By Tony Attwood
[this story was updated on 9am, UK time, following publication an hour earlier]
As you might have gathered, transfer rumours on this site are pretty much the province of Sir Hardly Anyone who just a couple of days back ran the story
Unbelievable Transfer Shock; Arsenal sign £20m striker in secret.
Here’s what he said…
Earlier this week in British newspapers it has been leaked that Arsenal are in secret talks with World-Class No.9 but the name of the striker remains unclear.
Some of the British sources insist that its Leicester City forward Jamie Vardy who has scored 24-goals in the Premier league and being named as PFA Player of the year.
… However, his move from King Power seems unlikely after Leicester City FC agreed on the new five-year deal with their star striker who led them to their first Premier League title.
Now we have the absolute irony of them all. OK, the headline that site ran, which we took as our own to make the point about how stupid transfer rumours had become, was of course untrue. But what seemed to be a made up story from a web site in Balkans could turn out to be true. At least according to reports.
The Guardian claims an exclusive on it this morning saying “Exclusive “.
It might have been an exclusive last night when they published it, but it certainly isn’t now that all the papers have copied it.
The heart of the matter is that there is a release clause in the Vardy contract which means that if the player agrees he could leave if the deal is £20m plus.
Now of course we have been here before with release clauses. Arsenal supposedly offered £40,000,001 for Suarez from Liverpool, who promptly denied that clause in the old vampire’s contract existed. He kept on denying it so much that the media believed him, until he admitted it at a conference, and boasted how he had conned everyone with his lies. That event is one reason why Liverpool have found buying the players they want quite hard for a few years; everyone tells fibs but the people who are not trusted are those who boast about it.
It was never at all clear if Arsenal’s bid was serious or just a wind up; they made no attempt to make the contract clause public to prove that they were right and Liverpool wrong (and they clearly had the contract otherwise they wouldn’t have known about the clause), so the most likely scenario was that it was a wind-up to help avoid the media looking at other deals Arsenal were trying to make but were struggling with.
But back to Vardy – he signed a new contract last season, and according to our old friend “Reports” Liverpool, Manchester City and West Ham have said they want him. Man U are apparently fixilated (new word for the day) on God or Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he was known in Paris. And no one has denied Vardy’s exit clause exists.
Indeed this might be where the Leicester approach of running their PR and marketing operations Trestellar, from an unmarked office in the Shepcote Office Village in Sheffield backfires since they probably don’t have the muscle to move in to handle such a story, quickly enough. Indeed when David Conn of the Guardian went looking for the company that trebled the sponsorship income of Leicester what he found was an operation “set up on a Sheffield trading estate by the son and daughter of Sir Dave Richards, a former Premier League chairman.”
Sir Dave Richards resigned as chair of Sheffield Wednesday when they faced relegation and huge debts. Then his company went into administrative receivership (meaning a creditor wanted their money back). He then became Premier League chairman. The Guardian puts his opening salary as £176,667 per annum.
Now the amount Leicester City have got in “sponsorship” seems to be completely out of context for what clubs without a worldwide fan base can get – and of course it seemed unlikely they would win the league when the sponsorship deals were struck.
As was reported in the article that covered Leicester’s finances before…
Several chairmen of Championship clubs have, according to the Guardian, raised serious concerns about the whole Leicester financial model and Damian Collins, the Conservative MP on the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, has said: “Leicester should answer the questions publicly, to explain this arrangement, which looks unusual to say the least, to reassure people it was not an attempt to evade the FFP rules.”
Meanwhile Vardy is on £60k a week or £70k a week (depends on the paper you look at), having been playing for Fleetwood until 2012, and if he were to transfer now, at the age of 29, that would be his one big move both in terms of clubs and in terms of salary.
Arsene Wenger is quoted in the Guardian as saying Vardy is worth up to £30m “because he is the best goal-scorer in the league. You have many players under him who have been paid much more, and who don’t score that number of goals. Without a doubt, he is worth that money today.”
The Guardian’s take (unlike that of the Balkan site that Sir Hardly took his story from) is that if the deal is done, it will be done quickly because England’s Big Boss doesn’t like players doing transfers during the internationals. Actually I don’t think there’s much he can do about it.
So what does this tell us about Sir Hardly and his tales?
Maybe we shouldn’t be laughing quite so much at the media. Or maybe we should remember that the story about Vardy has been around for quite a while, but then so have 56 other transfer tales we have logged in the Great Arsenal Transfer Index.
Either way, there will no holding Sir Hardly now. He was unbearable before this happened. Now, well, I dread to think.
- Infantino under suspicion of being Blatter II; Fifa under suspicion of being, well, Fifa.
- Memo to the Metro Newspaper. Just how miserable would you like me to be?
- Maybe it is wholly appropriate that the PL has a ref system different from all the rest
- Arsenal won the Fair Play League this season. I wonder why the media didn’t mention it.