It was arguably one of the most surprising and strangest transfer stories of recent seasons, when Belgium footballer Yulu Matondo was signed and then was subsequently released by Bury within 24hrs.
Yulu Matondo is a former Belgium U21 international who has played with the likes of Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen and Marouane Fellaini, not to mention his Champions League pedigree having played on numerous occasions with Club Brugge.
On his release from Bury, the Shakers put out a statement that Yulu was not good enough to play for them and subsequently sent him packing:
“Yulu was a free agent; he was out of contract and had shown a little bit in training.
“I signed him on non-contract terms with a view to looking at him in the reserves against Bolton.
“If he had shown something in that game, I might have been able to throw him on the bench – he’s on the next flight to Brussels.” Bury’s Official Website
However, Yulu has refuted that version of events and claimed he left Gigg Lane of his own accord after the club made him an offer where basically he would be left having to play for free:
“Bury FC did not release me, I left of my own accord after I was made an offer that meant I would have to play for free!
“Now they have given a story to the media about me which is completely untrue. At no stage was I told I was not good enough or otherwise. The club have tried to dress this up into something that it isn’t in order to protect their own reputation and to cover up their own financial policy.
“I can assure you that their version of events is far wide of the mark as to what did actually happen and their comments about me are not only disparaging but they are damaging to my future career.
“To set the record straight, I was first invited to Bury in mid-January this year (2013). I saw it as a short term stepping stone to get me noticed in English football.
“Having played at the top level in good continental leagues and also in the Champions League, at only 27 years of age, I still have bigger ambitions than League One in England and Bury were very aware of that from the start.
“General terms were agreed with Bury before I first went there. Half way through my stay at the club, Bury offered me much less than what they had originally promised me . This was far from ideal as we had agreed terms two weeks prior to this but in order to fulfill my ambitions of playing at a higher level In England, I agreed to this as it was only ever going to be a relatively short term agreement.
“In order for me to play in last Monday’s reserve match vs. Bolton, I had to register and sign with the club. I did this on a non-contractual basis.
The following day the club told me they were very happy with me and wanted me to stay. However, there was one big problem with the deal they were now offering me……they said I had to play for nothing, zero! Bury FC said they would not pay me even one pound a week. That was bad enough but they went on to tell me that I would also have to pay for all of my own expenses including accommodation, food and travel!
“Contrary to what is now being reported in the media, I was very much wanted by the club. To read what they have now said about me is both bemusing and most disappointing. My trust in the club has gone.
“The club promised me one thing but then did the complete opposite. Their comments since I declined their offer are not fair and I believe they have damaged me both in the short term and maybe the long term. I am very angry about it.”