Football: Charlton demand pay-out

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The Independent Online
CHARLTON ARE demanding a record compensation pay-out following the alleged poaching of the England Under-16 striker Jermaine Defoe by West Ham.

A Premier League tribunal meets tomorrow and Charlton's chief executive, Peter Varney, wants a sum in keeping with the youngster's talent.

He said: "Arsenal paid Notts County pounds 2m for young Jermaine Pennant. We will be looking for something significantly in excess of that.

"We spend over pounds 500,000 on our youth academy each year but we have to question this level of investment if a bigger club can lure our best young player away."

Arsenal's French forward Thierry Henry insists he is in "paradise" at Highbury.

Reports yesterday claimed the French international had failed to adjust to life in England - and that his mother lives in a tiny Paris flat while he lives the high life in London.

Henry, who moved to Arsenal from Juventus four months ago but has struggled to win a regular first-team place, said: "I would not normally discuss my family but I want to say that three months ago I bought her a house near Paris. It is not true to say she is living in a small flat.

"I am very upset about what she is supposed to have said. Her words were misconstrued, totally," he said.

Henry added: "For me, coming to Arsenal has been a paradise. When you see all the top quality players that are at the club, I have everything to gain by being here. I like the team, the players and the supporters.

"I have no regrets at all about coming here, none. I am learning English and I am trying to adapt to the way of life as quickly as I can."

Henry admitted that his months living in a hotel had become frustrating but he is in the process of buying a house.

Thailand's national captain, Kaitisak Senamuang, became the first player from his country to sign for an English club when he completed his move to First Division Huddersfield Town yesterday.

The 23-year-old striker, nicknamed "Zico" after the Brazilian legend, has agreed an 18-month contract.