I think a certain standard has also to come into it. Say with Charlie Hanson we think he can have a professional career because he is quite similar to Jamie Reid and we think he can reach that level. We think Sonny Cox can reach a much higher level though. And we have George Spencer who we think is at the same level as Charlie now but a year younger and has more time to improve to a level we think is suitable for us.I get this argument to an extent. However, it seems to overlook the fact that, in relative terms, most of the guys coming through the academy will be earning peanuts.
If, for instance, we genuinely believe that Charlie Hanson has what it takes to make a professional footballer then surely an argument could be made that for the sake of less than 20k a year, he might be worth a punt. Not everyone develops at the same rate [think Jordan Storey, who rose from nowhere to the Championship in a matter of months] and sometimes 'lesser fancied' youngsters improve past others.
Hypothesis of course but I would guess that is the kind of thinking going on. Just having the potential of being a professional now doesn't necessarily mean that we think the player has the potential level to play at ours, even if we were still in L2.