|RamsWeek 24 - Brass In Pocket |
Mon 15th Jun 2009 01:01 by Paul Mortimer
Another quiet week elapsed at Pride Park Stadium with very little news to report from Derby County regarding the manager’s summer planning.
The Rams and Exeter City agreed a transfer fee for Dean Moxey, thought to be circa £300,000 plus add-ons, and this left the path clear for the player to negotiate terms with Derby. The deal should be tied up soon.
Mile Sterjovski has his best times when he’s away on international duty with Australia and has played a significant part in their successful World Cup qualifying campaign. Perth Glory have now snapped him up to play alongside Andy Todd and they gave Sterjovski a three-year contract.
The move should help Mile keep active ready for next summer’s tournament whilst enabling Nigel Clough to utilise Derby’s wage savings on a player that would figure in more than just a handful of games in a season.
The Aussie had just 16 starts since Jewell paid £300k for him in January 2008; Clough wants players that can contribute far more significantly than that. It’s been a pretty nondescript sojourn from the Derby point of view but Perth seem excited enough to have captured the player, good luck to Mile, Perth Glory, Australia, whatever.
More exciting news for us Derbeians is that Crystal Palace want to relieve us of Claude Davis! It might mean an unwelcome £3m loss on Billy’s Folly as it would be a free transfer - but removing Claude from the vicinity of our defence and from Derby’s wage bill ASAP looks all right to me.
Ex-Ram Paul Boertien has linked up with Paul Peschisolido at Burton Albion and 46-year old Kevin Poole looks set to be the oldest goalie in the Football League when he extends his stay at the Brewers ready for their first season in the League. I hear The Zimmers are keen for Poole to join them, to add a football song to their heavy rock repertoire.
At the pinnacle of the monetary mountain, far above the Football League’s new hopefuls reinforced by ex-Derby veterans, the skilful thespian Cristiano Ronaldo moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a crazy £80m. That’s just a few days after the Spanish club had paid £59m for Kaka; Real are still shopping for other top-shelf stars, too. Real spent £140m on just two players within days, with staggering wages deals to match - how can they afford them?
Ronaldo is the beneficiary of one of the richest deals in history; he certainly has his ‘brass in pocket’ several times over and it all seems galaxies away from the humble existence of everyone else - even our well-furnished MPs and retreating, rich banking executives. At least we can usually see what Ronaldo’s up to though, as his antics are mostly in the public domain!
Even substantial clubs like Derby and the remainder of Football League clubs, back in the ‘real world’ exist far adrift of Real and the elite super-clubs. The international money maze that prevails amidst the top clubs and the levels of debt that those win-at-all-costs clubs are willing to incur are mind-boggling, especially in the current economic climate.
Back at Old Trafford, the Manchester club have thus lost hold of both their talismanic play-acting sulky Portuguese poser and the European Cup within a matter of days, which demonstrates that every player has his price and the unbeatable are indeed…. beatable.
Money matters pervaded the annual Football League conference too (ironically held in Ronaldo’s home country of Portugal) and Derby’s Adam Pearson joined his peers in discussing related issues attached to these worrying economic times. Financial regulations will now govern transfer activity and where League clubs fail to meet HMRC obligations, they will be prevented from conducting player transfers.
Income levels concern many League clubs these days; anticipated TV revenue may be suddenly depleted if the Setanta collapse echoes the disastrous financial shortfall of the ITV Digital deal in 2002, which deprived Football League clubs of a £105 million-a-year deal.
A repeat would leave many clubs below the Premier League bereft of expected payments - and already in Scotland, clubs are awaiting overdue Setanta TV payments. However, there is comfort for the time being in the £264-million BBC-Sky three-year deal to broadcast Championship, Football League, Carling Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy football, which commences in season 2009-10.
Also at the conference in Portugal, clubs voted to allow seven, not five substitutes from the start of next season too, so that an 18-man squad will be selected. That will mirror Premier League, European and domestic cup allowances.
I expect Nigel Clough will see that as advantageous in giving some of his under-21 development side a chance of first-team exposure - more youngsters can be included on the bench to have an early taste of Football League atmosphere.
International World Cup qualifying fixtures otherwise dominated the week with England’s second big win in a week as they dismantled the hapless Andorrans 6-0 at Wembley. Only the goalie and poor finishing prevented double figures - but Cappello’s lads had rapped in 10 goals in two matches without reply.
In a year’s time, we’ll discover how prepared they are in the tournament finals against the best opposition, not the weakest.
Lewin Nyatanga contributed to Wales’ clean sheet when his country beat Azerbaijan 1-0 in Baku; Nyatanga earned his 27th international cap - at the tender age of only 20. _______________________________________________________________
During RamsWeek 24 last year, the tedious Ferrie Bodde affair was still the headline on-off story with the Rams having had three bids turned down for the player. According to the player, he said it was “still my ambition to join Derby County” and that “now was the time to move on”,
Swansea manager Roberto Martinez moved to reinforce his chairman’s refusals and stalling. How the wheel turns… Premier League Wigan have pinched the promising Martinez to replace Steve Bruce, and Bodde is undergoing rehab at Swansea ready for 2009-10, having suffered major injury that caused him to miss the latter half of the 2008-09 Championship season.
Kenny Miller finally moved back to Scotland and Derby received £2m from Rangers so that he could get ‘back in the high-life’ in Glasgow. Plymouth Argyle wanted to sign Gary Teale but couldn’t afford him, and Darren Moore was in talks with Bradford City.
Meanwhile, Derby needed to match Sheffield United’s expectations of a £1.75m fee for the for Blades’ striker Rob Hulse and the Rams were also reportedly in the chase for Kevin Phillips.
We had an initial £250,000 bid for Stockport County striker Liam Dickinson rejected. Paul Jewell eventually paid three times as much to capture the tall youngster but then failed to play him in a single competitive match for Derby.
Promoted Hull City deemed winger Craig Fagan a Premier League player and Phil Brown was keen to retain his services after a loan spell at the KC Stadium, Fake-Tan Man offered Derby £750,000 for him. He’s still a Premier League player, surprisingly enough!
The League Cup First Round draw was already known, with Derby facing Lincoln City at Pride Park Stadium in the 2nd week in August.
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