Following the glorious signing of Richard Keogh from Coventry last week, the phrase ‘a weeks a long time in football’ has never been so apt.
Whilst the signing of Keogh is obviously great news and a massive boost for everyone (Keogh choosing us over Cardiff & Leeds, paying a decent fee, Shackell suitably replaced), the loose detail we have around the deal raises more questions than it answers about the sale of Shackell.
When Shackell was sold, the official line was, “we can replace him and strengthen other areas of the team with the money.” That’s fine if he was sold for £2m plus, but the much quoted £1.1m fee didn’t add up and sent the majority of Rams fans into meltdown.
Now it would appear that the fee we have paid for Keogh is ‘in excess of £1m’ and ‘the highest fee paid out by Nigel Clough at Derby’. Even Clough himself admitted we had ‘pushed the boat out’ to get the deal done. To my mind, this raises several questions which may or may not get answered as time goes by.
Did we really only get £1.1m for Shackell? Say what you like about Glick, but he’s no mug. What if the first payment was £1.1m going up to say £1.5 or nearer £2m with appearances or staged payments? As an aside, in the event that we did get significantly more then the £1.1m, Glick must have balls of steel to take the abuse that he did over the move.
Was there an issue with Shackell? Any CV with regular changes of employer raises a question about the individual and Shacks does seem to like his moves. I’ve heard whispers of a promised contract review that didn’t go to plan and there’s also the story that he was 1 or 2 appearances off us paying Barnsley another £250k. Maybe it was as simple as Clough thinking a fee plus saved £250k equals Keogh who is 4 years younger, at least as good and potentially a significantly bigger sell on value.
Did GSE misjudge the fans response to the Shackell sale? This ones a bit of curveball, but it seems strange that we went from one day selling our skipper for peanuts and looking at unemployed Scottish defenders as replacements, to Clough breaking his transfer record and bidding £500k for a reserve left back! All this and we haven’t even signed a striker yet. Maybe against the backdrop of fan revolt and Forest getting a significant windfall (which now seems to be a shit storm) the shackles (sorry) have been loosened a tad?
One thing that will be interesting when Glick leaves DCFC is to see how much of the Rams policy comes off his desk and how much is GSE directive. Whatever the answer, there is no doubt that Glick seems to have abandoned his notorious ponderous approach to transfer dealings in nailing the deals for Keogh and Coutts. I am sure that somebody somewhere (perhaps Tom himself) had Glick’s departure (3 weeks before the transfer window closes don’t forget) in mind with our “pro-active” closing of these deals.
Whatever the answers to the above, the ends certainly justify the means and, whilst I have maximum respect for Shacks, I can’t wait to see Keogh in a Rams shirt. Now if we can bag a top striker it might be time to get really excited.