Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Transfer Savvy

It was an excellent article posted yesterday by New York Addick regarding Darren Bent's potential value should the Premiership's leading lights decide that he is worth a gamble.
12 Million was the figure he mentioned, and to be honest I don't think that would be too far shy of what we could achieve for the player.
If Ashton is worth 8 million, then surely no one can dispute that Bent must be worth at least 10 in this current market.

But as NYA states, is it really the value on the transfer market that we should be looking at, as opposed to his value to the club? A large quota of our hopes and aspirations for the next few seasons rest on his shoulders, and to be honest, the possibility of selling him on hadn't even occurred to me until I read the £12million question yesterday evening. Now that the subject is broached though, I can't see why I hadn't considered it before.

Currently we are perceived by the rest of The Premiership as a selling club, there can be no doubts about that, but our relative financial strength in relation to clubs of comparable size in this league means that we don't need to accept bids for top players anymore. We don't need to solicit business by touting names around, and even if we do decide to sell a player, we don't need snap the hand off of the club who submits the first bid.

Given these facts though, our transfer market dealing have been pretty darn awful. We have overpaid for players like Jeffers, and in my opinion Marcus Bent, while we have let the likes of Konchesky, Murphy, and Kiely leave for prices well under their true value. Alright, the club haven't revealed the full figures for Murphy and Kiely but they have been widely reported as 1.5m and 750k respectively.

Murphy in particular was a bit of a choker. We know that Spurs wanted him badly. They tried to sign him before we did (even offering Liverpool more than we did by all accounts, but the player didn't want to go), so when they came back for him in January his value should have at the very least stayed constant with what we paid.
He was a Liverpool reserve when he arrived. He starred for us early this season, scored goals from midfield, and forced himself back into the England reckoning. Aging only 15 months or so over this period, we find that his value has decreased by approximately 40%. How does that add up?
Yes he was unsettled, but he was still under contract. If they want him, then they pay what he is worth or else they don't get him; that should have been the message to Tottenham. Another 500,000 on the price wouldn't have scared them away from a player they have been after for 2 years, not when they had already held a bit of a midfield clearout in January.

As for Parker, yes it was a good piece of business with the benefit of hindsight, but I wonder how much we would have accepted for him if the bidding club had been anyone other than Chelsea. Back when they signed him, they were right in the middle of their huge spending spree. Charlton must have known that if a first bid was rejected, a larger second bid would be forthcoming.
Although the original £7million bid was turned down flat, would it have been if it had come direct from Newcastle, or Villa, or even Manchester City?

Yet, there are still players in the squad like Lisbie, JJ and Euell (elaborated on here) who have all been the subject of bids over the previous 14 months, and they are still all at Charlton.

I guess the general point I'm struggling to make is that perhaps we are just not shrewd enough around the negotiating table.

New York Addick ended his piece with his view that although Bent is a player we are all proud to have at The Valley, perhaps in the long term an income from his sale would be able to rejuvenate an aging squad and relay foundations for a push forward into Europe, by way of purchasing talent from the CCC.
An opinion which I assume is shared by a large portion of us Addicks, I can't help but worry that if it does comes to pass, and we do decide to cash in on Darren, are we going to cash in for the full amount?


Blogger BC Addick said...

Interesting read...Thanks. I must say though that yes you are right in the fact we do not have to sell these players because we are in one of the strongest financial positions in the league (the simple fact is we are in the red and most other teams aren't). The problem with Murphy and Parker et al is that they dont want to play for us as they think they are better than what the club has to offer...therefore, they go off to the likes of Chelski supposedly bettering themselves. You can argue that the club can refuse to sell them because they are under contract but what is the point in doing that if they dont want to play anymore? Murphy had an awful attitude and no doubt towards the end brought the rest of the team down. It is hard to swallow sometimes but these guys think they are too good for that nice family club Charlton Athletic. The only way it can change is if the board decide to mortgage the club and pay people like fowler and hasselbaink 50 grand a week and risk the future of our club...

6:32 am  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

I know what you are saying, but we can't just capitulate to players demands and drop their value by 30% every time they claim to become unsettled.

I would have liked to see the club stand strong over the Murphy issue. He sigened the deal, he honours it. If he is unsettled, unmotivated or depressed, see a damn counsellor like everyone else, dont demand a transfer.

If we continue to grant our best players moves every time they get themselves a superiority complex, we will never change the way we are viewed by the rest of the league - ie, our players will run every time a bigger club calls to them.

8:08 pm  

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