Our executive vice-chairman spoke to us on Monday morning, clearly disappointed with Sol’s decision to leave but determined to now look forward.
For the record, Sol demanded a £20m deal over three years with a clause that he could walk away at the end of next season if we failed to reach the Champions League. The club deemed these demands ‘unacceptable’.
Sol released a statement on Sunday to confirm he was on his way and that his decision had been purely based on football.
Here is David Buchler’s take on events. “It’s a situation in which, to be fair, we fought very hard to try and make sure we could get Sol to stay," he reflected.
“Glenn had many discussions with him. The ambition that we have, that Glenn has, the excitement all the fans saw, especially the fans at the United game, you could sense for the first time that there was a real feeling that there was a good future ahead and that there were things happening that we could all relate to.
“I think that’s what makes Sol’s decision all the more disappointing.
“Sol made it clear that the issue for him was ambition and I have to tell you that I would have had great sympathy if he had come to me and said ‘guys, there’s no chance at all because I want to be playing Champions League this season and that’s the way it is’.
“But the demands he came to the club with - demanding a contract of £20m over the three years - frankly I could only regard as obscene and there was no negotiating in relation to those demands.
“We offered him a contract which very much would have made him the highest paid footballer in the UK and that was really pushing the boat out as far as we were concerned.
“We were saying to him that we value him, value what he’s done for the club, value the effort he’s put in for the club and we wanted to give him the biggest contract in English football. But it wasn’t to be.
“I have to say no person, no individual, it doesn’t matter if it’s a player, executive vice-chairman, anyone, no individual is bigger than the club.
“Sol will be missed but the club will move on.”
David Buchler has reiterated that we did everything to keep Sol Campbell at the Lane and, as the dust settles on the skipper’s imminent departure, insisted that no individual is bigger than the club.