Exeter City say they are “disappointed for football” after a tribunal ruled that Chelsea will pay the League Two club up to £2.5m for Ethan Ampadu.
In a statement, Exeter chairman Julian Tagg added that the ruling “sends the wrong message” to clubs producing home-grown players.
Ampadu, 17, moved to Stamford Bridge last summer having come through Exeter’s youth academy.
As he is under 24 and the clubs were unable to agree a fee, it was left to a tribunal to decide the compensation sum.
Ampadu has made seven appearances for Chelsea so far this season and has also played twice for Wales.
Exeter are guaranteed to receive £1.3m, with further payments to follow after a set number of appearances for Chelsea.
They will also receive 20% of any transfer fee should Ampadu be sold by the Blues.
Tagg’s full statement read: “Whilst the club recognise that the compensation fee is not a transfer fee, but instead to reward the club for its investment in the training and development of a proven outstanding player, and that the tribunal has awarded Exeter significant contingent sums, to say that we are disappointed is an understatement.
“We are disappointed for our fans, our academy, which works so hard on producing talented young players like Ethan, and for our management and coaching team who bring these players into the first team and beyond as part of supporting the work of the Football Association in its objective to produce international players of the highest quality which we believe we have done.
“However, above all, we are disappointed for football as we feel this decision sends the wrong message in terms of financial reward for those owners, chairmen, managers and coaches up and down the country who are also working as hard as us to improve their clubs by producing talented home-grown players for both club and country.”