Date: 7th August 2011 at 12:02am
Written by:


Vital Latics member Paul Thorp, aka Thorpyness takes a look at Charles N’Zogbia transfer, over to you Paul:

N’Zogbia sale – Who called the shots?

It has been speculated that we didn’t need to sell, that we need to sell to buy, and that we need to sell to balance the books. I suspect that of the three options only three men really know what the position is: Dave Whelan, Roberto Martinez and chief Exec Jonathon Jackson. Even these three between them have come out with conflicting statements. Uncle Dave has said all sorts on his own.

Giving the position some consideration, I don’t think it’s that hard to get to a version of the truth that I suspect is plausible enough to be accurate.

The facts or accepted truths are as follows:

1) We argued over a price.
2) Charlie now plays for Villa.
3) He had one year left on his deal.
4) Charlie earned a considerable sum per week, which we now don’t pay him.
5) The accepted ‘truth’, that isn’t actually known to be fact is that the fee was about £9.5 million pounds.

Consider the obvious options then:

Option A – Charlie stays and similar new contract signed

We pay wages at a slightly increased rate, the extra cost is not much, the management aren’t seen to climb down to his demands. We increase the sell on value due to the fact a new contract is in place. Requires massive co-operation of the player to achieve, he needs to want to stay, he needs to be prepared to remain pretty much on his current wages. Massive win for the club, as their costs aren’t increased much and they get a massive profit when he’s sold due to the longer contract being reflected in a sale price.
I think this the least likely to ever happen given some of the other things we ‘know’ about the player.

Option B – Charlie stays with a big pay rise

We then pay his wages at whatever figure would be agreed, 60K per week was rumoured, plus bonuses.

Wages cost approximately quarter of a million quid per £5K a week they are on.

£60K per week would then cost us £3 million over the year in wages for one bloke, who might be crocked before the window shuts.

There would then be a sell on fee, maybe £20 million. We’d then get his services and a profit of £17million, minus whatever bonuses would have to come out of this, and then whatever it takes to settle other players that this would upset, which cuts into that seemingly high profit. Requires co-operation of player.

Option C – We sell to Villa for £9.5 million.

We get £9.5 million in the bank, we also have £1.25million in wages (assuming £25k/week) that now doesn’t need to be paid.

Cash available to play with £10.75 million, wage structure remains intact, the management credibility in enforcing their will is increased.

Money is available to bolster the squad, but we have no Charlie N’Zogbia.

Option D – Charlie stays and no new contract was signed.

We then pay his wages, and get his services for an extra 12 months.

For every £5K/week he was on this would cost the club quarter of a million pound.

Again assuming £25K, this would be £1.25 million cost over the year.

We would get no sell on value when he goes. Normally this ‘loss’ of sell on value is incalculable, because without an actual sale, anything else is a guess at a value. We do have a sale and we do know it was in the region of £9.5 million. If we’d kept him, we therefore would have been unable to realise the £9.5 million we just got off Villa. Even assuming you’d get full value out of the league and both cups and he played 50 games in the upcoming season, and got paid 50 weeks wages. The club would then lose out on £190,000 per game in sell on and another £25K per game in wages, or his weekly wage per game. If he played say 30 games, you`d payout/lose £358,000 per game from your balance sheet.

So effectively, fans didn’t want to lose the player, rumours are the dressing room might have felt differently. If he wasn’t willing to sign a new contract, on our terms then for the club to operate in it’s best interests, and for ‘the right thing for the football club’ to happen, we had no choice but to sell at that price if he wasn’t for signing an extension. We even did well to haggle him up.

Every statement that’s come out of the club, fits with either we wanted option A, we’ve tried to keep him with a bit of B, but not too much, we’re not having D, so C it was.

To answer the title, who called the shots – We did! And as much as I’ve enjoyed watching him play, I hope he regrets going.



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