How to make friends and influence people

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Latics are currently rewriting this one at the moment. You unhappy about the appointment of Maurice Lindsay? Here you go; John Benson is bound to cheer you up. You not sure whether to renew your season ticket yet? We’ll let you decide, no rush like. Whilst they’re not making great steps in the fan relations department, there’s a much bigger worry in the playing department. We seem to have upset that most outspoken of that lovable breed, the football agent and his reaction is threatening to ruin much of the team’s hard work over the last year or so.

In the dock I give you Mr Willie Mackay, the supposed perpetrator of last years “Joey wants a transfer” debacle over at Eastlands. In that situation it seems as if an ill timed and well publicised transfer request was put in to either a) generate interest in the player from bigger clubs or b) secure the player a better deal. It would seem that a) never really happened (in fact the player may now have a reputation that will prevent future interest) so Mr Barton is still at City sitting on a slightly fatter wallet than previously. Rumblings this summer suggest that he’s being touted about for a transfer, no doubt to further his ambitions.

No I’m not claiming to know the background details, nor to know the minds of any of the people involved and much of what follows is purely my opinion on conjecture based on it but it seems like there’s similar dealings going on at the JJB this summer.

If you ask me the Chimbonda deal was never intended to be a long term one. The club may have thought so, the player may not have thought about it (they just want to play football you know) but from the very beginning Latics were nothing more than a stepping stone to a bigger club and a better deal. So why sign a new contract taking away the release clause that would make the players’ exit this summer smoother? Was some deal was done with the club? Could the club is better at negotiating than we give it credit for (it’s ok, I’ll wait for you to stop laughing)? Is it be possible that a player being sold at a higher transfer fee somehow generates more income for the people who make that transfer happen?

I honestly don’t know but what seems clear is that at some time before the end of the season, Mackay had a conversation with Latics about Chimbonda moving on, wasn’t happy with the club’s valuation of the player and the rest is history. Now there’s a real possibility that the club that was interested in Pascal isn’t bothered any more and that the player could be back for preseason training with the rest of his mates. Obviously this suits no one (except maybe the stubborn streak in anyone connected with our club), but how do we get around that? Luckily (!?) for Mr Mackay he has more than one iron in the Latics fire and it seems he’s quite content with smashing the club in the face with them.

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