By Red Army
January 27 2017
Over the last year it has been an absolute joy to be a Barnsley fan. Two Wembley trips, promotion and now we sit at an amazing 8th in the Championship. Every Barnsley fan should be buzzing at the moment but unfortunately the January transfer window threatens to destroy the good work that has been achieved during the past twelve months.
First of all I would like to wish Sam Winnall, James Bree and Conor Hourihane all the best for their future careers.
All there have been an integral part of the success that Barnsley have had over the last year and I have no complaints with them wanting to leave to further their careers and earn a bit more money.
The money that they can earn at Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa when compared to what they were earning at Barnsley is out of this world. It would be difficult for anyone to turn that down. We just can’t compete. We are in reality still paying top end league one/bottom end Championship wages whilst a lot of Championship clubs are now paying what would have been middle Premier League wages only a year or two ago.
So like I say, you just can’t blame the players for wanting to leave when such offers come in for them. I myself as a lifelong Barnsley fan would leave if that was difference in pay so you can’t blame players leaving who don’t support the club.
Many fans complain about loyalty but it is a job to them and they need to earn as much as they can in their careers. Growing up I always thought that if I had the opportunity to play professional football then I’d only ever want to play for Barnsley no matter how much they paid and what division they were in.
That romance is ok as a child but now I am in the world of work I know that you have to use your brain and not your heart and from £5k a week to £20k is a life changing amount of money.
So as I say, I don’t have a problem with the players leaving but I do have a problem with the club for allowing it to come to this.
Contracts should have been offered at the end of last season and not a couple of months in to the season when the players were already attracting interest.
Many people point to the fact that if we go down that we have players on Championship contracts but things like that can be avoided with clauses for relegation etc.
Worst case scenario is that you have to sell them for cheap to get rid of them but that is what we have done in this window anyway.
That is another issue I have with the board regarding this. They are doing well now with the sell on clauses etc but the initial fees have been too low. They should hold out for a decent price or make them see out their contracts. Clubs know that they can take advantage of Barnsley when it comes to initial transfer fees and they continue to do so. The mentality and fear at the club needs to change in this respect.
One thing I do have to move on to is Marley Watkins who has handed in a transfer request. This bit of news has really boiled my urine.
The journey that the club has been on with this group of players has been incredible. Most of these players were nobodies before this run brought them to the attention of the greater football world.
What we have going on is great and I struggle to comprehend why anyone would want to jump ship. Watkins for reasons unknown to me is a big a fans favourite as well so to hand in a transfer request makes me quite angry really.
What’s the difference between him handing in a request and the ones that have been sold I hear you ask? Well those that have left never handed in transfer requests. When clubs came in for them they opted to speak with them and decided to leave based on potential career progression but mainly a lot more money. That I find to be fine and how the process should be.
If Watkins had waited for a club to come in for him and then gone then I would also have been fine with that. However to put in a request because of rumours of other clubs being interested and because a few other players have gone is completely the wrong way to go about it in my eyes.
I know the club has turned his request down but I’d let him go for that but only if the price is right. If not I’d just stick him in the reserves for the rest of the season as he will be off in the summer for nothing anyway.
If he has a change of heart and retracts his request then all will be forgiven and I’d play him again but as it stands he wouldn’t even make the bench for me.