It’s hard to kept up with the media muppertry of football journalists and bloggers during the summer transfer windows. There’s just so much of it. With no matches to report on, pages need filling and ad clicks are needed, so the media BS fan goes into overdrive, spinning out any tenacious idea into a headline grabbing rumours.
The Benteke stories are in full flow, which we’ve tried to avoid. It’s the summer of 2013 all over again, as we indicated in our article recalling the time. Of course the Belgian striker is angling for a way out, but looking at some of the stupid fees some players go for, hopefully the club will have some bottle in terms of the supposed release clause. They don’t have to sell, and if Benteke scores 20-odd goals for Villa next season and has a great Euros in France in 2016, a bidding war would ensue to make sure Villa are very well compensated regardless of him having one year on his contract.
We’ve also rolled our eyes at all the ex-Spurs player links to Villa (Sherwood used to manage them, doncha know). If Villa sign a 31-year-old Emmanuel Adebayor, then things have got very desperate indeed at B6 and Sherwood might not be the man for the job. But I’m confident Sherwood has his eyes firmly on building Villa’s future and not living in his own past.
However, an evident return to form of Media Muppet favourite James Nursey of the Daily Mirror is worth a mention. Or to call him by his Daily Mirror moniker the ‘Football Spy’.
James Nursey – The Daily Mirror
Smash & Fab: Sherwood Now Set to Lose Delph
Manchester City are ready to exploit an astonishingly low buy-out clause in Fabian Delph’s new contract.
MirrorSport can reveal Aston Villa and England midfielder Delph is available for only around £10million under the terms of the deal he signed in January.
Delph had relegation-threatened Villa over a barrel when he shocked many fans by staying on fresh terms barely five months ago.
He was due to be a Bosman this summer, which would have allowed him to quit for nothing. But Villa did not want to see him leave on a free and also did not want to sell in the winter window, when they were fighting the drop.
After signing the contract, Delph said he couldn’t bring himself to walk out for nothing this July after owner Randy Lerner’s support through various injuries.
While low, the clause would still mean Villa doubling their money on the fee they paid Leeds for Delph in August 2009.
And with Lerner set to sell the whole club this summer, Delph will now have no such dilemmas about leaving.
Delph’s likely exit will be a huge blow to boss Tim Sherwood, who made him captain after being appointed in February and hailed him as one of the best midfielders in the country.
1. Have Aston Villa given James Nursey the key to Tom Fox’s office and the Villa finance office so he can read through the contracts? No, they haven’t. At the moment, this so called £10 million release clause in Fabian Delph’s contract is simply the product of the keyboard of Mr Nursey’s keyboard.
Hang on a minute… maybe John Percy of the Daily Telegraph has a copy of the keys too? But according to his article, Delph’s release clause is £8 million. How many contracts does Delph have?
It’s funny how a lot of supporters believe everything they read without questioning it or reasoning its context (although this short-coming isn’t exclusive to football supporters).
The key word here is ‘context’. If there is a release clause of £10 million or £8 million, or whatever the next story states… what is the actual small print to it?
The only logical release clause Delph would have had in his contract, considering when it was signed, was a relegation clause with perhaps £10 million being a minimum trigger. The low amount would make perfect sense, as there would certainly be several clubs interested, so it would be like an auction with the opening bid set at £10 million.
Likewise a clause that releases when a Champion’s League club comes a knocking, but no journalist seems too sure about the actual details of the clause.
2. ‘Sherwood Now Set to Lose Delph’ is the main issue we have with this story. The scare-mongering headline playing on the fear of its Villa supporting readers.
3. ‘Manchester City are ready to exploit…’ Nursey knows this for a fact…or maybe he’s doing the old ‘2+2=5’ maths, because City have got rid of a few of their home grown players?
4. ‘Delph said he couldn’t bring himself to walk out for nothing’. So, signing in January was a goodwill gesture by Fabian Delph? So that the club got something, instead of him departing on a free and personally commanding a huge signing-on fee of a few million? Nursey certainly suggests Delph did it as a favour to Lerner. Why? So the billionaire who he’s only met a few times can get £10 million back?
IF it was a financial arrangement such as Nursey proposes, then the manner of the club’s announcement of Delph’s contract (see below video) and playing the ‘Loyalty’ card was perhaps the most patronising and greatest insult the club has made to Aston Villa supporters (well, after bringing Alex McLeish to the club).
Delph’s accountant, agent, family, friends, god and whoever else he listens to would have told him to run down his contract and net a few bonus million signing-on fee in the bank, instead of doing Lerner or Villa a purely financial favour.
5. More likely, Delph wasn’t getting the ‘Top Four’ suitors he was expecting or he actually wanted to stay and play for Villa, if he got better money from the club. It’s the later one feels. Delph strikes us as a type of guy and footballer who would want to repay Villa back on the pitch and not in their bank account. After all, he’s still got a lot to prove and it’s the club as a whole – staff and supporters – who he may feel he owes.
6. Remember Delph’s contract talks rolled on to the last minute. There’s a reason My Old Man Said backed the idea of a proposing a ‘Holte End demonstration‘, it was purely because it was early in the January transfer window, so the resulting media storm would put pressure on the board to act and loosen their pockets a bit in the window to save a club nose-diving to the Championship.
Delph signed his contract a week after the press related to the Liverpool game demo at Villa Park. Coincidence? Maybe. But you never know, Delph may have been holding out for an extra 5k-a-week, and it might have helped tip the balance to pay him. With a relegation clause thrown-in, it would have been a safe wicket for Delph to accept.
7. I could go on, but lets say this, the gates of hell will open if Delph goes to Manchester City (or United) for £10 million. If he does though, Media Muppets will vote for James Nursey to be given a ‘Most Improved Football Journalist of the Year’ award.
Why ‘most improved’? Well, it would be an improvement on some of the highlights of his past year…just see the next page for evidence of that!
Click to the next page for Jame Nursey’s Top 10 Media Muppet moments of the last year.