The Story So Far
Lee Cattermole is a big money earner at the SAFC, pulling in £30k per week in League One. As I mention in the post FM19 – SAFC Save Show Me The Money, that’s just not sustainable for a club in League One and the money could be put to better use.
Lee is a great player for this level and is a big contributor to our mid-field quality, but he’s a luxury. I made the decision very early on to move him on. Easier said than done.
I did tell Lee initially that I was going to sell him to release funds for the club. He wasn’t happy with that, felt he deserved his £30k and didn’t want to leave (remember that last bit for later on in this tale).
Stoke To The Rescue?
In real life Lee Cattermole is still at Sunderland, for whatever reason. Wages? Ability?
In game, I got an offer from Stoke. The fee was pretty decent £2.4 million, for a player valued at £2.9 million. I could negotiate up from there. However, the sticking point for me was them wanting us to contribute £12.75k to his weekly wage.
As much as I’d like to release Lee and boost the coffers, that wage demand really annoyed me (to be polite about it). I hate the idea of paying for a player who is no longer at the club. So I turned the offer down, as they’d locked the clause.
The result of this was an unhappy Lee and an unhappy squad. The former I could live with. The latter was an issue because team cohesion was causing problems on the pitch.
The good news was I had players on my side and some pretty influential players at that. So, I could weather this storm in a teacup.
Thinking he’d have to stay and knowing I needed more money in the wage budget I moved the money around, to release about £30k for wages. Giving me room to improve the squad and keep Lee at the club.
I did feel that I was being painted as the villain of the piece by Lee and some of the players. I want him to go, he wanted to leave (no sorry he didn’t – remember what I said earlier – I don’t actually know what he wants at this point), some of the players want him be allowed to leave. I just wasn’t willing to let him go on those terms.
The Invertedwingbacks Intervention
So, I’m scouting the Swedish leagues (ok I was having a cheeky holiday on the club) and dropped in on Invertedwingbacks, who is currently managing Vänersborgs FK in the Swedish Second Division North Götaland. No, I don’t have a clue who they are either. Jese Wingbacks is Scottish and seems to like the colder climates – mind you there was that stint in Nigeria, but we don’t talk much about that.
Back in the comforts of Wingbacks humble abode, the long suffering Mrs Wingbacks (being dragged around Sweden from club to club, not knowing how long she’ll have at each one) provided us with the fabled calming Oreo’s – only two each and not the thin crappy no filling ones either.
I digress. Why was I going to Wingbacks? Not only is she a tactical genius, with a flair for Mourinho type celebrations, she’s also Scottish and knows a lot about saving money. Could she unlock the Cattermole quandary?
Her take? Grab the money and run. I not only get the transfer money, which can be used to boost the wages, but I also get more than half Cattermole’s salary back in to the coffers for other players. Plus, if he renews his contract with Stoke I’ll be off the hook for the £12.75k a week.
Put in that way, I was stupid to have turned Stoke down. So I offered him to them again. This time insisting on a fee of £2.7 million, which they accepted.
Thank God that is over. However, remember all those players who were happy he was staying? The one’s who were influential (see above), now they’re unhappy and its causing issues on the pitch. Add to that, the fans and board aren’t happy with this bit of transfer genius.
Tough, they’ll get over it. I need depth and not diva’s.
Passive Income – Side Note
I love making money with no effort. Everton just gave us £1 million as part of a clause in Jordan Pickfords transfer to them. The rich, of League One, get richer.
Good riddance to Lee.