Monday, 5 February 2007

Ugly Betty Swollocks

The vitriol spewing forth from Birmingham following the Matthew Upson transfer is starting to reach unhealthy proportions. In her Sun column on Saturday Karren Brady, without a shred of self-awareness, likened West Ham to Ugly Betty. She wrote: “No doubt West Ham feel they have done a clever piece of business buying Matthew Upson from Birmingham. I don’t think it’s clever at all. The truth is I feel as if we have been mugged. Strange kind of mugging, you might think, being held up at the point of a chequebook and forced to accept £7.5million. But anyone who has been in our position knows what it is like to see your contracted agreement with a player being insidiously undermined in a football version of a CIA operation.” Well, Simon Jordan certainly knows what it feels like after Birmingham poached Steve Bruce from the Crystal Palace hot-seat just four months into the job. Coventry City certainly know what it feels like after watching their season collapse following Birmingham’s poaching of star striker, Gary McSheffrey. More to the point, West Ham fans know exactly what it feels like after living through decades of stymied ambition and sustained player sales. If Karren Brady is looking for sympathy then she will be in for a long wait.

The simple undeniable truth is Birmingham did not have to accept the cash. For all the self–pitying and egregious moralizing about excessive ‘player power’ the crucial element of control for a player under contract still resides with the club. They could have resisted if the will was there, remained steadfast in their stance and forced the player to honour his contractual obligations. Karren Brady, the self-confessed money person at St Andrew’s, must have played an integral part in any decision taken. She can demur all she wants but, as Martin Samuel observed in his column on Sunday, for all her protestations this is a girl who just can’t say no. She didn’t when selling Robbie Savage to Blackburn, Jermaine Pennant to Liverpool or Emile Heskey to Wigan. West Ham made a generous offer and Birmingham acquiesced. There was no gun and no horse’s head in Karren Brady’s bed (save for the one atop her shoulders). West Ham as Ugly Betty? Try looking in the mirror Karren.

No comments:


Copyright 2007 ID Media Inc, All Right Reserved. Crafted by Nurudin Jauhari