Leaky Agents and Ramon Nunez Tim Hodge August 25, 2010 Leeds United 25 Comments Ramon Nunez in action for Honduras (white) at the 2010 World Cup Following the exit in the Carling Cup last night, Leeds United will be looking to complete ongoing transfers and prepare ahead of Saturday’s game against Watford. Many fans commented yesterday that it seemed odd for the club to release a statement confirming they were in talks with Cardiff City striker Ross McCormack. It has now been revealed that it was a joint decision between the two clubs after McCormack’s agent had talked to Sky about the deal. It’s not surprising that it has annoyed both Simon Grayson and chairman Ken Bates. Rumours have now arisen that another Cardiff player, Gavin Rae, could be heading to Leeds. Neither Grayson nor Bates has commented on this though the chairman did confirm that the club are interested in acquiring a new midfielder. This seems a strange move by Ken Bates who doesn’t normally talk about transfer targets and is famously thrifty. Before fans get too excited about any possible signings, Mr Bates could be talking of Honduran trialist Ramon Nunez who has been with the club for a while now for Simon Grayson to assess. There is somewhat of a strange feeling surrounding this potential signing. It’s not often that trialists’ names are disclosed or talked about so freely. The normal case is that they play a couple of reserve games before being sent packing or signed and it’s only then that a statement is released. Many Leeds fans will have heard the name of the 24 year old Honduran international by now. Nunez, who can play in midfield or in attack, has been described as “doing okay” by Simon Grayson. Though nothing is guaranteed, it may be a safe bet that if he wasn’t going to sign we would have heard the last of him by now. A decision is set to be on Nunez by the end of this week. Nunez, who has plied his trade in USA, Mexico and his homeland, has represented Honduras 21 times, scoring three goals. He made three appearances at the 2010 World Cup, starting two and coming off the bench for one. At 5’7” he’s not the tough tackling midfield rock some fans have been calling for but, should we sign him, he is young and experienced for his age and importantly for the club, free. Mark R Always keep your cards close to your chest. It’s all gone a bit pear shaped the last 24 hours. MOT trueyorxman If McCormack wants to REALLY come to Leeds he should tell his agent that he’s only getting half his expected fee for gobbing off to Sky! Hopefully he did it out of pure excitement at the fact his client was signing for one of the countrys biggest clubs rather than upping the ante with other possible bidders. It remains to be seen Dje Considering any player’s agent who is worth their salt, and any club that is eager to sell/offload a player on their books, are expected to drum up as many interested parties that can possibly be found for the player in question, in the hope that the best deal will be secured, why then are Bates/Grayson surprised that it got ‘leaked’? Do they think that the expensive feel of the paper on which the formal agreement of the fee with Cardiff was signed on – titillated, no doubt, with a stately typographical font, and an elegant Leeds United watermark – were ever going to be enough to secure the hush-hush tones of the gentleman’s agreement? One wonders. As leaky agents and desperate selling clubs are so common these days that they are taken as the norm, are we to read from the somewhat desperate press release by Leeds saying that we have had a formal fee agreed between the respective clubs to be taken as indication that this is the first time in this transfer window that we have actually put forward an initial approach with hard cash on the table? So may’be there wasn’t any real attempt to ever sign Hooper, or Billy Sharp afterall. Least nothing beyond the ‘inquiry’ stage – which always smacks of the casual sale of unwanted tat – alla Ebay, Gumtree, Craig’s List etc. All very curious… Christopher Gee McCormack’s agent is Willy McKay who has had previous involvement in transfer dealings which have ‘come to the attention of the authorities’. In fact his press profile makes our Ken look like Mother Theresa. As such, it’s unlikely he’ll be influenced by expressions of disappointment from the Leeds management. It would be interesting to know whether McCormack and Rae’s existing wage levels were negotiated by our old pal Peter Ridsdale, cos if so they might have a bit of a shock coming. TSS I love how easy it is to paint the agents as the bad guy in football. Never the poor football club’s chairman or management that made a bad move, but the inexcusable, money-grabbing, agent who demands the best contract for his client! It’s almost like they’re doing the job the players pay them to do? @djedjedje is bang on with what he says; this is what the agent is paid to do and no one should expect anything less – not least, Mr Bates, who knows the system inside out and would have seen this coming days ago. Ken is covering his back for when the deal goes pear-shaped so that he can play the part of the poor chairman, out-muscled by greedy agents. Every story needs a good guy and a bad guy, Ken is simply ensuring he avoids a backlash at the agents expense should we fail to get the player. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players!” As for Larry, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and accept it’s possibly naivety. Not Ken though – he knows exactly how it works and would have expected nothing less. Jon Don’t suspect for a moment that Larry is all sweet and angelic – I can’t believe that anyone in upper football management is. In any event, anyone who has spent any time around uncle Ken could not possibly have had any of his charm rubbed off on them. As you said every story needs a good guy and a bad guy – I think that it serves all for uncle Ken to take the role of pantomime villain TheReaper08 @TSS This is a sparkler even by your standards. Agents are the parasites of football planting seeds into unintelligent players minds regardless of contracts etc. (anyone remember Beckford?). Yet out of the smog of this potential transfer it’s not the agent, nor is it Larry (despite instigating the transfer and being a grown man he is apparently naive) nope it’s Ken’s fault ! Colin @TheReaper08 I’m confused – i don’t get your point – who’s in the wrong – Bates, SG or the agent? TheReaper08 @colin I wasn’t actually blaming anyone, I was merely commentating on the fact that no matter what happens or who is involved somehow TSS manages to link it back to Bates. It’s like permanent groundhog day round here. In my opinon it’s not anyone’s fault but the agent has been in my opinon quite cheap and desperate in hawking around a player publicly at the last minute, particularly when a fee has been agreed and the player wants to speak to a club. timm Larry’s excused but Bates isn’t! That wouldn’t be your personal feelings getting the better of you would it TSS? Grayson has never liked to do our business in public, & the fact that the pair of them have expressed disappointment at the agent going public seems to be totally in line with the clubs policy to me. Cardiff also wanted discretion to be used here & any professional agent worth his salt would would have respected the wishes of the 2 clubs involved. Willie Mckay has only succeeded in further enhancing his reputation as one of the sleazier agents in a business which has plenty of decent advisors as well as the scumbags we often read about. We all know Bates has been around the block TSS but you trying to make this about him is no more than a extremely thinly veiled attack on the guy purely because you hate his guts. Leeds Utds policy when it comes to transfers is to make no announcement until there’s something to announce, which seems fair enough to me. After all, we’re a top football club, not Betfair. TSS @timm @thereaper08 @colin You’ve misunderstood my point and assumed it was a dig at Bates. Far from it in fact, I was merely pointing out that everyone was playing there part in the never ending fun and games of football. (Hence the Shakespeare quote) Bates – Reluctantly, he knows he has to keep the fans happy. Ken does this by using the old ‘everyone is conspiring against poor Leeds’ technique, and whenever something goes against us, we blame everyone but the club. It’s actually quite impressive how well he manipulates people – all good leaders do it. The agent – Always going to be unpopular with the fans because he’s paid to look after no one but the player. Instead of the fans accepting the player had a better offer elsewhere when a player turns us down, we paint him as the villain and keep our superiority intact. (After all, who wouldn’t want to play for Leeds?) But how is an agent any different from a union rep negotiating the salaries of electricians? Larry – SG is paid to coach the players and win games. Unfortunately, he has to comment on the business aspects too these days. Every manager with half a brain cell always backs the man paying his wages, otherwise they don’t stay employed for too long. No real good or bad guys, just people playing the roles assigned to them. We interpret each as good, bad, unfortunate or whatever. Because we’re Leeds and the only person not battling in our corner is the agent, he’s always the villain – not just another man doing a job. Dje @timm “Leeds Utds policy when it comes to transfers is to make no announcement until there’s something to announce”. There’s always something to announce. How many times this season has the club publicly denied any connection with players when agents have claimed otherwise? Numerous. The other year we publicaly denied that we were signing some French midfielder called Guillarme Bonorad. This year Grayson came out and said that we’re not linked with McArthur (despite “him being a very talented player”). Even the other week Harvey was speculating in a counter-speculative spin sort of way that Becchio is categorically not going to Celtic (which means to those that believe Harvey has absolutely no intergrity that Becchio IS on his way to Celtic) How many times has Grayson said that we’ll be “getting in one or two players” in the next few days? A few times this summer, on free transfers of course. Even Bates today said that we’re looking to bring in a midfielder soon. No details of course, just more than enough reason to keep referring to the club’s webpage, twitter feeds and Yorkshire Radio. Can’t do Bates and the club no harm of course, and only irritates the s**t out of some of our fans regarding transfer speculation (alla Betfair). The trouble is that when we publicly laud ourselves about doing business the ‘proper way’ and only announcing things when they are done and dusted, and don’t talk about transfers otherwise, we chase ourselves down a cul-de-sac from which we have to keep coming back out of with our tails (or tales?!) between our legs. If no means no, then we should only say no; and not ‘may’be’ or ‘perhaps’ when some tart of a player/club hitches up their skirt. ______ I still don’t understand the real reason why the club felt so cornered that they had to release a press statement regarding McCormack. Perhaps Robinson is going the other way? So we are extra desperate to make sure that the deal gets done and dusted as soon as f**k? Probably not though; just a rumour. Dje McCormack is supposed to be on £7,500 grand a week. Considering he’s establish at this level of football Leeds should be looking to, and in a position to match that wage. Or one hopes. Rae, at 32, is an old boy and will probably be looking more for a lengthy three year contract than just picking up the wages. Possible coaching experience/opportunities at Thorp Arch could be a sweetener too. Dje Anyone else surprised that we are connected with Rae? Old, and not on a free: not Bates/Grayson’s usual preferred option then! I can only think that he’s coming to keep Johnson, Kilkenny and Howson on their toes; with a possible 4-4-2 midfield shaping up as Sam/Watt …. Rae/Johnson …. Kilkenny/Howson …. Gradel/Snodgrass. Full competition for places, and all that. Tim Wilsom £7,500,000 a week.? Dje @Leedsusa Lol! I bet even Bellamy isn’t costing them that a week. It was £7-8k a week, but I forget where I read it. White to the core If Rae is coming we should cash in on Johnson. Rae might add a bit of steel and experience and Nunez looks like he has skill. Could shape up into an exciting looking midfield with Watt and Sam. Also snoddy will be fit again soon. Our defence still look all at sea everytime theres a serious attack and worryingly none of our defenders appear to be able to pass the ball accurately, at least to our own players! Agents will always look to maximise their own ‘fees’ by getting as much interest as possible, regardless of interested clubs wishes. Sad but true in the words of metalica. Colin this smells fishy – if we actually get McCormack then that pretty much means that Becchio will either leave Leeds now or at the end of the season on a free. Why do I say this? Because you would always play McCormack ahead of Becchio. This has got so much attention from Leeds’ involvement and Bates’ involvement. Maybe it’s been leaked on purpose. Maybe we want Rae, but not McCormack but we’re throwing our hat into the ring on McCormack to help get Cardiff attention on McCormack and in return we get Rae? I’m not sure, but surely you don’t agree a fee to buy McCormack, without having spoken to him and roughly agreeing a wage for the player. I think there’s something going on here and I’m not sure what it is, but if we get McCormack, then surely Becchio is on his way? I’m still confused. Loki You’re not allowed to talk to a player without first speaking to his club, who then have to agree to your offer. Once that has taken place, you are allowed to discuss personal terms with the player. Also I don’t buy into the conspiracy theory of we want Rae so we’re going to help Cardiff sell McCormack. If we have enough time to play Tom Clancy level games like that with Risdale then I’d guess Ken finally has lost it. I do agree that the whole thing is fishy however, I simply don’t see the McCormack deal going ahead. Few people will agree with what I’m about to say but I think it’s too good to be true, especially after the disappointing summer we’ve had in terms of potential big name signings one by one slipping through the net. As for Rae? If we get him I’ll be happy depending what we pay him and how he performs. Weak answer? Sorry… It’s late in the day. I’m treating Nunez as a non-situation, as I literally know nothing about him. Matt BB @stevie Ridsdales not the chairman its some malaysian group who own the club now, I cant see him having too much involvement now, thank god. Dje @colin Is McCormack a like-for-like swap for Becchio? I thought the Scot was a quicker, nimbler sort than Becchio/ Paynter; but could well be mistaken. Matt BB @colin I dont see how Mccormack and becchio cant play in the same team, mccormack is more in mould of a huckerby type striker, got pace, skill, and a good finisher (well huckerby probably not the best example) I think if anyone should be worried it would be Paynter, Becchios already started socring, so’s Somma. Grella has been discussed till we’re all blue in the face but to be honest now we’re out of the carling cup I cant see how hes going to do anything other than go out on loan or be sold at this stage, especially if we get mccormack. Matt BB @TSS @Reaper08 I think the only thing kens worried about is egg on his face if the deal goes wrong, and who wouldnt be. His quote about always getting every player we want might be proven a load of old b*llocks (as many of us thought it to be) if this goes wrong, and goes wrong due to him not being prepared to meet wage demends from mccormack. But for once I am absolutely with ken in being peaved with the agent here. Yes its his job to drum up as bigger wage as he can for his player, but it is a far from honourable way of doing business to create a dutch auction, where the negotiations fly out in the open and th likes of Hull, Derby, Sunderland – whomever all say `hang on? mccormacks available for the type of paltry sum leeds pay – we can do better than that’ and abracadabra the deal is screwed. I have a feeling we’ll miss out on mccormack now which would be s shame as it would have been a coup to secure the signing of a proven goalscorer in the championship. Rae I am less impressed with at 32 years old he is niot a long term signing, and wonder how he offers more than doyle for instance? Nunez I would like to see us sign and I’m going to be controversial now. I think we need to cash in on Johnson. We could easily get £2M for him and surely that would go some way to making us able to compete with, I cant believe I’m saying this, Hull. Anyway arent Hull virtually bankrupt? trueyorxman £2M.easily. for Johnson. oh dear me what planet are you on gadge? Matt BB its allegedly what West Brom were prepared to pay for him last season.