>Who’d have thought it? You might think we’re the eternal fall guys, but we completely out-manouevred our more illustrious adversaries to pull off a coup over Neil Taylor’s transfer fee!
Crucially, the case never went before the wise old heads who adjudicate on such matters; if it had, I can’t help suspecting we wouldn’t have got such a decent deal.
These tribunals, determined by reference to formulae rather than market value, don’t seem to favour the selling clubs very often. They don’t tend to follow logic either. That’s why we cleverly ensured it didn’t go that far.
Wrexham have played this one by the book, and in the end they made Swansea blink first with the weight of their logic. If City had maintained their brinkmanship and taken it to tribunal, they might well have got Taylor on the cheap. Surely they were reluctant to take that chance because, in these financiallly straightened times, if you suddenly get told to cough up more than you’ve budgetted for, you can get badly burnt.
Wrexham drew on their contacts wisely. Their case was compiled with the help of those who’ve negotiated far larger fees in the biggest of football’s markets. They were restricted by the guidelines of the tribunal, but were advised well. Although they put their argument together according to the rules, they ensured that what would be deemed an irrelevant argument in the committee room had been given a decent airing before things got that far.
The unwitting key witness in this case was Bristol City’s Albert Adomah. He moved there in the Summer from Barnet, the tribunal setting his fee at £150,000. Swansea’s offer for Taylor was considerably less than that; a derisory bid which added to an uneasy feeling that they’d exploited their superior status to make this deal happen.
This is where the multiple withdrawals from Wales’ Summer friendly in Croatia played beautifully into our hands. They might have been the final straw which drove John Toshack to resignation, but as he scrambled round for players willing to represent their country, he called up Taylor, who came off the bench to make his debut.
Now Wrexham had a strong argument, albeit one they couldn’t use in the tribunal. If Adomah was worth £150,000, what should a full international fetch? The rules stated they couldn’t present this as part of their case, but they could at least plant the seed in Swansea’s mind. What if the committee followed that logic? What would City be forced to pay out? Faced with this thought, they cracked at the eleventh hour.
Throughout this deal, from first contact between buying club and player, they held all the aces. But ultimately they lost the upper hand, and Wrexham came out, having out-bluffed them, with a tidy little sum. £150,000 to be precise. Wonder how they arrived at that figure?