Show me the money
It’s football higher law, and one that Ange Postecoglou recently enforced in the Mark Milligan transfer saga.
It-s football higher law, and one that Ange Postecoglou recently enforced in the Mark Milligan transfer saga. Melbourne Victory were within their rights to tell Crystal Palace it was no deal when it came to their attempt to sign the Socceroos midfielder.
Crystal Palace wanted to divvy up the transfer fee, paying approximately 400,000 Pounds up front and a further 400,000 pounds at a later date.
Victory saw this as something of an insult. More to the point, they felt the Londoners would effectively be getting one of their key players on an interest free loan for 12 months. As one insider described it: “It-s like someone buying your house, paying you half the price, wanting to move in, and then offering to pay you the balance next year.” That's not a deal any of us would likely accept.
Victory felt they were being bullied by Crystal Palace - who mistakenly saw the A-League club as a soft touch with a cash flow problem who-d be happy to do business on their terms. Wrong.
The Victory's suspicion that the 'Eagles' were wanting it all their own way was confirmed when Ian Holloway shelled out 2 Million Pounds to sign Huddersfield full back Jack Hunt soon after the Milligan deal fell through.
As far as Victory were concerned, the news merely confirmed their suspicions - that the ELP club saw the Hyundai A-League as a potential source of cheap labour. Obviously, they didn't do their research.
Victory-s stand is a sign that A-League clubs are no longer prepared to simply bend to the will of rich foreign clubs, even if it means they end the dream of one of their players.
Milligan was within a heartbeat of packing his bags for South London and joining his Socceroos team mate Mile Jedinak at Selhurst Park when Ange Postecoglou pulled the rug out from under the deal in added time.
The Victory midfielder is said to be devastated, although we have yet to hear from Milligan himself. One version of events has it that he had his bags packed and was planning to continue on to London straight after the Socceroos match in Brazil.
Melbourne Victory refute this. They-re adamant Milligan was kept informed throughout the entire saga and fully understands the logic behind the club-s decision to walk away from the deal.
Either way, Milligan has had to return home and come to terms with another season in the A-League rather than the English Premier League.
It-s tough on the player, but with a World Cup looming large he has little time to wallow in self pity. He doesn-t want the end of one dream to be the catalyst for the death of another.
It-s a dilemma clubs find very difficult to deal with as well. Do they hold onto a player who has made it quite clear they-d rather be elsewhere and could be more of hindrance than help in the dressing room? Should they stand their ground and demand the player meet their commitments?
If Mark Milligan-s season turns to muck many will blame the club for its decision to scuttle his aspirations. If he refocuses, has a blinder, and walks on a free transfer in a few years, the club will be castigated for not taking the million dollar deal when it was on the table.
In that sense it-s no win situation for Melbourne Victory and Ange Postecoglou, but it's a risk they-re prepared to take. Taking risks is something Postecoglou thrives on.
Even this year's transfer activity is evidence the Victory boss is prepared to back himself in. With the European transfer window now shut, Victory have three spots on their roster to fill, including the coveted marquee spot.
Postecoglou is confident he can find talent where others haven-t. Certainly it was his trademark at the Brisbane Roar, where he brought us Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha.
With the new season looming large, the pressure is definitely on Postecoglou to deliver on his promise to return Victory to its former glory.
Whether its sourcing untapped talent that lights up the Hyundai A-League, or soothing the discontent of one of his senior stars, he has it all to do. Whatever happens, you can be sure Postecoglou will do it his way. It's the only way he knows.
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