Departure Lounge – Kris Commons

At the beginning of the week, I had a text exchange with my brother which basically said “Rangers offering £500k for Commons, if they nudge it up a bit, I’ll be happy with that” the reply suggested we should hold out for more. It seems Rangers did offer £500k plus add-on’s but the eventual fee we’ll receive is widely quoted as somewhere around £300k. A fraction of what most fans thought he was worth but did we have a choice?

Commons has been regularly labelled as “best player in the Championship” (admittedly by team-mates and other biased sources) and during the summer, the talk was of receiving anywhere between £1m-2m for him. However, it can’t be ignored that no Premier League team felt tempted even when it was widely publicised that he’d be leaving for a knock-down fee. Premier League teams rarely sign Championship players nowadays,


especially 27 year olds, so our chances of getting a decent fee were slim.

I was actually surprised how hard the Rams had tried to keep him. The rumoured offer of 3 1/2 years at around £15k a week was something Rangers struggled to match and was, in my view, very generous in this day and age. Commons has had a brilliant 5 months for the Rams but the other two years have been a mixture of good, mediocre and injured. Those figures were gambling heavily on three good years. The future is always unknown but with Commons injury record (admittedly clean this year) I don’t know if he’ll be worth £15k a week when he’s 30. We had similar thoughts on Hulse and in his case, he’s only managed 9 games and one goal for QPR since leaving.

The argument for is of course that Clough has ironed out many of Commons’ faults and he is now becoming the player he’s threatened to be – but again we’ll never know.

Once Commons decided he was moving on, there didn’t seem much point keeping him. The fee is small but there will also be a significant saving on his wages. It’s hard to imagine how fans would react to a player who has chosen to leave and no doubt the finger would be pointed at the slightest fault – a situation not good for players or fans.

Having said all that, I think Commons has been brilliant at times this season and his goals and/ or assists have single-handedly won us many games this season (‘Boro, Doncaster and Ipswich spring immediately to mind). He will be sorely missed, so the task now is to sign a couple of players to fill the void. I wish him well.

Club From To Fee League FA Cup League cup Other
Derby 02-06-2008 28-01-2011 Free 66(14) 21 7(2) 2 8(0) 1 0(0) 0

Posted on January 28, 2011, in Departure Lounge, Transfer Talk and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Stats look sunnier than remembered … effectively a goal every 3-4 games. Based on the games I’ve seen this season I’ll miss an interested Kris Commons. When he’s on form he deserves some of the labels bandied about. I’m a massive NC supporter but he might need to find someone exciting quickly. Exciting deflects attention when you’re trying to build the supporting cast.

  2. Players come and players go. As long as the club is heading generally in the right direction (and I believe we are) then we’ll be fine. For the first time in the club’s history we are being professionally managed off the pitch and in Nigel we have a manager who’s improved the squad and laid foundations for a promotion push in the near future. History shows that good players sometimes leave ahead of or to fund future promotions. Think Kevin Wilson in the old Div 3 days and Craig Short (and AN Other I can’t recall) in the summer ahead of the Jim Smith promotion etc. As long as the club continues to be sensibly managed and we are able to live within our means, not below or beyond them (Pickering years), then being one of the biggest clubs in the Championship we will surely rise again and in a healthy financial position to push on further.

    • Andrew Quinney

      WaltonRam – I completely agree with what you have said there. I’m a big NC fan, and believe that we’re only a couple of pieces of the jigsaw away from being a strong team in the division. When we had that brilliant spell earlier in the season, i think it was largely down to the impact that Kuqi and Fielding had on the team. If we can get another couple of ‘leaders’ in, then we’ll be back on the up!

      • My take on Commons is that I don’t have a problem with him going to Celtic (More cash, 60k fans, medals and possible Champions league), but I do have a problem with him stringing all connected with DCFC along these last few months.

        In terms of pure league games, Commons has a utilisation rate of 55% for his time with DCFC. For a player of his ability and wages thats a pretty poor return for DCFC. Sure he’s been awesome at times this season, but he’s also been very mediocre, very often in his time with the Rams.

        I think the club were in a no win on this one. You’ve predictably got donuts on Twitter now doing all the Nigel/GSE out bit. But the reality is we need 3 or 4 solid new players not a fantastic(ly) inconsistant one.

      • What exactly is “utilisation” is it just appearances or is something else in the equation? I can’t remember.

      • Sorry everyone, been reading another heavy football statisitics book – Utilisation is the amount of games a player started, as a percentage of those played by his club in the period he was with said club. Substitution appearances dont count. If you were suspended thats fair enough but if you were injured or not picked then it comes off your numbers. E.G. DCFC play 46 games in a season, Bucko plays 23, comes on as sub in 7 and injured or left out for the rest = 50% Utilisation. Make sense?

  3. What’s the book you got that ‘utilisation’ idea from? Sounds a bit like ‘Moneyball’, or some such.

    • Pay As You Play: The True Price of Success in the Premier League Era: Paul Tomkins, Graeme Riley, Gary Fulcher.

      The book looks at Premier league transfer spend and compares ave value of team against position in the season and draws all manner of conclusions on clubs, players, managers etc. Its a bit heavy in places but there’s loads of good stuff to keep you going.

      For the record our best utilisation of any player in the Premiership is Jacob Laursen.

      There’s definite nods to Moneyball (which I got for Chrimbo but haven’t read yet) but a more direct comparison is “Why England Lose” by Simon Kuper, which we’ve quoted loads on here. Thats pretty much inspired by Moneyball, full stop.

  4. £400k for Moxey. I’d take that. He’s shown promise but also prone to errors. Can survive using Roberts plus loans then replace him properly in the summer. Better to use any funds now for players playing down the spine of the team. Daniel Ayala could be a good signing in more ways that one. My theory is it may bring the best out of Bueno. The buddy system has worked well over the years for clubs when signing foreign players to help them settle – someone from their homeland can help avert homesickness.

  5. “Commons has had a brilliant 5 months for the Rams but the other two years have been a mixture of good, mediocre and injured.”
    I think that one line sums up Commons to be honest, the best bits often seeming to coincide with a contract needing renewal.

  6. keithmansfield

    For me the fee was nowhere near enough. All this, ‘but he would leave for nothing at the end of the season’ is completely irrelevant. Commons’ goals between now and May would have been far more valuable to us as a club than the pittance of £300k in the bank. That’s hardly worth risking relegation for. Of course it was very poor business to let it come to this. He should either have been put on an extended contract or sold for a lot more money last summer.

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