It’s been a fair few years now since us Wolves fans have feared the summer months. What, in the past few years, has been a time for splashing millions on new players, we instead sit and wait for our best players to be poached by higher powers. Unfortunately, it is part and parcel of football now that when you drop down a division, inevitably your better players will be out the exit door.
It’s fine, I accept this. We have to be realistic about keeping certain players and I understand how the game works. Compare it to your own working situation; if you were offered more money to work in a better standard company, you’d have to at least consider it wouldn’t you? After all, the sport is a career for footballers and they do have to take into consideration what would be best for their own job path.
Now, with the understanding introduction out of the way, I can now get stuck in to what I’m really here for – a bit of a moan. While I realise it would be nigh on impossible to keep hold of the likes of Steven Fletcher and Matt Jarvis this summer, the way certain players have gone about their wish to leave the club is, in short, dreadful.
Quantity for quality
If the rumours about Fletcher willing to sit in the reserves for three years, rather than see out his contract with the first team, are true, then that says a lot about him. Yes, I understand he’s probably too good for the Championship and can comfortably hit double figures in the Premier League, but he has to realise we aren’t stupid. We’re not just going to accept any offer because he wants to leave, we want quantity for our quality.
While some of the figures being quoted are far beyond any transfer fees we have received, the modern game attracts some daft bids. Take for example Andy Carroll, a full Championship season and half a season in the Premier League – automatically worth £35m. If we’re going on these figures then it could be argued Fletcher is worth the same, after all, he is more prolific. But I’m not daft and know we won’t get anywhere near that, but we do deserve the right price.
The point I’m trying to make is how can he not see this point. Why throw a strop and only train with the reserves? You are under contract at the club, we pay your wages and you are here to do a job. Compare it again to our own work lives, if we turned up Monday morning and said ‘I’m not going to work on this project today as I don’t want to be with the company any more – so I’m just going to work in a lower division’. You can’t just do that, can you? So why should footballers have the right?
It’s all down to player power at the end of the day, and there is clearly too much of it. Carlos Tevez jetting around the world last season, William Gallas threatening to score own goals a few years back and, as Wolves fans will remember too well, Mr Wolverhampton 2004 Henri Camara going on strike after deciding he was too good for the club. I can tell you now, no player is bigger than a club – it doesn’t matter if you are Steven Fletcher, Lionel Messi or even Pele. The club was there before you and it will be there long after you have left.
Show some respect for the club that took a chance on you, parted with good money and make sure your bank balance remains healthy. Yes, you can submit transfer requests and make it clear you want to leave, that’s just the way the world – it’s giving work your notice if you want. But at the same time, until the time comes for you to leave, work properly during that notice and really earn your move elsewhere.
Why tarnish what was a good, solid relationship with fans just because you fancy a little strop? Those fans worship you, they spend hard-earned money watching you each week and spend God knows how long travelling around the country to watch you run about for 90 minutes. And, judging by last season, these fans have a hell of a lot of patience and are willing to support you through thick and thin. And how do you repay them; by deciding you are far too good to repay their faith with just a couple more games for the club. It makes you wonder why us football fans bother and love the game so much, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I think my keyboard has taken a battering enough for one day so I’ll round this up now. I entitled this piece ‘this is not a rant’ but, low and behold, it turn into a bit of one didn’t it? I know the likelihood of any footballers reading this is very low, but I would like to think that the message from us fans does get through some way. Pay a bit of respect to those that pay your wages, idolise you and go through thick and thin just to see you run about a bit every week. Just think about that next time you decide you fancy a bit of a strop.
Remember, we’re just the same as you, just not quite as good as kicking a bag of air at a net.