John Hendrie column
I was going through some old scrapbooks recently and came across the team sheet from a Scotland youth game against Belgium.
Look down the line-ups at Tynecastle and the likes of Paul McStay and others went on to make a good career in the game. But the name that really popped out was Jean-Marc Bosman.
He wasn’t the most famous for his football skills but for everything that has happened since. What Bosman achieved when he went to court arguing players’ rights has still got an input nowadays.
Bosman has just changed the face of football completely.
Before the ruling came in, if you came to the end of your contract and the club didn’t want to sell, they’d take it to a tribunal. That way they would be compensated.
That was the case when I left City for Newcastle and Stuart (McCall) went to Everton. But that’s not the case now when the players have the power.
It’s why I felt the club had no choice but to sell Nahki Wells in this transfer window.
No one is bigger than the club but the Bosman ruling meant that he was in control. The moment the agent told the club he was playing Championship football next season by hook or by crook, City were in a dilemma.
Wait to the end of the season, your figures are coming down and down; you’re scratching around for a fee. By next January, he could have signed a pre-contract to go for nothing.
Once a player dictates to the club, they have to take the best financial option. That all goes back to Bosman.
The club had no alternative, in my opinion. To do nothing would have been financial suicide.
I was privy to it when Nahki first came over here through Mark Ellis with RIASA. I coach up there with Lee Duxbury to help Mega.
He went up to Carlisle because of Mega’s links with Greg (Abbott) but it didn’t work out for whatever reason. Basically but for Bradford, Nahki would have ended up back in Bermuda.
City have been very good to Nahki and by the same account he did a great job for them. It worked both ways.
I think the deal with Huddersfield was good for everyone. The club are happy making money from somebody they got for peanuts and, from Nahki’s point of view, he had to strike while the iron’s hot.
He’s at the top of his stock now. He has started well at Huddersfield but who’s to say he will keep up the same goal ratio?
I remember when Ashley Ward came to Barnsley from Derby. He was with us for 19 months and enjoyed the purple patch of his career, having a fantastic run and scoring for fun.
I sold him for £4.3million to Blackburn and his wages trebled. His whole life was sorted.
Look at his ratio and form over the rest of his career and it was never the same. But he had been set up for life because of those 19 golden months at Barnsley earning him the big contracts.
Nahki is a hot property right now but maybe this is as good as it gets for him. We don’t know that.
If he had stayed at Valley Parade and gone off the boil, would he have had the same opportunity and contract – I very much doubt that.
He’s not the finished article. If he was, there would have been Premier League clubs blowing Huddersfield out of the water.
Any signing is a gamble but Huddersfield are happy because they have got a young goal-scorer they think they can develop.
If he does, City will still benefit from the add-on clauses in the deal. If not, they have not lost out and nor has Nahki. In the circumstances, it’s win-win for everybody.
* John Hendrie, who is a consultant for LawBlacks.com, was talking to Simon Parker.