Dunne Deal

So, the transfer window has closed. Tommy Smith has gone to Portsmouth for a well deserved crack at the top flight, Jobi McAnuff has followed Rodgers to Reading, whilst John-Joe O’Toole (rejoining a certain A.Boothroyd Esq at Colchester) and Mike Williamson have also left stage right.

The Tommy Smith episode, whilst highly publicised was the definitive illustration of how a modern footballer can conduct themself during negotiations. Mike Williamson threw a bit of a hissy fit and eventually got his South coast move too, but I can’t help feeling that we did some good business there. Financially at least.

O’Toole and McAnuff I am sure we can do without, but we do now have a thin looking squad, no surprise to most, and survival is clearly the primary goal this term. However, with with the finances the sales have generated we can (hopefully) look forward to the future on something approaching a sound financial footing.

So, all in all a relatively quiet end to the transfer window for Watford, and it was the goings on a couple of hundred miles away from Vicarage Road that awoke me from my deadline day slumber.

At Eastlands, the home of Manchester City, Richard Dunne was negotiating his move to Aston Villa. The media reported this as a done deal at several times throughout the day, but it soon became clear there was a delay. Nothing out of the ordinary I thought, he is probably doing his exit interview and working out how many days leave he is owed. Not so…

Testimonial is a word not often used in football these days. In fact, I’d be interested to hear who the last top flight professional footballer to have one was. Anyway, for those of you unaware, a testimonial is an event organised to raise money for a player who has been at the same club for 10 years. It’s only fair – you are a loyal servant for a decade, you deserve a bit of a thank you. Even if you do earn twice the average annual salary of the working population every week.

Anyway, non Manchester City fans can be forgiven for not knowing that Richard Dunne has been playing for Manchester City for nine years. That’s right, next year would have been his tenth, qualifying him for a  testimonial. Now it isn’t hard to see why a money spinning testimonial is attractive, Premiership players can expect to earn a reported million quid. Not a bad golden handshake. It sure beats a carriage clock.

So, you can see poor Richard’s dilemma. On one hand, one more year with City and he gets his testimonial and pocketful of lovely loot to say thanks for your loyalty. On the other hand he wants to join Aston Villa on a lucrative contract and trouser a pocketful of lovely loot to say thanks for joining us.

You can picture the scene. Richard Dunne sat alone in his front room, barely noticing Sky Sports News blaring out of his 100″ plasma as he mulls it over in his tortured mind – “Testimonial or new deal, testimonial or new deal…” His face is contorted in confusion until BINGO! – he has his lightbulb moment. “I know what I’ll do…” Richard smiles to himself. “I’ll demand the money from the testimonial that I would have next year, and then leave for Villa! Everyone’s a winner”

And that ladies and gentlemen was the delay. Richard Dunne was holding out for a payment of money he would have earned from his testimonial had he stayed at City for another year. Money he would have earned for his loyalty, for committing ten years to the club. Not nine. Ten. Now I’m all for making sure you get paid what you are due, but come on…

I have no idea whether or not City paid up, but the deal has now through, so I suspect a deal was done and hard up Dicky Dunne got his golden handshake whilst Villa got their man. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to hand in my resignation and ask for next years’ salary in advance.

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5 Comments

Filed under Rookery Ramblings

5 responses to “Dunne Deal

  1. Cal

    Not a very good article. If you was practically being forced out of a club (which he blatantly was and he wasn’t going to get first team football (which in a world cup year means he’s sure gonna want it). If he was guaranteed first team football, he would have stayed, simple as that. Due to Man City signing two other quality centre backs that would never have happened. Therefor he doesn’t want to stay and he would want his cash (and don’t say you wouldn’t do the same). If someone was brought in to do whatever you do, which meant that you would want to leave to do the job elsewhere, you would want to sue them for money, its called constructive dismissal. Stop been so jealous, get on with your life and don’t worry about what you can’t have.

  2. rookerythoughts

    Thanks for your thoughts Cal.

    I have to confess to not being privvy to the ins and outs of Dunne leaving Man City, and leaving to make sure he gets first team football in a World Cup year makes perfect sense. Good on him, there are far too many players who would just siton the bench and pick up their paypacket.

    It just struck me as slightly strange that he should be holding outfor a payment that he isn’t really entitled to.

    As for bringing other players in constituting constructive dimsissal, I’m not so sure. It is always temptint to draw parallels between “normal” work and football, but in all honesty it doesn’t really equate does it?

    He made the decision to leave a club he loves in order to further his career and I applaud that, I just can’t agree with him asking for his testimonial money a year early.

    I am not expecting man City or Villa fans to be displeased or upset with Dunne, his demands just struck me as slightly strange. That’s all.

  3. EestiExile

    I’m always amazed at how loyal to players we fans are. I can see why living in the income stratosphere turns your head and makes you do things ordinary working people see as farcical ( Elton John’s flower bill anyone?) but I don’t understand why we then excuse their greed and defend them. I guess Watford fans are a bit sensitive at the moment because our departed CB was irreplaceable in the current window whilst Man City had things planned better.
    And I certainly am jealous … if only I’d spent another few hundred hours smacking the ball against the back wall!

  4. WatfordBoy

    The main issue I have with this all is that testimonials started years ago when the average footballer was not highly paid and earned little more than joe public. Also once they finished their relatively short careers they most had to start from scratch and find new jobs in the ‘real world.’

    Nowadays, footballers earn incredible amounts that set them up for life – they do not need a testimonial, particularly if they belong to a premier club.

    This unfortunately sums up many footballers that are driven by greed.

  5. Great post, i guess this is something like what i am looking to achieve.
    Thought i would leave a subtle reminder of my blog so people can take a lot.
    thanks for the earlier advice on 606.

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