John Hendrie column: Bosman has a lot to answer for

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: City risked losing Nahki Wells for nothing if they didn’t sell City risked losing Nahki Wells for nothing if they didn’t sell

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.

Comments (4)

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8:44am Tue 21 Jan 14

silverbantam says...

I thought Stuart McCall was still under contract in May 1988 but City had a verbal agreement with him that he could leave if a City didn't get promoted.
I thought Stuart McCall was still under contract in May 1988 but City had a verbal agreement with him that he could leave if a City didn't get promoted. silverbantam

10:34am Tue 21 Jan 14

brucebantam says...

I was beginning to feel we maybe got a bad deal from the Huddersfield sale of Wells. The "snip" comment was unhelpful. I am grateful to you for giving us the bigger picture, John. Things are never simple and straightforward in transfers. David Baldwin, Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes have got the club the best deal under difficult circumstances, and don't deserve some of the comments I have read recently. Huddersfield and Wells held all the cards. If Wells is successful we will receive our share of that success. Let's all move on and get behind the manager. The Reid injury is of more concern to me. Good luck to the lad but Wells is history.
I was beginning to feel we maybe got a bad deal from the Huddersfield sale of Wells. The "snip" comment was unhelpful. I am grateful to you for giving us the bigger picture, John. Things are never simple and straightforward in transfers. David Baldwin, Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes have got the club the best deal under difficult circumstances, and don't deserve some of the comments I have read recently. Huddersfield and Wells held all the cards. If Wells is successful we will receive our share of that success. Let's all move on and get behind the manager. The Reid injury is of more concern to me. Good luck to the lad but Wells is history. brucebantam

12:02pm Tue 21 Jan 14

whisky1 says...

brucebantam wrote:
I was beginning to feel we maybe got a bad deal from the Huddersfield sale of Wells. The "snip" comment was unhelpful. I am grateful to you for giving us the bigger picture, John. Things are never simple and straightforward in transfers. David Baldwin, Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes have got the club the best deal under difficult circumstances, and don't deserve some of the comments I have read recently. Huddersfield and Wells held all the cards. If Wells is successful we will receive our share of that success. Let's all move on and get behind the manager. The Reid injury is of more concern to me. Good luck to the lad but Wells is history.
I doubt very much that anything on here however credible and persuasive will stop folk criticising the City hierarchy. Decent business in the circumstances
[quote][p][bold]brucebantam[/bold] wrote: I was beginning to feel we maybe got a bad deal from the Huddersfield sale of Wells. The "snip" comment was unhelpful. I am grateful to you for giving us the bigger picture, John. Things are never simple and straightforward in transfers. David Baldwin, Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes have got the club the best deal under difficult circumstances, and don't deserve some of the comments I have read recently. Huddersfield and Wells held all the cards. If Wells is successful we will receive our share of that success. Let's all move on and get behind the manager. The Reid injury is of more concern to me. Good luck to the lad but Wells is history.[/p][/quote]I doubt very much that anything on here however credible and persuasive will stop folk criticising the City hierarchy. Decent business in the circumstances whisky1

1:07am Wed 22 Jan 14

Ahrmen Aleg says...

Spot on article Jon.I do hope Lawno will find a bit of the profit to kick on Megas set up.With you and Davi involved in that it woul seem far.If they are not supporting it already.

Bosman made things better for players.

In Johnny Haynes day and before crowds were enormous but players were badly treated.
And to some extent despite the best efforts of the PFA still are.
How many of the 99 team that came back to play for Wayne in the charity school match were crippled.At least 3.Steve Wright,sweet left footed silky midfielder (forgot name)and Mills.Probably others.Its a short career.

Is not at this level I question the rules.

But it is obscene the amounts swilling around the top division and going out of the country when the spoilt likes of Tevez decides sub isn't good enough and head with his golf clubs to Beunos Aires for 3 months.

Nakki is far from the finished article.But he has the same quality you had in abundance and more....he can finish with more precision.
Should not remind you of that 6 yard box over the bar at Villa park in 88.
I still have nightmares that one day it will go in.
Had to nearly drink the Park dry with Sinbad after Ayresome Park.All along he optics and back.
But John Hendrie could play alright and the thin you had most is what Nakki has.Instinct electric turn of heels from standing start and finish.
The rest....hes still learning.Looked a boy against SwanseaBut he will come on.
He"s better looking than you too.Must be first time City have taken a big fee for a player who cost nowt since you and Stewie 25 years ago.
Keep coaching and staying close to all things Claret and Amber
Spot on article Jon.I do hope Lawno will find a bit of the profit to kick on Megas set up.With you and Davi involved in that it woul seem far.If they are not supporting it already. Bosman made things better for players. In Johnny Haynes day and before crowds were enormous but players were badly treated. And to some extent despite the best efforts of the PFA still are. How many of the 99 team that came back to play for Wayne in the charity school match were crippled.At least 3.Steve Wright,sweet left footed silky midfielder (forgot name)and Mills.Probably others.Its a short career. Is not at this level I question the rules. But it is obscene the amounts swilling around the top division and going out of the country when the spoilt likes of Tevez decides sub isn't good enough and head with his golf clubs to Beunos Aires for 3 months. Nakki is far from the finished article.But he has the same quality you had in abundance and more....he can finish with more precision. Should not remind you of that 6 yard box over the bar at Villa park in 88. I still have nightmares that one day it will go in. Had to nearly drink the Park dry with Sinbad after Ayresome Park.All along he optics and back. But John Hendrie could play alright and the thin you had most is what Nakki has.Instinct electric turn of heels from standing start and finish. The rest....hes still learning.Looked a boy against SwanseaBut he will come on. He"s better looking than you too.Must be first time City have taken a big fee for a player who cost nowt since you and Stewie 25 years ago. Keep coaching and staying close to all things Claret and Amber Ahrmen Aleg

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