Transfers are often pernickety things with more twists and turns than the Labyrinth at Knossos. Finding your way through each player deal is equally difficult as navigating the legendary maze built for King Minos.
Just when things seem done and dusted, the selling side often get the cloths out and polish another part of the deal – adding to the time it takes to get it done. Either that, or there’s the ubiquitous ‘late interest’ from another side – deal sidelined,
One deal that has gone from ‘done’ to ‘done up like a kipper’ was that involving the transfer of Daniel James from Swansea to Leeds United on Transfer Deadline Day, January 31.
James was at Eland Road the night ahead of the final day of the January window. The flying winger passed a medical with ease, a fee had been ‘agreed’, and he’d even filmed his intro video. It was just a case of waiting, waiting…waiting.
Hours ticked by, the minutes of the final hour ticked by and they dragged on to the death. What died was the ‘agreed’ deal that would have seen James swap one set of white for the Whites. A disagreement, a last-minute hitch scuppered the deal and James headed back to the Principality.
However, despite only press mutterings, very little has been said of the breaking down of the deal, until now. Possibly.
— Adam Pope (@apopey) February 23, 2019
The above are Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear’s programme notes ahead of today’s game at Elland Road against Bolton, a 2-1 win for the Whites.
Kinnear’s main gist is to lay bare his grievances against other clubs for their fantastical elaborations when it came to just what the Leeds United employee at the centre of the Spygate ‘scandal’ was carrying about his person.
If what a number of these clubs were reporting was true, he was tooled up like James Bond. This instance goes against the EFL’s regulation 3.4, the basis of which is that clubs will act in good faith towards each other. It was this regulation that Leeds United fell foul of with Spygate.
As well as commenting on this, Kinnear also seems to possibly aim a barb at Swansea and the failed hunt by Leeds United for Daniel James. Whilst this is not confirmed, and rests here as purely conjecture, Kinnear does say that he finds it interesting as to whether a revamped regulation 3.4 might become linked to in-play matters “or to the dark arts of the transfer market.”
Coincidence, or purposeful barb? No-one truly knows, but it does seem a little crafted to be a mere throwaway line.