Fulham chairman Tony Khan has strongly slammed the way Tottenham Hotspur went about signing their young star Ryan Sessegnon towards the end of the transfer window.
The talented ace made the move across London on deadline day, seemingly much to the frustration of the Cottagers chief, who has been heavily critical of the style in which the business was concluded.
Fulham were adamant that they were going to get every penny of their asking price for the England under-21 star, and eventually got what they were aiming for, but the lateness in which the deal was done meant that they had little time to replace the man, who played a key role in their promotion from the Championship a couple of seasons ago.
That has clearly angered the Cottagers’ chief, who was pretty scathing in his attack on Tottenham in a recent interview.
“We heard from them [Tottenham] for the first time two weeks before the close of the window. We had been making all our deals under the assumption that Ryan could wind the contract down and they were not going to offer us anything. I was totally prepared for that,” he told the Fulham official website.
“It seemed like it might be a likely scenario when he still had not heard from them a couple of weeks out, which is why I was doing loan deals where we knew the club would compliant with Financial Fair Play [FFP] rules. We had got three of our top four targets on loan but there was still a lot of uncertainty about what we could do in the rest of the window after we got Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Harry Arter.
“I was glad we had done some deals early [in the window]. But the stuff we did on deadline day was greatly impacted by the sale that went through late on deadline day.
“We got Harrison Reed down to a loan with Southampton that we could do no matter what happened with our sale. Then we had Bobby Reid and another transfer we were trying to do. Bobby Reid I negotiated in loan in the final hours, and the Josh Onomah swap. The transfer I was hoping to get across but was not able to do because I did not have the money.
“The Ryan Sessegnon situation was definitely the catalyst as to why we were not able to get that transfer across. In terms of FFP compliance, it would not have been a move that was suitable for the club if we had not got that transfer over the line.”
“It turned out we were not able to buy any players because this transaction had been held up. And when I finally got an offer it was so ridiculously low that I had to make it super clear that we were not going to take a penny less our asking price, which is exactly what we got.”
Fulham won their first match without the England youngster, beating Blackburn Rovers 2-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, while Sessegnon watched on from the stands as Spurs beat Aston Villa 3-1.
Tottenham chief Daniel Levy is renowned for frugality and being a tough negotiator, with Khan’s comments backing up this reputation.