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Hartlepool have launched legal action against Fulham to gain compensation for their role in developing defender Luca Murphy.

The centre back are seeking an award from the Professional Football Compensation Committee after not receiving any money after Murphy, who had joined Hartlepool aged nine, had come close to joining the Whites in January 2019. The clubs had agreed a deal for the then seventeen year-old, who spent time at Motspur Park on trial, only for Fulham to pull out.

Murphy then returned to Hartlepool and skipped training as well as education classes, which the club say give them no alternative but to terminate his contract in March. The defender then signed for Fulham as a free agent a matter of days later on a two-year contract.

Hartlepool chairman Raj Singh told the Daily Mail: “We have seen the PFCC work with some enormous compensation cases in the Premier League recently, but it’s clubs like Hartlepool that really need protecting. Otherwise, why would clubs outside of the Championship or Premier League risk investing into youth and academy systems at all?

“With Luca Murphy, he had been at our club since the age of nine and had developed through our system. It can’t be right that a club like ours invest large amounts into player development over a number of years only to then lose him to another club without any recognition at all. It completely goes against the spirit of the game and its development aims, as well as the training compensation framework that was established to protect us all. We have done everything we possibly can to resolve the matter club to club, but we have now been left with no choice but to take things forward through formal channels.”

Murphy was released by Fulham earlier this summer at the end of his contract.