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Fulham have this afternoon confirmed the signing of Exeter City forward Jay Stansfield for an undisclosed fee.

The 16 year-old starred for Exeter’s Under 18 side last season as the Grecians reached the final of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup and finished third in the south division last term. Stansfield, who will feature for Fulham’s under 18 side during the forthcoming campaign, has already flown to Switzerland to represent his new club in the FC Aesch International Tournament this weekend.

In a statement following the news, Exeter revealed their unhappiness that one of their prized assets was moving on for below what their valuation. City chairman Julian Tagg said:

“While Fulham have payed above what we would likely to get in an arbitration fee from the Professional Football Compensation Committee and therefore it was sensible for the club to accept, the ability for football clubs, with much bigger resources at their disposal, to take young players from successful academies like Exeter City at a fraction of the cost of which they are valued, is a problem that football still needs to solve.

“We, like many clubs, feel the Elite Performance Player Plan’s rules – which fix transfer fees between academies – is heavily weighted in favour of sides higher up the football pyramid and ignores clubs like Exeter City, which do a tremendous job in producing talented young footballers.

“We, of course, must praise the fine work of all of our staff at Exeter City Academy who continue to work tirelessly to develop the next group of excellent footballers and well-rounded young men.

“However, those efforts are being undermined by the current system in place and we will continue to work with the Football League to find a solution to this. And that is not just for our academy, but for all those coaches and staff around Leagues One and Two, who continue to work hard to produce the next generation of talented footballers for the English game.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks to Jay and his family for their hard-work and dedication to Exeter City and we wish them all the very best for the future.

“Every effort was made to keep Jay at the club, but our ethos has always been to put the player’s wishes first and the move to a category one club in Fulham was what was felt best for Jay, by both him and his family, and we look forward to following his continued success in the game.”

Stansfield is the eldest son of the former Exeter, Hereford and Yeovil striker Adam, who sadly died of cancer aged just 31.