Tuesday, November 02, 2004

2 November 2004: Beattie

Two posts in one day, but this at least proves that I'm not totally off the mark with my comments.

Readers with long memories or the ability to click this link may remember that when Paul Sturrock was sacked by Southampton (who, by the way, haven't won a league game since), I gave the following assessment:

"James Beattie didn't like Sturrock, that is no secret. Nor is it a secret that his agent has been in talks with Aston Villa, which is against league rules given that Southampton had not given permission for talks. For some reason, Rupert doesn't seem worried about that, and I can't quite fathom THAT one."

Encouragingly, the Football Association seem rather more keen than Woopert to enforce the rules. This morning, they have charged Villa with making an illegal approach for Beattie. Their punishment, if found guilty, will be "a large fine", which isn't going to worry 'Deadly' Doug Ellis too much. But it may set a precedent: whatever the fine is, clubs maybe, perhaps, just may be willing to start paying that amount to be able to make unsolicited contact with under-contract players, the action that is currently outlawed. Instead of being a fine, it becomes a fee. And football changes as a result, and that rule is nullified, as long as you're a big club who can afford it.

The FA have to be careful with this one.

No comments: