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Talking Shop - David Pleat (3)

Posted on 24 November 2000  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

There are also many angles in a contract, some agents want money for any international appearances, some players may also want a guarantee of bonus payments when they are injured. Some demand a motor vehicle in their deal, but the player would end up paying for this indirectly through his P11D benefits in kind tax return. Most clubs avoid providing club vehicles.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Some overseas players may want a proportion of air travel paid for. One very great player came to see me once and asked for some money for flights not taken. I made it clear to him that money allocated in his contract for flights was for flights and the fact that he only took three instead of the eight stated in his contract did not mean we had to compensate him for the other five.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Some shrewd agents have tried to get a clause inserted that the player will always be on the top wages. So if a new player arrives on a financial package greater than his, the existing player must always be put up to that amount. This is also something I would never agree to.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>A further bonus that has been introduced at some clubs, and was once in operation at Wimbledon, where a individual bonus was offered for goals scored. I believe this can build a selfish type of player and I think that if a player scores a lot of goals then it is a tribute to the team. I bet Clive Allen would have been happy with &pound&#59;5,000 a goal when he scored 49 goals in 1986-87!<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>There are many aspects regarding the introduction of a new player to the club. The contract, let&rsquo&#59;s not make any bones about it, is the most important thing. Also important is his potential relationship with the manager. Does he play a style of football which will project that player in the best possible light? Does the player think about this? Some players don&rsquo&#59;t even want to be in on discussions.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>I signed a very famous player at Sheffield Wednesday, who has since arrived in. Paolo Di Canio, who has wonderful ability, decided not to even turn up at the transfer talks with Jock Brown, representing Celtic, and myself and the chairman of Sheffield Wednesday representing our club.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>We had already decided that if he didn&rsquo&#59;t come we wouldn&rsquo&#59;t go ahead and sign him. The agent assured us that Paolo never talks about money and it&rsquo&#59;s the agent&rsquo&#59;s job to discuss money. In the end we did a deal and Paolo was phoned in Italy to be told he had just signed for Sheffield Wednesday and terms had been agreed!<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Sometimes a transfer can linger on for weeks, sometimes it is a game of bluff &mdash&#59; where the club makes it clear they are not paying a penny more then often succumbs to pressure. There are outside pressures when the press hear - it gets put in the public domain and supporters demand to know why a transfer has not proceeded. The chairman then comes under pressure to sign that cheque and it&rsquo&#59;s very hard sometimes to bite your lip and say: &lsquo&#59;I&rsquo&#59;m sorry, this hasn&rsquo&#59;t worked out&rsquo&#59;.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Many managers have gone to meetings with players and haven&rsquo&#59;t liked what they&rsquo&#59;ve seen and decided not to go ahead. Then, of course, there is the medical situation. Tottenham in the last three years have turned down three players -Andy Hinchcliffe, Najwan Ghrayib and John Hartson. We took several opinions on Hartson and followed professional advice.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>There are many way of manoeuvring a transfer, some players use the press, some use websites, others go directly to the manger and say they are unhappy. Some players sulk or are tapped up. There is a lot of conniving done in the business and we should not ignore that side of it. <o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>We have had a public issue at the forefront recently, where Leeds publicly stated their wish to sign Rio Ferdinand from West Ham. It put Mr Redknapp in a very difficult position because Leeds made their interest very clear in the press and admitted an offer was on the table. The West Ham chairman was under massive pressure because he knows that soon he might not be able to acquire such money, which will help him run his company.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>There are major decisions to be taken and a lot of money is at stake. I always say with any transfer, good identification, coaching and set-up along with the management of the team is all-important to get the maximum out of that player once he arrives.<o:p></o:p></SPAN> <P>Transfers can be very interesting and very drawn out, there can be a lot of red tape and there is a hell of a lot of of &lsquo&#59;i&rsquo&#59;s to dot and &lsquo&#59;t&rsquo&#59;s to cross before a switch is completed.