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Playing Transfer Poker

Playing Transfer Poker

I have already admitted in an earlier post that I would never be able to earn a living as a street trader or as a poker player. I can neither bluff nor hold my nerve when negotiating a price for something I desperately want and have the wherewithal to pay for.

So, it`s pointless asking me to say how much I would give for Johnson, Bassong or Mills because our need for central defenders is so great that I would be inclined to pay well over the odds. Perhaps, it`s just as well that the Ms are in charge of finances. As he indicated in an interview earlier today, the chairman certainly stresses the need to curb the inflation in transfer fees. My head tells me he is right (£35m for Andy Carroll?) but my heart worries that, as a result, other teams, willing to pay more in fees and/or wages, will snap them up.

I don`t mind top clubs spending huge sums of money for star players because we couldn`t match them, even if we could attract them to the club. The problem lies with the Sunderlands and Newcastles of the PL, who are awash with the cash gained from such deals and who are therefore in a position to outbid us for players, whom we could reasonably expect to sign up.

It`s a fine balance and to succeed one has to have a cool head and a detailed knowledge of the market. Even Mr. Morgan`s stance is not an absolute one ... or, if it is, it is probably unsustainable. On the one hand, he asserts that if the clubs with whom WW are negotiating do not reduce their valuations, he will not complete any deals with them. On the other hand, he admits that he would break the transfer record in order to secure the right players. And, of course, the right players might cost £2m-£3m more than that (perhaps far more).

How high is he prepared to go for quality central defenders ... and what about a left back? The board has to consider the fortunes of the club over the course of next season, if we do not acquire solid, reliable players in these positions. To me, it foretells another relegation battle. Surely, management has to factor in the sporting and financial implications of that.

As I write, the game of poker is in full swing. Unfortunately, while Mr. Morgan occupies the moral high ground and is keeping his hand close to his chest, his position is undercut by a knowledge of our fragile defence. Even worse, the clubs, who hold the contracts of sought after players, are aware of our predicament and this gives them an advantage in the business of brinkmanship. It`s a dilemma he has to face.

Perhaps, I would be more optimistic, had management been able to show a better track record over signings. Yes, I am aware of the successes (as well as the flops) but I am focusing here on the ones who got away. I am not asking for the splashing out of silly money - we all want a stable, financially secure club- but merely a bit of flexibility in our rigid approach to transfers. The fate of the club could depend upon it.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Wednesday June 22 2011
Time: 4:42PM


Flops have only ever been 1-2 million pound signings , the big money moves for Doyle Fletcher and Hunt all worked as im sure O'Hara will , Zubar is a success , Milijas at 2.5 has proved a valuable addition , Mouyokolo cannot be said to be a flop as we aint seen much of him due to injury , Geudioura has been a good buy , VD couldn't settle in the area , I would say the only flops have been the Hoff & Halford who cost a mere 3 million between them , MM tried a big target man and didn't work and if Duisburg had a million pound we would recoup 75% of his transfer fee and im pretty sure we will get 750k - 1 mill for Halford so roughly MM has only lost a million pound on 2 flops , every other signing he made got us out of the championship and i would say 90% of them can now say they are good enough to play in the prem , I mean even Karl Henry who is not our best footballer was linked with Everton so he must be doing something right , All in all i think MM has worked wonders in the transfer market , i think he has if previous season are to go by 13-15 million left to spend , so 8 for Johnson 3 for Mills and your guess is as good as mine for LB , if he could get Bertrand on loan for a season then maybe MM could have 7 million give or take to go and splash out on another experienced centre half instead of Mills , Maybe Dunne or Bassong , Jez said we had deals put in for 2 players and within a week both are here , so no lets see what happens with the defensive signings , Berra has done us a job there for 4 seasons or so so MM knows a centre half to do a job , Zubar shows he knows a full back when he sees one so another of his calibre would be great and it sounds like Bertrand is an attacking player , I have only seen him play for the under 21's so that means nothing really as he doesn't play with those players week in week out , but what i have seen he would be a great asset to have for a year !
22/06/2011 17:46:00
I take your point, Oddjob. But, last year, when we really needed to buy quality players to ensure our place in the PL, we bought Mouyokolo, JVD and Maierhofer, who for different reasons have proved to be flops. Fletcher and Hunt ultimately saved us and can be considered sound acquisitions. Yet, for one reason or another, they did not play a full part in the season. In any case, we needed to prioritize a solid, reliable defence and they were not bought for that purpose. To be fair to MM he did try to shore up our leaky defence but for one reason or another JVD and Mouokolo did not improve the situation. But that's not the point of this report. Here, I am concerned with the issue of weighing up the cost of purchasing qualitiy defenders and how well we play the game of transfer poker to obtain them. In this respect, you clearly take a harder line than me (or play a better game of poker) because I would be willing to spend more money than you would to obtain the right players. It's also important to factor in the cost of losing our PL status against the payment of enough money to buy in players who would ensure survival (if only it were that simple).
22/06/2011 18:46:00
Everything you say is correct oddjob but the money spent last close season was not wisely spent,Doyle as we all know was signed the year before,even the money spent on Fletcher was looking a waste until Doyle got injured.No doubt about it,Fletcher only got a look in because of that injury so we will never know the outcome if that had not happened?.I think the chairman will be a lot more involved in what is spent and on whom this time around and maybe even other people will have an imput on who joins us.
Crete Wolf
22/06/2011 19:16:00
As I read, what Mr. Morgan intends to convey is: I will break the bank all right; only, do not up your valuation of the player just because you know we need him desperately.
22/06/2011 21:11:00
So, lovesW, it's still a game of who blinks first? What constitutes a fair price other than what a chairman is prepared to pay to secure the services of a player who will effectively plug a hole in the team? Of course, it partly depends on the number of clubs bidding for a particular person; the degree of desperation each feels; and the amount of cash available to purchase the sought after individual.
22/06/2011 21:37:00
Southbank and im not having a pop , but your being a little too faced as no one moaned about the defence after the first season in the prem as we defended superbly for a promoted team with no experience , he kept Mancienne who we all thought had talent and everyone applauded the Mouyokolo signing when it happened and bad luck let it down , The Hoff was never gonna be first choice and the JVD situation is down to a player letting everyone down by signing and then not having the balls to stick it out and make MM look like hes signed a flop ! , I would not mind us paying upto 9 million for a centre half but thats the limit , because every player we have been linked with is knowhere near worth double figures in terms of millions , and i want our club to be financially secure because believe me a lot of clubs the way its going wont be around in 20 years time ! , Crete you trying to say Morgan is another Roman Chelski ????? oooo please hahaha , he has signed very good players in the past and if we sign either Johnson or Bassong do you really think its down to Morgan or Moxey , MM choose his transfer targets not the board , LovesW spot on about Morgan , Southbank we are not Man utd , we cannot afford to pay 15-20 million for a player , Morgan does not mind bidding low and meeting at a reasonable match but no way will he allow Wolves to be hung out to dry on stupid valuations which you sound like you would want Wolves to do to fill a gap , yes we need a centre half but we need a financially sound football club more and i love the fact Morgan will not allow Wolves to get in serious debt just to purchase a player/s
22/06/2011 22:16:00
Oddjob, I agree with virtually everything you say, though Crete Wolf has a point about the under-use of Fletcher last year (and I know it's partly due to circumstances: both in and out of the team). With my head I'm with you in your assessment. As I mentioned in my report, I don't want us to pay silly money but feel that we might have to go a little further than expected. I am particularly concerned in this thread to debate the mindset of the 3Ms, the people who really matter, to find out how they are likely to respond to bids and counter-bids in this game of poker ... and how their decisions will affect the outcome.
22/06/2011 23:18:00
Looking at NewNow Wolves for the umpteenth time today, I notice an interesting report on comments that the chairman has just made. It's relevant to this thread because he reveals his ambition for WW, challenging the club to become more than PL strugglers. This statement implies that he is willing to back up his opinion with hard cash, though, as lovesW points out, he probably won't be laying out silly sums of money.
23/06/2011 10:33:00
As things stand, right now, the squad has not been strengthened from last season, where we spent 95% of it in the relegation zone. The purchase of a decent defender or two is critical, not just to strengthen at the back, but to allow us to play 2 upfront on occasion and put games out of reach so we have less risk of throwing them away in the last minute. We are all more or less saying the same thing on here, not wanting to pay over the odds etc... but if we go into 2011/12 with the same back 4, we WILL be relegated, and that WILL be a step backwards. Perhaps a bit clenching is necessary so we can push on. WE ARE WOLVES !
Ad Mant
23/06/2011 10:56:00
Well, that's my argument too, Ad Mant. Indeed, I think we all agree on the need to sign three solid, reliable defenders, capable of operating at PL level (I want to include Mills here). The question I pose in this thread is how high should we go to secure such players. This seems to be the issue which divides us.
23/06/2011 11:09:00
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