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The current leaders in the English fourth tier are not really among the teams famous for their big-money spending over the years. What they are known for, however, is the incredible academy they’ve got and the ability to first groom and then sell a player for unreal profit.
The Railwaymen’s most expensive signing in the history of the club is still that of David Brammer as the midfielder joined them from Port Vale for a fee of £675,000 in the 2001/02 season. But it’s also quite telling that they still haven’t surpassed that figure, even all those years into the future. Still, it’s not like they haven’t tried at all.
In 2008/09, they signed Calvin Zola, their second-most expensive arrival, but even he could only command a transfer fee of £270,000 when he arrived from Tranmere Rovers. In 2003/04, they also penned a deal with Anthony Tonkin who joined from Stockport County for a figure of £203,000 and he rounded off the top three signings at the club.
But the real fun is of course in the big exits. The most lucrative one is also the most recent name to slot onto the list, going back to 2012/13 when Crewe Alexandra sold Nick Powell to Manchester United for a reported sum of £6.7m.
That number also surpassed the £5.4m fee Norwich City forked out for Dean Ashton in the 2004/05 campaign and the forward had been the most lucrative exit for many years until Powell introduced himself to the scene.
Seth Johnson sits in third place on this list with the £4m transfer fee that was paid by Derby County in the 1999/00 season. But that’s still not all – Crewe Alexandra have sold many other players for incredible sums of money throughout the years.
And needless to say, some of them would end up becoming quite famous too…
There are so many famous transfers to choose from but Powell is definitely one we simply have to mention since he is the club’s biggest sale ever and his move to the Red Devils was huge, to say the least.
But Ashton and Johnson also warrant a shout for a similar reason while Danny Murphy and Ashley Westwood are popular for their moves to different Premier League outfits, the former to Liverpool and the latter to Aston Villa.
Still, there are many more and the departures of Billy Jones, David Vaughan and Neil Lennon are surely among the more memorable ones, alongside of course the ones mentioned earlier. And let’s not forget David Platt who went on to have an incredibly successful career after his departure from Crewe Alexandra.
Of course, not many arrivals were as famous as the departures and most of those big-money exits were indeed also products of the club’s academy, which gives them extra flavour as well.