Louie Barry was signed by Barcelona on a three-year contract in July 2019 before being sold to Aston Villa for around £880,000 in January; however, the Baggies are still yet to be paid by Barca!
Barry, who was born and raised in Birmingham, had been with Albion since he was six years old and was due to be promoted to the senior squad but turned down a professional contract.
Clubs quickly began to circle and it was Barcelona who nipped in ahead of the likes of Paris Saint-Germain for the then 16-year-old forward, agreeing to pay £235,000 in compensation.
But now, a full year on from the deal, Barcelona still have not paid what they owe the Baggies.
This prompted Albion to take action, and in September 2019 it was announced that West Brom were going to report Barcelona to FIFA.
Albion’s report was immediately contested by the La Liga giants, who stated that they did not believe that his scholarship for West Brom had any international standing, and they would wait for the verdict from FIFA.
10 months later and no verdict has been reached; yet in that time Barry has joined Villa, played for their U23 squad and is now set to make his Premier League debut against Liverpool.
Frankly, the fact that Barcelona still haven’t paid what is mere pocket change to a club of their stature (£235,000) for Louie Barry is nothing short of a disgrace.
West Brom have rightly reported them to FIFA and when the verdict is finally revealed, the decision should sway in Albion’s favour.
Barcelona selling the forward to Villa in January simply added salt to the wound.
The Baggies have missed out on a generational talent in Louie Barry and all the work that was put in to developing him over the course of ten years was wasted when he was snatched by Barcelona.
Perhaps it’s time to reassess the academy and determine whether or not it is truly worth the effort to try and produce top talents if there’s such a strong chance the club will get nothing back by the end of it.