TSS has raised the question of how much is a silly money offer for Beckford? I have a formula to work it out below, but perhaps we should take this opportunity to look at the bigger picture, like should we really sell him at all, for example?  Transfer windows are times that give us, the supporters a rare chance to judge senior management by their actions, rather than by reputation or popularity. The January 2010 window could make or break Leeds United’s hopes of promotion from League One and I think deals need to be approached scientifically, especially the rumoured sale of Beckford to Newcastle United.

"Well I suppose technically I am a tax exile, yes." said Santa

We all know the results are coming good on the pitch and the table proves we’re doing something right. I have no idea what the current financial statements might be, but I should imagine that off the pitch, we should be doing quite well too. We can look to a few facts that we know to give us a clue. In Summer, we sold Delph. Surely we must have at least part of the transfer fee in our account by now and we didn’t buy anybody for significant money to reduce it. We have been on television or the internet (same fee,) more times than just about any club other than Newcastle. Linked to the TV appearances are our decent Cup runs, indeed the clash against Glazer brothers’ Manchester Disunited is worth about £750 000 alone according to our own chairman. I would guess the fact that the Boxing Day match was a home game must have been worth a few quid too. It certainly looked busy. Finally we might just have found the winning formula after so many years in a downward spiral. So why, oh why are we even considering letting our top scoring striker go? You don’t have to like him to see that he scores goals. Just read the statistics.

Logic dictates it’s not about money. The points above surely re-inforce this. I doubt even that it could be about disharmony in the team. I was quietly impressed that Beckford gave a Hartlepool player a shove when he clattered into Bradley Johnson. It’s the same principle as sticking up for your mates. Is it about attitude? The mark of disrespect when Simon Grayson subbed him isn’t a big deal. An apology and perhaps a bit of a grilling and things like that should be forgotten. I did a lot worse at his age and Simon Grayson is not Peter Reid. So for those fans that don’t like Beckford, I say enjoy the goals, just don’t invite him round for dinner. What about the Millwall penalty and other big occasions when he apparently fails to shine? Well I would just say that there are two teams on the pitch and Beckford has a reputation big enough to justify man-marking him. Even in this league, there are defenders good enough to keep him quiet.

Maybe this is a time when we the fans have been caught bang to rights. It’s us that could be the difference between our best striker staying or leaving. I’ve been reading blogs pointing out a fact that had escaped me, which is that if Beckford scores 100 goals he becomes one of our most prolific strikers relative to the time he’s been here. (Sorry I can’t find the exact details again, but you get the idea.) Surely this should make the lad a legend and yet a sizeable number of fans want him to leave because he throws his teddy out occasionally. It’s not our fault directly if Beckford leaves because we’re not the ones signing the paperwork but if our board thought that selling Becks would make gate receipts suffer, he would already have the most lucrative contract since Seth Johnson. We should be getting behind his performances because for every quiet patch or miss, he bounces back with goals at some point. I’ve even seen him work his socks off in a few games recently. But soon it seems it’s going to be too late to sing his name.

Personally, I wouldn’t be quite as bothered about Becks going if I thought there was a plan B. I’m sure Simon Grayson has got one, because he’s obviously a very smart fellow to have got us this far, but we just don’t know if he has one because nobody talks to the fans anymore. It’s fair to say that Leeds United’s PR is even worse than Eurostar. Over a hundred thousand fans worldwide have to wait for the South Shields Gazette to find out anything about the most important thing to happen to the team for two seasons. Grayson has already said that only a silly money offer would tempt the club, it’s true, but that was October. It’s now December and a hundred thousand people want to know if you have changed your mind.

So never mind Maria, how do you solve a problem like Beckford? Who could replace him? I think he’s irreplaceable at our kind of money. It won’t be Ricky Lambert, under contract to Southampton who have more financial clout than us with their new chairman. I can’t imagine our chairman making them an offer they can’t refuse so we can forget that idea straight away. If you were in charge of Norwich would you sell Holt either? A weakened Leeds United means a player like him could help them lift the title. They have a good enough team. We could look to higher leagues but then we have that problem of money. We would have to pay decent money for someone such as a Cresswell, Healy, Hulse or Blake like we used to have last time in the CCC and Healy’s best tally was only 14 goals in the 05-06 season. More money for fewer goals? That’s not good business. But the fact that Leeds have even talked to Newcastle speaks volumes. It’s probably now just a question of money and then I guess we unearth a stop-gap player from the loan market or lower leagues. So if he is going to go, how much is the right price?

If Chris Hughton is reading, let me save you some time. I can give you the mathematical equation for the correct transfer fee (F) to offer for Beckford:

F = (T*W)+P

To the rest of us, that’s the total of this years’ court costs (T), add 20% for Wealdstone’s sell on clause (W) and then add the cost of a private return jet flight to Monaco to sign the paperwork (P). Our board doesn’t factor in anything for the future good of the club (FA)

Happy New Year.

  • TSS

    Loving the equation. Nice one mate. Hope you have a good New Year.

  • JackP

    As a Newcastle fan this is quite interesting to read; I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you the best of luck for the rest of the season and hope you get promoted (and we do!).

    Interestingly, our board appear to have a formula for players we’re interested in to:

    I = Q – (C * LW)

    Interest = quality of player – (length of contract remaining * likely wages)

    You don’t want Joey Barton in part-ex, do you?

    • TSS

      I think I speak for Leeds United fans globally when I say no thankyou to Joey Barton!

      Best of luck for the rest of the season too and happy New Year.

    • Gledders

      Joey Barton! Let that be a lesson to all who criticise Beckford’s attitude.

  • tony cole

    getting outvof this division is worth a lot more than the 1.25 or even 2 million we are supposedly asking for keep him let him fire us back into the ccc and let him go for free if he doesn’t want to stay think if when he moves he will end up being a bench warmer if he goes elsewhere then loaded out to a lower division club not a big match plyer and gets bullied out of games which will happen the higher up he goes

    going on Sunday hoping we dont get humiliated but not fussed about progressing getting out of this division numero uno priority but a draw would be nice for the fans and Uncle Ken would think it was Christmas again Happy New Year to All you Whites Fans lets hope we can go up in 2010 MOT

  • LS6

    You say that “the fact that Leeds have even talked to Newcastle speaks volumes. It’s now just a question of money” but surely if a club offers you an amount of money for a player, you tell them that you are not interested in selling rather than just ignoring it and hoping that when you open your eyes it will have gone?
    I dont think that it means they are any closer or more willing to agree a deal, they still seem to have the same stance as before: that Beckford isn’t leaving this month unless someone offers silly money. Which is the same about any player, look at Ronaldo and Scum last summer.

    • Gledders

      Actually, I have just amended the post to include a probably because you are quite right it suggests I have inside information.

      However, according to the press (see News Now) the offer was rejected as too low yet no mention of a deal being ruled out. To me, that says “negotiation in progress.” No fee would be big enough if it costs us promotion to a better paid league with a better standard of football.

    • TSS

      http://bit.ly/6Q24tA Rejected £1.25 according to Northern Echo

      • Craig

        I’d take him at £1.25 – I’d put him up in my spare room for 6 months and sell him on in the summer.

  • Grumpy Older Man

    You hear that sigh? It started the day Beckford’s agent rejected a new contract and ends the minute he goes. Its the sight of inevitability: it is also hiding a yawn!

    • Gledders

      This is precisely the point I’m making! I think a feeling has descended over a lot of our fans that because we are in League One and we’re supposed to be a big club, that petty little things like losing your best goal scorer don’t matter anymore, because the league’s not the PL, the players aren’t PL quality and nothing matters because we’re not in the PL. We’re Leeds United, so we get promoted even if we have poor players? Be real. If we don’t hang on to good players, then we’re not going to get out of here are we? If it was Snoddy, Beccio, Kis, I’d be saying exactly the same thing. There’s five months left of this season, we haven’t won it yet and we’ll still need goals to get promoted. It’s suicide to let a good striker go when we don’t need the money.

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  • Reaper08

    Firstly it’s a disgrace that Beckford doesn’t have the universal support of the fans. If I could get to the next game I would be chanting his name in a vein attempt to convince the lad he is desperately wanted at our club.

    The fact that a proportion of our support don’t want him because he has ‘an attitude’ or because he ‘is lazy’ is absurd. He scores goals and plenty of them, yes he has attitude but so do a lot of good players. Many better people than I would argue it’s the attitude that makes them good.

    Many appear to favour the trier, that limited ability striker who tries hard and tracks back but scores a pitiful amount of goals, Alan Smith anyone ?

  • Gary Tunnicliffe

    I think if Beckford leaves we should make a move for Billy Sharp, proven at this level and now proving it in the Championship since going out on loan.

  • philmo1734

    Beckford is on his way! Just look at the game against Stockport. He scores…. looks at the Leeds fans then sheepishly turns away, twice.
    If he does go, Larry will have someone ready to do the business, mark my words.
    For all of us fans it is about the passion, the pride and the love of Leeds. For Beckford it is a job…. a nice job if you can get it, but a job never the less. So dont be too hard on him just accept that is football. But above all have faith in Larry.

  • Think pappa smurf is happy for us to stay in the division we are in, he is getting Premier League crowds at Premier League ticket prices to watch us.
    Paying out Division One pay to players he must be making a fortune.
    If Beckford goes I see us staying where we are because we don’t turn up at the play offs and without his goals going up won’t be automatic.
    Please tell me I’m wrong
    Happy New Year
    David N.I.

    • Reaper08

      I will happily inform you that you are wrong along with everyone else that will listen. Bates is in it to make big bucks and the only way he will do this is get us back to the big time where he can sell the club for big dollars. You honestly think he took our club over to syphon off a bit here or there ? The fortune comes from the sale of a club sold for many many millions having reached the premier league. Remember this, he can’t make his fortune unless we make it into the big time. As a result if Beckford goes it will be Simon’s decision.

  • Guy

    Good article…. great equation and yer FA conclusion. Sell yer top scorer half way through a prospective promotion season?!?!?! Crazy.

  • Some great points made above, Personally I am not a Beckford fan although I admit that his goals have been invaluable in getting us to the top of the league and if he does go we will need a player who can match or better his scoring record.
    I rate Beckford as a 1 in 5 scorer IE 5 chances 1 goal. That shows he is getting the chances which is great, that means the team are creating those chances for him. Would another player who gets those same 5 chances do better ? Becchio doesn’t get as many chances as he is busy doing all the hard work but seems to me to be a 1 in 3 scorer and probably Snodgrass likewise. Maybe Beckfords pace gets him those extra chances, so another striker with the same pace would be the answer. I don’t think the selling of Beckford would end our promotion run as long as we replace him wisely. I wouldn’t want to see him go for less than 2.5 million though.

    I have my doubts that he would be as effective against the better defenders in the championship and would have no chance in the premiership, lets face it he was useless against that lump in Southampton’s defence.

    A happy New Year to Leeds fans everywhere