Is Faddy worth the cash?
Two million or not two million?
As our ongoing financial crisis deepened, Motherwell fans looked back into the recent passed and surmised that the days of selling players like Phil O'Donnell for sums like £1.75 million were now gone forever courtesy, in no small part,of everyone's favourite Belgian Mr Bosman.But, almost out of the blue, we now have a young lad who will arguably leave us for a club record fee - the two small questions are when, and for exactly how much!?!?
No-one begrudges the fact that Faddy will eventually move on to( hopefully )a MUCH higher stage than Fir Park ( e.g. not Hull or Wigan this time!? ) in the future, especially if it means we can draw in a seven-figure transfer fee, something I thought we'd never be able to achieve again in the current footballing climate.After watching (arguably) Stuart Elliott and (definitely - fifty grand?!?!?) Eric Delomeaux being snapped up on the cheap during the summer, the fear was that some of the younger guys would also be auctioned off on the cheap.Fortunately, at the time of writing, this fear hasn't been realised.But if Craig Brown can honestly believe that an offer of £200,000 for Faddy would even receive a modicum of consideration, then exactly how much will we expect to pull in when the time comes??
Despite the fact that the figure was printed in the Record, the alleged Bayer offer was headlined as £1.8 million.So what's it to be?A couple of hundred grand to the first English lower-league club that put in an 'official' offer?A wee bit more than the alleged Bayer figure if a bidding war develops?Or something in between?In some ways it's unfortunate that McFadden's emergence has coincided with our current financial woes as it makes it all the more difficult to knock back offers that normally we would laugh at.Whilst Preston's fax must literally be a joke ( or further proof of Mr Davies' questionable interpretations of players worth ) if someone officially slaps in a bid of, I don't know, say even half a million quid, what must the answer be to ensure the financial wellbeingof Motherwell Football Club??????
Bryan Jackson has recently confirmed that the only way we will see new signings is through one of two scenarios; a couple of experienced loan deals if we maintain our current squad, or some money for permanent deals being released if we sell on one of our prized assets.What's the option that can best help us maintain our SPL status for next season?Ideally, we'd rather be able to splash a wee bit of cash in luring a couple of good professionals into our starting eleven.But who is realistically gonna want to join us in our current state?And whilst our wage structure isn't too bad, with rivals like Hibs and even Dundee ( through overtly generous sponsors ) seemingly having the resources, who is going to sign on at Fir Park?
Is the better option to try and secure a couple of seasoned veterans who know exactly what task they are being set, with the carrot being dangled that if we can stay up and in turn attract a buyer for the club, then a permanent offer for their services could be available come the end of the season?Of course for every Rob Newman and John Spencer there is a Kai Nysonnen or a Franck Bernhard, but with Terry Butcher's contacts surely we could expect to dig up at least one decent player who could do a job for us over the next few months?
The one positive sign in this whole debate if the fact that James McFadden WANTS to stay with us for the forseeable future.If he had displayed the same attitude as Fraser Wishart did a number of years ago, then I'm sure in this age of agents and tapping he could have engineered a move weeks ago.Despite showing his inexperience at times on the pitch ( and in Hong Kong! ) Faddy seems to have taken heed of all those potential superstars who thought that the right move and the quickest move were one in the same thing, and looks determined not to fall into the same trap.He looks for all the world like a player that can really go as far as he wants to in football, but appreciates that learning his apprenticeship at a good club where he has been brought through the ranks whilst giving him the opportunity to learn at a good level is exactly the sort of career choice that will stand him in good stead when he looks back in in five years time.The fact that he is surrounded with a lot of his mates who are at a similar age must also help him stay motivated, whilst I'm sure his apparent ego isn't harmed by having already assumed hero status amongst us 'Well fans!!!!!
It is a helluva lot of pressure on a young kid, but he really does seem to thrive on it.Even though his last two performances (against Thistle and Kilmarnock ) since the Bayer story broke have been disappointing by his high standards, he still managed to dig out a run and cross for Pearo to earn us a point at Fir Park and dink in a peach of a free-kick to put the cherry on the icing on the cake in Ayrshire.Whilst our team has already displayed a willingness to run and run, work and compete to maintain our top-flight status this season, I don't think it's too unrealistic to say that The Ponytailed One is our one real creative spark who will help supply the cutting edge to our endeavour.This is the thing that makes it so hard to imagine hime leaving, no matter how good the offer becomes, as it would require a shrewd piece of transfer wheeling-dealing for us to bring in a player who possesses anything like the similar attributes that Faddy has, especially with the transfer window closing pretty soon.
With the restrictions of fanzines deadlines, it's perfectly realistic that by the time you are reading this, the deed may already have been done as we go on sale on the penultimated day before the transfer deadline expires.Whatever the final decision, lets hope that it is ultimately the one that is the best for Motherwell Football Club to secure its future.But as we're all fans, let's greedily hope that Faddy sticks about for another couple of seasons of dribbles, crosses, free-kicks and goals before we sell him on for a few million - to any city apart from Glasgow!!!!!!
by Christopher Hutton
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