic Lyon and Chelsea but the Ghanaian football legend could have played for Burnley.

The English club were on the cusp of signing Michael Essien after he excelled for Ghana in the 1999 Under-17 World Cup.

Essien was one of the stars of the Black Starlets team that finished third in the tournament after losing to 4-2 on penalties to Brazil in that tournament.

His performance in the tournament caught the eyes of then Burnley chairman Brendan Flood.

Brendan Flood in an interview re-published by Talk Sports was bent on bringing the young Essien to the tournament but the club opted against it.

He said the club had a policy of not paying $60,000 a week for starlets and that killed the deal.

“I discovered Michael Essien had been on trial here for a few days. One of the best players in the World Cup – and we hadn’t signed him. The club policy meant we wouldn’t pay an apprentice more than 60 quid a week.

“It smacked me in the face that the problem was a lack of communication within the club that stopped our youth guys making an exception to the rule.”

Essien after that failed move, excelled for Ghana two years later at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Essien, Muntari, John Mensah and their likes went all the way to the finals but lost to host Argentina in the final.

He moved to Olympic Lyon before joining Chelsea where he established himself as a world class midfielder.



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