René Meulensteen’s comments post match comments on the potential signature of Ravel Morrison, as reported by HITC , should lead to the strongest possible punishment, writes Andrew Pickford.
When the Dutchman responded positively to questions about the player’s desire to join the cottagers, he could hardly conceal the smug grin on his face. That, coupled with Fulham FC’s publication of the same matter on their website, can leave no doubt as to that all parties were aware of the tactics at hand.
This is tapping up of the highest order. The desire is clear, the player and agent increase pressure on the selling club, who are thus forced to sell, and/or take less money.
The Fulham Head Coach told the onlooking press that he was aware of the player’s intent on joining Fulham, and as such we can only assume that contact has been made.
Breach of rules T3 and T8 might hardly roll off the tongue of your average football supporter, but the multi-million pound nature of our game surely underlines the importance of dealing with this issue.
It follows that: "A statement made publicly by or on behalf of a club expressing interest in acquiring the registration of a contract player, or by a contract player expressing interest in transferring his registration to another club shall, in either case, be treated as an indirect approach.”
Now, should West Ham sell as a result of the player’s attitude following these comments, they selling price might well have been brought down by a couple of million pounds by these comments.
Furthermore, this could jeopardise their Premier League status, which might well ultimately run into the hundreds of millions.
The former United coach is hardly the first manager to employ such tactics, he would have learned by example by Sir Alex Ferguson’s atypical ‘we’ve made an enquiry’ or Harry Redknapp’s ‘I like the player, he’s a good lad, I’d love to have him ‘ere’ routines.
However, it must stop somewhere – and here is a perfect example for the Premier League to make a stand.
image: © Tom Cuppens