These Foolish Ings. The Rumour Mill Goes Into Overdrive About Danny !
Wednesday, 20th Jan 2021 10:26
The media suddenly seem to have stepped up a gear in the will he won't he Danny Ings new contract saga at Southampton, Tottenham have been linked, Liverpool have been linked, Leicester have been linked, but where do they get their info from ?
If there is one thing managers do in football, at least the good ones, it is play their cards close to their chests, in general they try to get transfer deals done quietly and quickly and under the radar, they do that because they want to do one thing and that is keep the price down.
They do not want to get into bidding wars with other clubs over not only the transfer fee but the player's wages.
Most noise in transfer windows is being generated by the press fuelled by agents, I say this every transfer window, but it is true and the situation with Danny Ings is no different.
It is not just Ings agent who will be putting the word about to the media but dozens of them, a big deal often triggers a chain reaction that at the top end can be clearly seen, but is still going right down the divisions, so somewhere right down the chain is an agent putting out an ings story, in the hope that if the player gets sold then it will trigger a deal for his replacement and about 4 down the line his client will get a move to a League 1 club.
Transfer rumours are big money spinners for the media, they generate page clicks which generate more ad income and they sell newspapers.
There are only two genuine global clubs in English football, Liverpool & Manchester United and if you link one of those clubs as a media outlet on line then you are guaranteed millions of page hits from across the World and that generates a lot of money you are hitting a truly global market.
The truth though, going back to Danny Ings, is at the moment it is hard to see who has got the money to spend, everyone is hit by this virus financially and have seen their income drop massively, it is the fan base that generates the differential income and by that I mean the income over and above the Premier League and TV money which broadly speaking is not massively different for the club finishing 5th from top and the one 5th from bottom.
For Premier League clubs it is that money on top that buys the players and that relies on size of the fanbase that either directly through buying tickets and merchandise or indirectly by the sponsorship and advertising the club can generate itself '
Manchester united get around £70 million for their shirt sponsor, Saints around £7 million, that is what buys you Danny Ings, that £63 million differential money, not the £16 million difference in prize money between Saints in 11th last season and United in 3rd.
For a lot of clubs the advertising revenue has all dried up, hence Spurs have had to take out massive loans and they are not alone, no one has got a lot of cash to splash around at the moment. The veneer of the Premier League is that it is the richest and most successful league in the World, the truth is that in this pandemic only around 3 clubs are comfortable, the rest are losing money hand over fist.
Saints were lucky in some respects in that the owner Jisheng Gao due to the trade war between China and the West was unable to get money out of China and into Saints, that means we had to run as a business and that has helped in the past year, but we are still losing £3 million a month, god knows what Tottenham are losing having to service massive debt spent to build the stadium and no revenue from that stadium to service it.
So if we take away who can afford Ings in this climate then there is the question of who would want him, Leicester could do with him to replace Vardy, but Vardy has just turned 34, he has no sale value, Leicester's problem is that they have to find money to replace a man who if he was 27 would cost them £50-60 million in terms of his goal scoring value.
The probably cant even get his wages off the books as he still has two years left on his contract.
The issue Saints have is finding the extra money Ings wants, at the moment that is difficult, we are losing £3 million a month, we do not want to add that to that debt, behind the scenes we will be trying to raise that cash, hence trying to get Wesley Hoedt off the books this window as was rumoured last month, I would be surprised if this happens, why would Lazio pay for a player they could get for free in the summer and why would Hoedt drop his wages now and also miss out on his loyalty bonus in July at the end of his contract ?
But there will come a time when it hits a point where we find out whether anyone is serious about buying Ings or he realises that it is all folly.
Ryan Bertrand was linked with a move to a top four club literally every summer since he arrived in 2014, but it was all just agent and media talk, when he realised that there was no substance in what his agent was telling him and the media pumping out it did his head in for a while, but now he has got his head around the fact that he will end his career here and his form returned.
Danny Ings is a great player but he will be 29 at the end of the season, the truly big clubs will feel that his shelf life is short and perhaps more importantly his sell on value is going to be non existent.
There is also the question of his fitness, last season was the only one where he stayed injury free, this season he has had issues.
He is not an attractive transfer in this respect, Liverpool & Manchester United can afford him, but it doesn't fit their strategy, Manchester City don't need him, Arsenal can't afford him, in the big six that leaves just Tottenham & Chelsea, Spurs are said to be in the hunt, but it is a question of cash for them, if they could squeeze the cash, it is a lot of money for a player who would be behind Son & Kane in the pecking order and that being the case would Ings want to go to be back up ?
Chelsea can afford him, but they don't need him, at least in terms of who they have at the moment, albeit they are misfiring.
Leicester haven't got the money and are they going to mount a serious Champions League challenge if they qualify ? probably not.
So Danny has to ask himself some serious questions in the next few months, is he going to chase money or success.
If he wants the money, then I'm sure Spurs will oblige, they will do their normal snidy derisory offer in the summer, looking to disturb the player as they have done to us over the last 30 years starting with Neil Ruddock, through Dean Richards & Victor Wanyama with Hojbjerg being the latest in that line.
What it is going to come to is Danny Ings himself, from a footballing point of view a good end to this season will see him make the England squad for this summers European Championships, but the pinnacle of his career would be playing in a World Cup Final, this should be his priority.
No one will remember a defeat in the quarter finals of the Champions League, but in terms of glory they will remember a glorious campaign in a World Cup.
Danny has to decide whether to potentially upset the apple cart with a big move that may see him in a Champions League squad, but with a big price tag on his shoulders to justify and a media once so praising now looking to pull him apart as the latest big money flop when he suddenly can't gel in his new team.
If he stays at St Mary's he remains a hero in his home City, he is in a side that plays to his strengths, it is the best place for him to play to his highest standards and force his way into the England team.
The glory for Danny Ings is to be found in Saints and England, not in a couple of years in a Big Six squad.
I don't blame Ings for deliberating and holding out for the best deal, that is the right thing to do for any player, in truth Saints won't be too upset, it gives them time to raise the money and when they get Wesley Hoedt off the books more salary money freed up to pay Ings.
But from a Saints perspective they are in a win win situation, at the moment they have a player who is in form and with ambition, if he stays then we can benefit from that.
But at some time we have to replace him, in truth we don't want to be in the Leicester position where our star striker has grown old and we haven't got the money too replace him.
The Saints way has always been about finding players, bringing them on, selling them and replacing them, strengthening the squad in the process.
This has been the Southampton Way since Ted Bates in the 1950's, it has never been any different in the last 60 years, so why do people get so het up when a successful process is about to be repeated.
If you want to support a club that spends £70 million on a player and pays him £125k a week, then you need to change allegiances now, the Southampton Way has brought us success in that last 60 years, it only fails when we don't reinvest the money wisely.
I would say that if we are selling players that doesn't make us a club that lacks ambition, it makes us a club that knows how to succeed and take on the big boys on our own terms, we can't do it on their terms ie money.
If we are not selling players, that doesn't mean we have ambition, it means we have failed as we have no one that anyone wants to buy.
We had a blip 4-5 years ago, but the people who were in charge then are gone, we are now back on track, lets stop harping on about what went wrong and look to what we are doing right.
We obviously want Danny Ings to stay and help with Ralph Hasenhuttl's project, but the Austrian himself knows the score and has said himself that football clubs have to keep movin forward, players don't stay at clubs forever it is only a question of when they leave and when they do we move on.
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Letters from Wiltshire #34 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #33 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #32 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #31 by wessex_exile
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Letters from Wiltshire #30 by wessex_exile
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