Over the past few seasons there has been a mighty power struggle between clubs and players, with momentum swinging back and forth like a big pair of bollocks.
But the past few months has seen the players willing to go the extra mile to turn their backs on their clubs and contracts. Jose Antonio Reyes and Ashley Cole moaned and whined their way out of Arsenal, Michael Carrick refused to sign a new contract with Tottenham while William Gallas held fast against Jose Mourinho and Chelsea and won.
Now it seems that for some reason Andy Cole has managed to add his name to the list. And by ‘for some reason’ we mean that his agent did it.
Stuart Pearce claimed that during contract negotiations, Cole’s agent received a better offer from Portsmouth and pulled the ol’ ‘Let my client leave or he’ll retire’ trick,
“In the terms of negotiations it was mentioned that this deal [from Portsmouth] was too good to turn down and it might be a case of the player retiring if we did not agree to the transfer.”
The rebuttal from Cole’s people, Proactive Sports Management was swift and not at all convincing,
“It never was the case that either Andy or us on his behalf threatened that he would retire… Manchester City had no offer on the table until very late in the 11th hour. When they did produce an offer it came nowhere near to matching that made by Portsmouth.”
When weighing up the merits of Stuart Pearce’s credibility as an honest provider of information versus, say, professional sports agents, it’s not difficult to see how this one really came about.
It’s always been a case-by-case basis when trying to figure out whether football is better off with power in the hands of clubs or players. But considering clubs often invest millions into certain areas of the squad on the basis of having other area’s covered by players with contracts, we’re leaning towards the men who pay the wagers as the victims for now.
Of course, in the real world you can’t just stop someone from moving companies as they please. But then in the real world Ben Thatcher would already be behind bars, massaging the back of some hairy bloke with a nipple tattoo.