Conor McGrandles has signed for Norwich City in a deal that should see him become Falkirk’s first home-grown £1m player.
The midfielder was absent from the League Cup shoot-out win over Cowdenbeath with Norwich, Derby County and Aston Villa trailing his signature.
Instead, McGrandles was in East Anglia ready to be re-united with former coaches Dale Brooks and Gary Holt. He completed a medical yesterday (Wednesday) and the clubs signed the deal off at 6 p.m..
The deal is expected to reach £1m, including add-ons, with a ‘significant’ portion of the fee being paid immediately. Regardless of the precise figure it is “too good to turn down” according to club sources and will eclipse the funds received for Stephen Kingsley and Murray Wallace.
McGrandles turns 19 next month but has played 87 games and had three years of his Bairns deal to run. He follows fellow Academy graduates Kingsley and Jay Fulton to England this year.
Peter Houston was visibly reeling from the news following the Cowdenbeath victory but admitted he could not stand in McGrandles’ way: “It’s incredibly disappointing to lose him if indeed it does go through but when clubs in England come calling they have money to put on the table and that’s money that this club probably needs to survive and keep on top.
“In the same breath, I’m delighted for the boy who has come through the Academy as a 12-year-old and good play over the years has come to fruition. Certainly since I came in he’s been very good for us.”
Club sources have said Houston will benefit from the funds but Falkirk supporters vented their displeasure and many urged for the income to be re-invested in the team.
Gareth Finn tweeted: “I didn’t buy a season ticket to see Hearts, Hibs or Rangers. It was because we had a competitive team.”
Gavin Magill added: “Step in the right direction – appointment of Houston. Selling two of our best players – not so much!”
The club has a fans forum planned for 7 p.m. on Monday in the Westfield Lounge.