Often Partisan

The Transfer Merry Go Round

Well, we’re a week into the transfer window and as yet, barring the extension of Guirane N’Daw’s loan bugger all has happened. There’s been a bit in the papers about who Blues are going to sell and for how much, but nothing concrete has emerged from the club as of yet. I don’t really want to get into who’s going where, but I did want to write an article about transfers in general.

I think it’s a given people expect players to be sold. Whilst the specifics of Blues’ financial situation are unknown to all, most of us have surmised that Blues are somewhat in the toilet fiscally. There’s been talk of players being sold to balance the books – and because of that, people have been talking about who’s going – and how much they’re worth. This of course raises discussion on messageboards, as people debate the value of players on the transfer market.

I’ll confess, I got into a discussion/internet argument myself yesterday about Liam Ridgewell – based on me saying that I doubt Ridgewell would go for any more than a million pounds – if that. Of course, with talk in the newspapers about the “three million pound rated Liam Ridgewell”, people are going to be inclined to tell me I’m talking out of my arse etc. However, I don’t believe I am. I think people are going to be very disappointed with figures brought in for any players sold – much like the summer window.

The chief problem of player value is a player is only worth what a buying club will pay for them. Take Scott Dann as an example – whilst his transfer fee was undisclosed, the general consensus was he went to Blackburn for about £5-6million (see here and here.) Yet you don’t have to look hard on Google to find that prior to his transfer, he was rated much higher by the newspapers – £8million here, £10million here, and even £12million here. So why did he go so cheaply?

Apart from the obvious Birmingham City finances-toilet interface, one part of the answer lies with agents. Most football transfer stories in the nationals and on Sky Sports News come from player agents. Agents have a job to try to get their players the best move that they can, for the largest amount of money that they can. Newspapers are desperate for stories that give them the edge on other titles, that they can claim as exclusives, and agents know that – hence they get in touch with journos and tell them that their player is interesting clubs x, y and z. Thus everyone wins – the newspapers get their story, the agent gets the exposure they wanted and the player maybe gets closer to a big move. This is one reason why I’m running my “Gossip Folks” experiment – because of the amount of transfer guff I see in the media these days.

Another thing to consider is the current economic climate. There isn’t the money sloshing around that there has been in the past, and I think clubs are being very cautious before committing money on buying players. Couple that with the big spenders being reined in because they need to obey the Financial Fair Play rules, and it means the transfer merry-go-round is currently not in motion. There was a very interesting article written by former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow in the Telegraph last month, where he gave the analogy of the transfer market being like buying a house. As those of you who’ve bought a house will know, there is often a chain of buyers involved – and the transfer market isn’t any different. There will be a club buying a player off another club, who’ll be looking to sign his replacement from a third club, and so on and so forth. If the chain breaks, then every deal on it is in danger of failing. Thus, by inference for the whole process to start, it needs someone to make a big signing – that’s failed to happen so far (although if Gary Cahill completes his move to Chelsea it could be the start of a chain).

Obviously, that doesn’t help Blues if they’re as desperate to sell as some believe. If Blues really are screwed for cash, the longer the window goes on the more desperate they’ll be to shift someone on and the lower the figure that the club will have to accept – especially if the bid is for a one lump sum cash payment of a transfer. Again, other clubs will be banking on this, and they’ll be holding back until they feel the time is right to make a smash and grab raid.

All this adds up to what could be a very depressing month for Blues – and a make or break month for the board. It’s my philosophy in life to plan for the worst and hope for the best – and I hope other Blues fans embrace that too as they could be in for a nasty shock if they expect too much.

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8 Responses to “The Transfer Merry Go Round”

  • Masaccio says:

    Bring on February when the holding company will have to present it’s annual report.

    • chris says:

      is that why they want to start trading the shares again so they can sell before the price plummets further when the accounts are published?

      or they want the shares trading so they can buy up shares as they think the shares will rise because the accounts are not as bad as everyone fears?

  • Bluenosejohn says:

    The conditions of the deal have an effect ; if a club is looking for or are desperate for all the money up front as opposed to accepting a structured deal over a period of time that may include conditions then they will have to accept a lower value.

  • chris says:

    from what i have heard (though probably wrong) jono and dann went because they didn’t have a relegation clause in their contracts as well as they were the highest offers we had along with judas.
    i think zigic and foster were the same, but ridgewell did have a clause and that’s why he threw his toys out of the pram because he probably needs the money to pay for his extravagant cancelled wedding.

  • skareggae72 says:

    I,d rather sign nobody in this window than sign the `overhyped rubbish` we signed at this time last year.

  • parkp says:

    Believe me, if someone puts in a £5million bid for Redmond, then blues will sell. There is no way the club are holding out for £12 mill.

  • jeff says:

    glad we,ve signed n,daw till the end of the season


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