Everyone’s Talking About: Football Transfer Fees

24 01 2011

While many of my posts have a sporting theme, it’s not often that I feel the need to voice my opinion on specific topics. But this week, the topic of transfer fees in football has got me suitably worked up to the point that I’ve decided to put pen to paper (electronically speaking).

Charlie Adam: Only when the price is right.

So what exactly has got me, and everyone else in the football world talking? Well it all started about a week ago when Darren Bent completed his move from 6th placed Sunderland to relegation threatened Aston Villa, in a move that could be worth £24m. Cue an out cry of “£24m for Darren Bent? The world’s gone mad”, and “The money in football is ridiculous” rants from the red-top newspaper contingent.

Then no sooner had the ink dried on Bent’s mammoth Villa contract, the attention had turned to Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam – with interest from several Premier League outfits including troubled Liverpool. According to reports, Liverpool had a bid of £4m for the Scot turned down by the Bloomfield Road club – and this was the straw that broke the camels back (or my resolve in this case). £4m for a player upon whom Blackpool’s hopes of remaining in the top flight rest. £4 million!? What are King Kenny and co. playing at? I want some of what they’re smoking in their board meetings.

But before I go off on a pointless rant, let me digress. I believe the key term to remember throughout any transfer saga is context and I’ll start with Darren Bent. Is he worth £24 million? If Aston Villa stay in the Premier League then yes. If Villa had made the same bid last year when they were flying high and pushing for Europe then it may have looked a bit extreme, but in their current predicament they need goals – and fast. So as much of a shock as this is going to be to your Sun reading football fan, the world hasn’t gone mad. All we’re seeing is a worried Chairman realising he needs to take action before it’s too late.

And now we move on to Mr Charlie Adam. If we’re continuing the theme of context then the Blackpool midfielder is surely worth a fee close to that paid for Darren Bent, or the least Liverpool could do is put a one in front of that £4 million. You see, if Blackpool stay in the Premier League then they’re set to reap financial rewards to the tune of £40 million – so if by selling Charlie Adam they’re putting that financial reward in jeopardy then surely Liverpool (or any other club for that matter) would have to pay them handsomely for the privilege.

While Darren Bent may prove to be a snip at £24m if he can propel Villa up the league, in this writers opinion Ian Holloway is perfectly within his rights to play hardball. So Chairman of the Premier League, I urge you to take a step back and consider whether your next bid fits within the context of the two clubs involved, and the situation at hand. Villa (through the acquisition of Bent) and Sunderland (financially) will both benefit from the events of this week. Only time will tell if Blackpool will be duly compensated for the potential loss of their prize asset – whether Adam expresses his desire to leave or not.

Yours sincerly,

A football fan who finally put his rant down into blog form.