Southampton Pursuit Of Manchester United Defender Reveals Financial Gulf Between The Clubs
Wednesday, 13th Jan 2021 11:34
Saints are again being linked with a move for Manchester United full back Brandon Williams, but the chase to sign him has revealed just how difficult it is for Saints to compete against the Big Six clubs when it comes to wages.
The pursuit of Brandon Williams back in the summer and again now in the January transfer window according to the media on the face of it appears strange. Especially as it is said to only be a loan move.
Williams wants to leave Old Trafford for game time having fallen down to 3rd place in the left back pecking order, but would he get that game time at St Mary's ? I can't understand why Saints would want to bring him in just for a few months unless they were trying to secure a permanent deal at the end of it.
Current Saints left back Ryan Bertrand is at 31 approaching the tail end of his career, but this season his form has been outstanding, when he has been missing Jack Stephens was an adequate replacement and there is of course the promising Jake Vokins.
Bertrand though is in the last year of his contract and so far hasn't agreed a new deal, from that perspective I can see why Saints are interested in Williams as a replacement, but I cannot see the point on a loan deal, would we just drop Bertrand for the final half of the season ?
Williams will not come cheap, we would presumably have to at least cover his wages and as he is on £65k a week, paying out somewhere around £1.5 million for a back up full back, does not make financial sense especially as Saints have just released the accounts for last year, that like all football clubs do not make good reading due to the current Covid 19 situation.
But the fact that Brandon Williams a player whose Premier League career so far stands at 11 starts and 7 appearances as sub is on £65k a week, a four year deal signed at the start of this season, shows what Saints have to compete against when signing players, especially players of the quality to take on the likes of United and challenge for Top 6 places.
At St Mary's at the start of this season there were only four players earning £65k a week or more, Romeu (£65k) Fraser Forster (£70k) ironically the man Ings is being tipped to replace Ryan Bertrand on £70k and topping the list on £75k Danny Ings.
Saints combined wage bill for their current squad is around £800k per week according to Spotrac.
Contrast that with Manchester United whose top three earners earn £915k between them, if Danny Ings was a United player on his current salary he would be the 19th highest paid player in their squad.
This is what we are up against and it tells you why the likes of Luke Shaw and Morgan Schneiderlin were quick to hot foot it to Old Trafford.
So if Brandon Wlliams does arrive at St Mary's on loan he will go from 24th highest paid player at United to joint 4th highest paid player at St Mary's despite his lack of experience, indeed he will find that he earns more than Michael Obafemi, Yan Valery, Jake Vokins, Will Smallbone & Nathan Tella put together.
So the real truth of the matter is that I would be surprised if we got Williams on loan, due to the fact that not only would he struggle to get game time with the form Bertrand is in, but also because I cannot see that we would be able to offer him a permanent transfer going forward due to his wages.
He has only recently signed the deal, so there is another 3 years to run after this season, would he be willing to give up that security ?
Would we really want to match his wages at Old Trafford when he has so little experience and if we did it would set a dangerous precedent, our success is built on buying players of Williams age and experience and paying them around a third of the money that he is on, but with the incentive of success earning them improved deals, as has been the case with several of our squad of late.
If a 20 year old who has barely played a Premier League game breezes in and gets £65k a week, many of the squad will soon be knocking on the managers door and asking what is going on.
Signing Brandon Williams even on loan would be a costly mistake, not just in terms of how much we would pay per game, but because of the unrest it would cause in the squad, I'm sure that Brandon Williams is a nice fella and I don't begrudge him earning what he can get United to pay him, but truth is we can't pay him that and it could disrupt the dressing room spirit when senior pros find themselves sitting next to a kid earning more.
Photo: Action Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 31 bloggers
Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
“And now the end is near, and so we face the final curtain…regrets, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the U’s are today. It’ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back – I’m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but they’ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard U’s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly I’ll be glad to see the back of. That’ll we’ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect we’re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I won’t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game – not always easy viewing, but something I’ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesn’t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow U’s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we’re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
[ Vote here ]