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West Ham United International Academy

- North America


Frank Lampard


The $100 Million Men - West Ham Prove the Youth Academy Business Model

The transfer of Anton Ferdinand from West Ham United to Sunderland proved to be a remarkable milestone for the West Ham United youth academy. With the reported $16 million transfer fee paid for Ferdinand, West Ham United has recieved over $100 million in transfer fees for players produced through the club's youth academy over the last ten years, a reported $118,700,000 to be exact.

This figure is based solely on the big name transfers of high profile players currently playing in the Premier League, namely, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole of Chelsea, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United, Jermain Defoe of Tottenham, Glen Johnson of Liverpool, and now Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland . There are many more former academy players playing professional football around the English leagues, many of which generated transfer fees for the club.

It is not just the financial side of the club which has had the benefit of these players. The seven players listed between them played 785 first-team games for West Ham scoring a combined 76 goals for the club. They have also gone on to achieve no less than 233 England senior caps between them.

Anton Ferdinand leaves the club at a time when the club has two England Under-19 defenders waiting in the wings in James Tomkins and Jordan Spence. The pre-season tour to North America saw no fewer than 10 academy graduates represent the first-team in the two games, with Tomkins and Freddie Sears missing due to England duty. In addition Jack Collison, Joe Widdowson, Kyel Reid and Tony Stokes join Sears, Tomkins and first-team regular Mark Noble as the nine West Ham academy graduates in the West Ham first-team squad.

At a time when many are questioning the value of youth academies in England and youth clubs around the world consider how best to maximize the returns in youth development, the West Ham United Academy system proves that the long-term investment in professional youth development can produce healthy returns for clubs, owners, coaches and players both on and off the field.


Hammers Academy - Big Business for the Club

Rio Ferdinand

Michael Carrick

Joe Cole

Glen Johnson

Anton Ferdinand

Jermain Defoe

Academy Graduates

"The biggest single contributor to the current England national squad is not Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea, but the West Ham Youth Academy." -- ITV Football article, 13 September 2004.