Thursday, September 19 – 1968
Tony Hateley took just 85 minutes yesterday to become Britain’s first £300,000 footballer. Liverpool sold him to Coventry for £80,000. And that sends the total fees paid out for the 27-year-old centre forward spiraling to an all-time record.
Hateley’s previous high priced moved around the League circuit have been:
1963: Notts County to Aston Villa (£25,000).
1966: Aston Villa to Chelsea (£100,000).
1967: Chelsea to Liverpool (£95,000).
Hateley is laughing all the way to the bank, ignoring the critics who rate him a clumsy player with slender skill.
His personal haul from the four transfer deals can be conservatively estimated at £15,000.
This was the hectic Hateley timetable yesterday as Coventry hurried to clinch the deal in time for him to face Everton at Highfield tomorrow: –
1.45: Flies into Speke Airport with the Liverpool team following their Fairs Cup match in Bilbao. Met by Coventry chief Noel Cantwell. They dash to Anfield for talks.
2.05: Arrives Anfield. Clubs agree terms. Then Hateley discusses the move with Cantwell.
2.45: Hateley decides to sign and the contracts are drawn up.
3.10: Hateley puts his name to the contract.
3.15: Cantwell speeds off in chauffeur-driven car to League headquarters 60 miles away at St. Anne’s to register the contract.
4.05: Cantwell arrives at St. Anne’s and the registration is accepted in time for Hateley to lead Coventry’s attack tomorrow.
There was doubt whether the League would give the go-ahead for Hateley to play tomorrow because Cantwell was outside the new 48-hour time limit for transfer registrations.
But he League secretary Alan Hardaker explained last night: “Where journeys involving Southern and Midland clubs are necessary the management committee have given me discretionary powers to extend the 48-hour deadline up to the limit of the 90-minutes match time.”
Cantwell has had his eye on Hateley all season. He believes his tremendous power in the air can give Coventry the goalmouth authority they have been lacking.
Hateley has scored a total of 36 goals since becoming a £100,000 player with Chelsea – 27 of them were for Liverpool. Which works out at a mammoth £7,638 17s. 9d. per goal.
Hateley – wearing a royal blue Chelsea blazer – said after signing: “I look forward to going home to the Midlands. Coventry are a go ahead club I have always admired.
“I enjoyed my stay with Liverpool but was a little unhappy this season not to get regular first-team football.
“The big fees that are being paid for me do not worry me. I don’t the price . . . the clubs do. I shall just be doing my best to justify the fee.”
(Daily Express, 20-09-1968)
Tony Hateley signs the transfer papers, with Harold Cartwright (chairman Liverpool F.C.) and Noel Cantwell (manager, Coventry City).