Danny Cowley learning his trade quickly via intermediaries : Cullen to Pompey ?
Friday, 7th Jan 2022 11:40 by Gruff Stephens & Keith Haynes
It’s the most devious time of the year. Cards are not on the table, and plenty of club managers and well schooled chairmen will stare at you blank faced and seemingly lie straight at you.
Of course everything these days is a play on words because it’s extremely hard in football to be up front and honest. In interviews managers can skirt around questions and be pliable In the way they answer them. We all know that, without the carefully constructed sentences and the practised ‘interview / PR course” under their belts it would be a hard thing to demonstrate, especially in January. Of course not everyone has been on a ‘course’
Let’s look at Danny Cowley’s responses to Liam Cullen of late. When asked had ‘he’ contacted Swansea regards Liam, he replied He said: ‘No, there’s not (been contact with Swansea) not over Cullen. No” Fair enough. He hasn’t contacted the swans over the player. He also stated “He’s a player I know with good movement, energy and technical ability. He hasn’t scored as many goals as he should for his quality. But he will score goals, he will definitely score goals. If you look at his expected goals there’s goals in that boy. No doubt. There’s a lot to like about him. He’s an intelligent player, a really good presser and he’s a lot of characteristics we like in players. But he’s a Swansea player and we have a huge respect for Russell Martin and the job he’s doing there”
Danny Cowley an intelligent and astute football manager
Cowley clearly confirms that ‘he’ hasn’t contacted Swansea regards Liam Cullen and then goes on to talk about a player that in real terms hasn’t done a great deal in front of goal this season. He displays a knowledgable appraisal of him as a player and finishes off with the usual ‘respect’ for the manager response, coupled with ‘he’s not our player’ in summary.
Now let’s have a look at the way Portsmouth ( and a lot of clubs ) Swansea very much included do their business these days when players are being sought and discussed. Over the previous two seasons Portsmouth have paid around £380,000 in agents fees for players. And this includes those ‘intermediaries’ employed by a club to source, scout, contact and report and develop information on specific targets. These intermediaries are not covered by many of the rules governing player contact. And it’s the agents of these players that are all in the circle of knowledge that spin the plates to circumnavigate the rules. Quite plausibly, we are not saying anything is wrong here.
Let’s look at Liam Cullen, carefully represented by CAA Base in London they proudly state “In addition to our UK stable of FA Registered Intermediaries, a worldwide network of contacts and partners ensures that no matter where you are, your career is taken care of, both on and off the pitch” Okay, that’s the first step to us getting our heads round this. Well, a bit. Danny Cowley is represented by the Wasserman agency, a real big player in the market. Wasserman are slowly moving in on smaller football agency’s. When they acquired Key Sports, Steve Denos, co-owner of Key, added: “Supporting our clients has always been our top priority. As part of Wasserman, we will now have access to a global wealth of services and opportunities for our clients and we look forward to doing great work together.”
Wasserman’s acquisition continues the growing US influence in English football. Last July, CAA Sports bought the London-headquartered Base Soccer agency, which represents 300 international players, coaches and managers globally, including the Premier League’s Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Dele Alli. And as we know Liam Cullen.
There are always many ways to skin a cat, although as an animal lover that isn’t my thing. It’s very easy for Danny Cowley to say ‘he’ or even his club haven’t spoken to Swansea about Liam, that’s just an example. When the swans employed agents and intermediaries (they still do) I can recall possibly five instances where Chairman Jenkins or whoever would be quoted, and then with a mere shrug of the shoulders gaze over their interviewers shoulder with a slight smile. A particular swans board member was once asked about a specific player and he replied “ I haven’t spoken to Spurs about that player” ( he hasn’t ) Then when asked of any interest in the player by the swans he replied “We haven’t even spoke about that player with Spurs” ( they hadn’t) Two days later Kyle Naughton joined Swansea City, from Spurs. The deal very heavily influenced by employed intermediaries and the players agency linking up and covering the fees, managing the detail and presenting the information to the clubs in their employ. That’s basically the reason why Cowley, Jenkins, or whoever will be able to brazenly look at an interviewer and state with their integrity intact that ‘they’ haven’t been in contact with a certain club. The intermediaries and agents of this world all come together this time of year.
Agencies know each other, intermediaries know each other, they have endless ways of asking the questions about certain players and their current circumstances.
And Russell Martin has an agent as well, he can speak to that agent anytime, that agent has many contacts otherwise they wouldn’t be doing their jobs right. It’s a game of baseball without the running. You just orchestrate and conduct whilst others play the tune. That’s how transfer windows work, it isn’t new and it isn’t revolutionary. It’s just plain and simple fact.
So Liam Cullen and Portsmouth eh ?
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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