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Lambert To Liverpool ! Usually This Would Be Good Business !
Friday, 30th May 2014 09:08

Back in January this would have looked a good bit of business for Saints, however at the moment it looks a lot lot less so.

The news that Rickie Lambert is apparently close to signing for Liverpool for a fee reported in some quarters to be as low as £4 million and in others as high as £9 million would in normal times be seen as a savvy move for a player who at 32 is nearing the end of his career.

Indeed this is just the sort of deal that ex Chairman Nicola Cortese would have been doing the proverbial snapping of hands off, in fact if some reports are right back in January he was doing just that with Sam Allardyce about to lose both hands.

But now given that just about all our squad are linked with one club or another, although financially this makes perfect sense as well as in footballing terms giving us a big fee to improve the squad, it feels like a kick in the teeth.

Personally I still think it is a good move, but not this week or next month, the board need to realise that as much as this is good business there is the morale factor in place should he go before the World Cup.

Rickie has been a great servant to the club, of that there is no doubt, he is one of its legend's and one of the most popular players in its history, it would be a difficult pill to swallow for many fans if he were to leave this summer, but that pill is made harder by the World Cup in Brazil, Saints fans want to see Rickie and indeed Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana go as Southampton players, most are coming to terms that we will lose a player or two this summer that we would rather hold on to, but first we want to enjoy them playing for their Country in a major tournament as Saints players.

None more so than Rickie Lambert, we have travelled every yard of these last 5 magical years with him and his going to the World Cup is something all Saints fans feel is a shared thing between him and us, if he goes as a Liverpool player rather than a Saints one, then that would leave many with a sour taste in their mouth's

Perhaps Ralph Krueger does not realise that, he has not spent enough time around the club yet to get a real feel for our soul, but CEO Gareth Rogers has been here for longer, he should surely realise what supporting Rickie in Brazil means to Saints fans and indeed what it stands for, if as has been said we do not have to sell players, then there is no reason why this deal should not be done after the tournament in Brazil is over.

Perhaps it is Rickie who is keen to see the deal go through, after all he is from Liverpool and is a lifelong supporter of the club, perhaps he feels that if he waits then they might not want to do the deal in six weeks time, for him perhaps he is nervous that if the deal isnt signed sealed and delivered he might miss the chance to complete what has been a five year period he could never have dreamed about, but the fact still remains that if he goes he will break a fair few hearts in Southampton.

Perhaps it is too late to stop it now, but if it isn't the Saints board should stand back and put it on hold, this is about more than making a few million pounds, its about firstly showing intent, from the boards perspective they need to be in control of the situation and give out an air of confidence to the fans, but secondly realising that the supporters need to have hope and they need a bit of a feelgood factor in what is a traumatic time, having one of our own in Brazil is a major part of that

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St_Guido added 09:16 - May 30
Still hoping this is all a major wind-up.....I cannot see why Liverpool would want Rickie at 32
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patred added 09:17 - May 30
like everyone I can fully understand Rickie wanting to return home at his stage in his career..and I wish him all the best.
However it is piss poor timing, coming the day after Krugers statement, and whilst he is away in Ukraine on club duties supporting our young guns representing thier country.
So who is negoiating this deal at this time?
Kruger said that Les Reed was in charge of all football matters until a new manager was in place.
I 'll remind you that no manager is in place and therefore Les Reed should take responsibilty for this situation.
The seeds for Rickies departure were sown in the first week of January this year.
Lambert was told that the club had accepted an offer for him from West Ham.
Allthough this represented a financial advantage to Rickie, he was reluctant to move to that club, preferring to end his playing days with us.
However the damage was done, his loyalty to this club was severely tested by the mere fact they were prepared to accept any deal for him.
Other players too were upset by this smack in the teeth to a player they all respected and looked up to.
The deal was only scuppered by Kat who booted the midget out, and stopped any negoiation between us and West Ham.
Cortese, on his own, could not achievce this transfer to a rival club, he had to have the backing of Pochettino and Les Reed.
Pochettino has gone, Cortese has gone...but Reed remains.
Reed has negoiated this deal with Liverpool, whether it was with Krugers and or Kats knowledge, makes no difference.
But he backed Cortese in January, or didn't have the balls to argue against it when Lambert was nearly sold against his will.
Players were hacked off with this, and we are now reaping the seeds those 3 had sown in January.

And, he should be made accountable for it
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landsdownsaint added 09:31 - May 30
This just wouldn't have happened under NC! ,and his fee will be about 4 million .The only thing I can hope for is he isn't in Koemans or Yakims plans! I really am not sure about Krueger or Katherine ,worrying times ahead ...again!
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saintstowin added 09:33 - May 30
I’m more upset by this, especially with the timing, than I am with Lallana/Shaw/everyone else’s possible departures. I’m sorry but we have to be tough now. Even if tough simply is delaying the transfer. Even if it’s a dream move and possibly inevitable, I completely agree that we need to say ‘sorry Rickie you need to hang on until later in the summer’. £9m, £4m, whatever, it isn’t a massive fee we desperately need to take advantage of - albeit a high one for a 32 year old. And this is before we talk about the impact his departure will have in goals scored and goals made and morale. Purely – as per your article – in feelgood/feelbad factor, I for one would be gutted if he took to the field as a Liverpool player in Brazil. I think I could still cheer him on but it wouldn’t be the same. Rickie, even more than Lallana, Shaw and Rodriguez, I was desperate for him to get there once he made his surprise debut in August. We have no reason to sell now and crikey please don’t sell before a new manager comes in and lines up replacements.
And as an aside – if and when players go, can we please (for once) play it hard and demand some decent swaps plus transfer fees – surely that’s a good way to rebuild, when we are in a strong negotiation position as we know clubs are desperate for our stars.
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SanMarco added 09:51 - May 30
I agree that the timing here is dreadful for both World Cup and the 'no in and outs until new manager appointed' which, unless a secret manager is now in place has been rather exposed as a pile of bs.

This is good business for the club but why not do it after the WC. This will rile the angry brigade like nobody's business and is to say the least bad public relations. Having said all that it is a good move for Ricky and we will all wish him well I am sure.

I also assume, given the history in January that lansdownsaint's "This just wouldn't have happened under NC" is ironic humour aimed at the NC groupies.
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ExiledSupporter added 10:18 - May 30
For goodness sake, if we grudgingly agree that there seems to be no room left in football for loyalty, then why do we suddenly plunge into the depths of sentimentality.

Accepting good offers ie. worth more in cash and what we might buy with it than the perceived future value of any player to the club, makes good business sense. NC had no time for sentimentality when he dismissed Pardew and Adkins...this is a part of the frequently cited "Southampton Way", albeit rather less palatable

For Rickie it would be a good deal (which he deserves) both in terms of money and returning home; it makes sense for both club and player just in case he gets injured in Brazil and although I would have hoped the incoming manager would have had an opportunity to sanction a deal it seems highly unlikely that Rickie would have had more than a role as an impact sub in the coming season.

Let him go with our very best wishes and sincerest thanks, secure in the knowledge that he is an England player because of Southampton and not Liverpool.
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NewburySaint added 10:23 - May 30
1st time poster here having been a reader of the excellent UgLy in it's many guises since the late 80's.-this latest rumour/imminent transfer has finally cracked me!
On the evening of NC's departure in Jan. i sent a text to 5 Live which i started with "Make no mistake Cortese leaving us will be a bigger loss than any 1 player" which was read out with a number of other texts intimating the same thing-the gist of my text was that with NC going MOPO will follow because he'd said as much and as will some of the players who'd already pledged their allegiance to NC or & MOPO. This subject was debated at length by the panel, and even your good self Nick was interviewed on air, and the panel came to the conclusion that a Chairman leaving shall not / will not affect a Football Club like some of us were suggesting.
I believe we are now seeing the full extent of NC's departure coming to fruition.because our new board appear to be at best incredibly naive, at worst clueless, in how to run a football club-i put the emphasis on Football Club and not business. And i lay most of the blame at the so called football man on our board, our Football Director Les Reed.who apparently oversees all football / team matters but is making an incredible hash of doing this. But let's not forget before Mr Reed was appointed to the board, before he came to us even, he was nothing more than a coach and not a very good 1 at that. By the way i don't blame the Manager or player's for leaving-some have said as much and are sticking to their word.
Can i aslo throw out there should Mr Reed not resign or be sacked-as Football Director he has overseen the loss of a Manager, who will not be replaced to the standard that MOPO was / is currently at, and more than likely half the playing team from last season, and the better half at that-surely all this points to a man not doing his his job properly?? And lets not even get into his impromptu press conference at the end of April!
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brady100 added 10:29 - May 30
Absolutely gutted! I never saw this coming, makes financial sense and a dream move for Rickie. Losing our figurehead just before the world cup where each if us was proud to call him a saints player is a bitter pill to swallow. More to follow unfortunately, and replaced by second rate.
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SaintGeorge added 10:33 - May 30
How does it make financial sense Brady? How are we gonna replace a full international striker with 4 million quid?

WE ARE BEING ASSET STRIPPED - and maliciously so.
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IanRC added 10:36 - May 30
Whilst I only have gratitude for Rickie's contribution over the years, I agree entirely with this article. The thing that has meant so much to me through all the newspaper gossip is thinking that three Saints players will represent England at the World Cup. I do hope that the club and Rickie do the decent thing and put this on hold until after that tournament.
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VeloSaint added 10:38 - May 30
Putting aside the emotional knee jerk reaction to this, you have to wonder why the club were preparing to offload him in January (sanctioned by NC) and are now willing to push through this deal both before the World Cup and a day or so after the Chairman said that no one would be leaving prior to the new manager coming in. It could simply be cold hard economics or perhaps there's something else (injury wise perhaps?). Either way the right offer was always going to be entertained for Lambert regardless of who the Chairman was.

See its a 2 year deal, must be some package for him and will probably keep him in the England squad post the world cup as well which wouldn't have happened had he stayed. Still an odd decision for Liverpool to want him, can't see any other side above us being remotely interested. He'll spend a lot of time on their bench, but the irony is over the course of the next 12 months I'd have expected him to be spending more time on our bench as well, perhaps he's well aware of this. Good luck to him, seems a smart choice for him and providing the fee is right for us as well. Emotionally its a kick in the teeth though and harder to give the new board any more benefit of the doubt. They need to play a blinder with the new manager and in the transfer market this summer. Shame to see the outstanding team spirit start to be pulled apart and it will take some effort to replace.
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REEDYREEDOREEDZ added 10:38 - May 30
Rickie wants to play for Liverpool, his boyhood club. Its his dream to play for Liverpool and now he has the chance to.
You can't blame the board for this. Rickie would've told them he wants to leave and play for Liverpool. They can't hold him against his will. He's been an amazing player for us, but he's past his best. Last season he was knackered after an hour and constantly got subbed for Gallagher.
Liverpool will use him as an impact sub if they need something different in attack, and Lambert will be great at that. He's very good at coming on and changing the game and scoring a goal, we've seen him do that plenty of times for Saints v Chelsea away, Man City away, Norwich home immediately spring to mind as well as for England at home to Scotland. Fair play to Lambert. He's been a great servant and now we've got to let him leave to achieve his final dream. It is a blow for us but we've got to move on and let him go and not blame the board. Lambert would never get another chance to play for Liverpool and I don't blame him for wanting to do that.

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cheltenhamsaint added 10:41 - May 30
Other than Jason Puncheon, who left for family reasons and with our good wishes before their tenure in reality, the current board haven't actually sold anyone (for money). Or have I missed a transfer?
You cannot stop other clubs making bids and leaking it to the press in order to stir things up. And they appear to achieved what they wanted - a fan base turning against the owner and her management team, when actually they haven't sold anyone to date.
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vectis added 10:50 - May 30
Sorry to see Rickie go. Hoped he would see out his career with us. But come on...cant begrudge the man this move. Its the final step (perhaps) in the fairytale rise of Rickie Lambert. Good luck Rickie. You will be missed.

I don't think he will the last to go either. Lets see what happens with the money that comes in...oh and smart money is on Koeman now.
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saintwizzler added 11:01 - May 30
Velosaint - 'See its a 2 year deal, must be some package for him and will probably keep him in the England squad post the world cup as well which wouldn't have happened had he stayed. Still an odd decision for Liverpool to want him, can't see any other side above us being remotely interested. He'll spend a lot of time on their bench, but the irony is over the course of the next 12 months I'd have expected him to be spending more time on our bench as well, perhaps he's well aware of this. Good luck to him, seems a smart choice for him and providing the fee is right for us as well.'

Couldn't agree more. 👍
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undertoomers added 11:19 - May 30
we`ll never replace Ricky with anyone with his skillset of good build up play, goal assists , goals & 100% penalty strike rate. With the correlation of goals scored to points gained, you can conservativly say that his performances contributes to 15 points a season. Without him (and 15 points) we`d struggle to stay up. We`d surely not sale him purly for the money, at what £750,000 per place x the number of places we`d drop, & heaven forbid the finances we`d lose if we were to be "R" word. it would`nt make sense. We can only be selling him because he wants to go, that would be very kind of us, but the first thing to learn is that there is no room for sentiment in football. He is just too precious to our team at the moment. If we let him go, we`d have just sam gallagher untill christmas. There`s always Osvaldo & Mayuka to come back, BLOODY HELL. Having said this, I`m going down to renew season tickets in a minute. If I new we were going to be in red & white shirts not forgetting black shorts this gloom would lift off my shoulers. Managers & players will always come & go, but the strip must stay the same. P.S. It`s got to be Eddie Howe, though Laudrup would`nt be too bad.
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BaselSaint added 11:31 - May 30
You are right Nick, it is hard to take but without getting misty eyed about all this I think we are basically victims of our own success and as such are one of the most scrutinised clubs now. Practically speaking I would be very happy if retained the spine of the team which I feel was the key to the good season we had. Namely; Borich, Lovren, S. Davies., Morgan, Cork , hopefully Lalana and of course JRod. The rest can certainly be bought,
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perazi added 11:39 - May 30
The winds of change are certainly blowing around St Marys. Agree with you Nick, the timing of this announcement is deflating, coming before the WC and immediately on top of MP's departure. I agree with several other posters, the role of Les Reed at the Club has me both worried and unimpressed; maybe it's time to review his position and influence.
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kingslandstand1 added 13:33 - May 30
All this "Ricky deserves to go" etc etc. Sorry, I cannot accept that. He, like Lalla, JRod Victor, Spiderman, shaw and all the others are under contract to SFC. Yes they have stuck with us through thick and thin and got us to these dizzy heights after the doldrums of 5 years ago, but it is also the club that have paved the way for them with more financial back up in those lower divisions than any other team down there to get them to where we all are now

I know Pat has got a gripe against Les Reed and no one is sure who if anyone is doing any "negotiating", as someone above has said, "no ones gone yet", but these players also owe the club something

We have had a great season and there is (could be) plenty to look forward to if we can add just a few quality players (Ok, let Shaw go and spend the dosh of that one sale) and can go on and achieve something

it wasn't that long ago that "SRL" said he'd like to finish his playing days with us, but the cynic in me says that he forgot to add "unless someone else comes in for me, particularly Liverpool

WE have helped develop these players in to the players they are now and this is how they (or more likely their agents) repay us

rant over!!
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BoondockSaint added 13:51 - May 30
Hate to see him go, but as long as it's what he wants, I have no problem.

It does fit the formula of not keeping players over 30 (unless they are goalkeepers).

It should be package deal-like with ticket sales where in order get tickets against a big famous team, you have to buy them packaged with tickets to a game with a small team-so if the Scouse want Rickie they have to take a package of him and Osvaldo!

-1

saintmark1976 added 14:26 - May 30
Good luck to Rickie.He deserves one big pay day having mostly played a career in the lower divisions.

Before or after the world Cup? Does it really matter? If he is a Liverpool player then there is no chance of a problem for us if he is injured in Brazil.

However, what is starting to concern me are the comments of our Director of Football and our Chairman. In my opinion they both fall into the category of "talking a lot but not actually saying anything" people.
1

beynali73 added 15:46 - May 30
I think SRL going is a barometer of what is to come in terms of selling players. £4 million is the price we paid for Rory Delap 10 years ago. Allowing for inflation that makes SRL worth a few hundred thousand. I am not looking forward to the summer as I fear we are going to lose 7 or so key players. It has taken Saints 5 years to build up the the team spirit which helped us to win promotions and do well in the premiership. Hopefully the tens of millions saints make in transfer fees gets reinvested wisely. However team spirit is priceless and that will take a long time to rebuild.
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wazzosan added 17:27 - May 30
Who is going to get us goals next season? J-rod is injured, Gallagher hasn't found the net yet, Gaston is out of favour. SRL's main asset is that he scores goals. 4 million may be a good price but what could we get with that 4 mil? Who will replace him? Who will want to come to Saints when it seems that all the valuable players are leaving?
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ThereIn76 added 17:33 - May 30
If SRL has his heart set on moving to Liverpool and Saints have received an offer they're happy with, what is the point of delaying things until after the World Cup? Better to do the deal now and start focusing on getting a replacement or two lined up.

Obviously nobody saw this coming - if there was one of the three Saints in the England squad who we would all have put our houses on kicking off the new season with Saints it would have been SRL. But I genuinely believe there is no club he would leave us for but Liverpool. Even if he went on a free transfer, we've more than got our money's worth. He's a Saints legend alongside Paine, Davies, Channon, Le Tiss and any others you care to name. He's worked so hard for everything he's achieved and for the last five years it's Saints who've reaped the benefit. He deserves this opportunity and it is only right that he should have it. If Ralph Kruger tried to stop him it would not be a sign of strength, but pettiness.

Every problem is an opportunity. The test of Kruger is not who he tries to hang onto against their well, but who he brings in who believes in the Southampton Way and is prepared to work had to achieve success.
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landsdownsaint added 18:28 - May 30
I cannot believe the posts on here regards Lambert going !? Wish him well!? No I don't coz I want to see my favorite and our best footballer in our ( hopefully ) red & white stripes !! We are in all sorts of bother under this board end of!
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