I hate really getting into things that no one really knows about. Speculation becomes endless and ultimately there is no “right” answer or resolution. But, I think it’s at least interesting to see how the events unfolded between FC Dallas and Stoke City FC of the Premier League during their attempts to purchase Brek Shea this past week.
First, the initial word was that Shea had already been sold. Then we found out it was pending a physical or some sort of fitness test. This all made some sense due to the injury Shea was working to recover from. What was peculiar is that he hadn’t progressed to a point that he had been working with a ball just yet, or at least that was the rumor.
Next, it got strange. We hear a lot of random other things stating he’s going or not quiet yet. Then, at long last, we hear that MLS had actually nixed the deal for various reasons. I haven’t seen anything specifically but most pointing to the lack of adequate compensation for someone whom the league values in high regard. He has stared in Dick Sporting Good commercials, ya’ know.
It’s no secret that MLS would love to see Shea stay in the states and become that huge star that we thought was about to burst on to the scene just one year ago. But I’m not sure the Hoops feel the same, right now. Injuries came last season and so did the struggles a long with the rumours of contention with Head Coach Schellas Hyndman.
Its pretty obvious that we’re seeing a break-up in Dallas between the club and their young, 22 year-old, wide midfielder. The problem is that MLS still holds his contract and will so until they get what they feel is adequate compensation.
Most us know, if not entirely understand, that MLS act as a single entity. They control all the contracts within the league and work as the intermediary between their teams and prospective clubs interesting in the leagues talent. They have to be willing to sign off on any transfer outside the league or have refuse of the sell if they feel otherwise inclined.
This situation can be obviously frustrating to clubs and supporters a like and I’m sure Houston can at the very least relate to the feeling with their past experience with Geoff Cameron negotiations last year. I personally don’t see the purpose of them stopping someone like him from leaving the league if it means he’s going on to bigger and better things. While money is good, producing young talented players to go over and play in top European leagues is simply the best calling card. It’s truly what is going to raise interest in this league.
Back to Shea and the Dallas standstill.
It was absolutely poor timing on Dallas behalf to try and get this deal done. They should have known that the league office was going to shoot this down. Between the drop in performance and the current injury, that also kept him out of National Team camp, his market value is no where near it’s true peek.Instead, they should have taken a chapter from the Sounders playbook.
I’m not involved in anyway with the Sounders front office and I’m not cool enough to have friends that are. This is strickly me speaking. But looking at the national media buzz, and I mostly detest this but it’s a good indicator and the current perception. I don’t think the Sounders were going to ever get the transfer fee that was needed for them to “cash-in” on Fredy Montero this off-season.
Whether it was because both parties thought it was best, or one specific party wanted a separation, the Sounders struck a year long loan of Montero to Millonarios. This loan included a possible buy-out of nearly $4.5 million dollars U.S. This did a number of things but primarily and from a front office perspective: 1. it got Montero off the money books for next year and opened up a DP spot, 2. They did it without the need to go through MLS front office for approval. I’ve yet to see anything that dictates MLS need to approve/disapprove loan deals, which kind of circumvents the whole transfer fee process in a way. 3. They set up a team friendly transfer fee that would be suitable to MLS but doesn’t hold the club on the other necessarily accountable to anything financially.
This was a win/win, for both the player and the club. While supporters may have been disappointed neither the club nor Montero came away villainized through the process. It should make you exceedingly grateful for the front office we have and their ability to find inventive ways to get things done, when they need to be done.
Dallas should have followed in suit and rather than trying to get Shea to stoke via a transfer they should have attempted a long term loan deal with a prospective buy-out that would have pleased both club(s) and MLS. This is assuming that they didn’t of course to try such an option. Who knows how the conversations took place between FCD and Stoke City.
What we can know, is that our front office is very good at what they do.