Gregg Broughton has revealed Blackburn Rovers would have earned more money from the Ash Phillips sale to Tottenham Hotspur had he played more minutes last season.

The England youth international left Ewood Park for in a £2million deal earlier this summer. Spurs triggered a complex release clause in Phillips' contract which allowed him to move for a fee below Rovers' valuation.

The teenager could have left Rovers for free this summer had he not signed a first professional contract in September 2022. When Gregg Broughton arrived at the club, Phillips was intent on leaving for free amid long-term interest from Tottenham and other Premier League clubs.

Rovers would have only been entitled to a six-figure fee if Phillips had left for nothing and, therefore, agreed to the terms of the release clause. The figure of the clause was dependent on the number of minutes he played for Jon Dahl Tomasson.

READ MORE: Venky's stance on selling Blackburn Rovers after summer of uncertainty

The club decided at Easter they wouldn't allow Phillips' contract to influence their team selection, with Rovers sat in the top six. Though that cost them financially, Broughton insisted it was the right thing to do.

Such was the complexity of the deal, Phillips travelled up to London for talks and a medical before having to return to Brockhall. Around 10 days later, the move was finalised for the initial £2m fee.

"It was difficult but not unexpected," Broughton told The Lancashire Telegraph. "When I came into the building, I was told it was a player who wasn't prepared to sign a contract. We spent a lot of time and energy convincing the player to sign that contract.

“Under the current football rules, whether we like it or not, he was a scholar, he hadn’t signed a professional contract. He could exercise a seven-day notice on that scholarship to leave the club on a tribunal fee which was likely to be about £200,000.

"In order to do so, we had to put various clauses in it to get him to sign the deal. One of those was a very complicated release clause, described by our legal team as one of the most complicated they had ever worked on.

"It had various different triggers and we got to a situation in Easter where we knew he had to play a certain number of games more in order to take that to the next price level.

"We sat down as a Board of Directors and with Jon as head coach and we were completely unanimous that Jon, at that stage of the season, had to be able to pick the strongest team available. Ash had to play his way into the team and not be selected because of a clause triggered higher money.

"We understand that we could've triggered more money by him playing. That wasn't, by the way, one or two substitute appearances, he had to play a number of minutes to trigger that. Throwing him on for the last five minutes wouldn't have done that."

A summer exit was always on the cards for Phillips. Shortly after the final day at Millwall, Rovers were informed that the defender was looking to explore other options this summer.

Given the long-standing interest from the Premier League, that always made a move likely. For a cut-down fee, Spurs were never going to be discouraged from trying to make the deal happen.

Whilst the fee might disappoint some fans, the club feel their hands were tied. Encouragingly, Broughton revealed the club have a healthy sell-on fee and other bonuses in the deal that will generate more revenue for the club.

"Very soon after the season finished, his representatives told the club that he wanted to explore other options that summer," he explained. "He was very clear he didn't want to leave the club but wanted to explore other options.

"We were very prepared for that to happen. Ash is a great kid, a really talented footballer and we wish him all the best at Tottenham Hotspur.

"We have the same level of protection as when David Raya left the football club, a really healthy sell-on and options on top of that to drive (the price). Ash has already been around the squad at Tottenham so I am sure he is relishing every moment."

Phillips has impressed Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou and has been promoted to the first-team squad. Whilst he hasn't featured for them in a competitive game yet, he is highly regarded and won't be considered as an Under-21 player this season.

The teenager scored his first international goal on Saturday for England's U19s as they beat Switzerland. He made eight Championship appearances for Rovers last season in total.