It is not even July, but already Crawley Town’s bosses have shot themselves in the proverbial foot and sold topscorer James Collins to fierce League Two rivals Luton Town.
It is a decision that borders on the imbecilic. I do not know who is responsible but I have my suspicions.
Firstly the decision is an insult to the Reds’ long-suffering fans.
Collins’ prowess as a goaltaker that saw him hit the net a couple of dozen times for a struggling side offered the hope that with better close support and an improved supply line, Crawley could become a genuine attacking threat in the forthcoming campaign.
New manager Harry Kewell impressed the club with his enthusiasm and positive outlook but he has been sold down the river and will have to start from scratch in a search to find an adequate replacement. That will not be easy.
As for the supporters I am sure there will be very few who think the move can be justified from a footballing point of view.
Most were happy that under Ziya Eren’s ownership Crawley Town no longer led a hand-to-mouth existence.
Now we wonder whether we have been misled and that the club desperately needed to take money rather than points from the Hatters.
Whatever Collo himself might say about the transfer it is nothing less than a tragedy for the Crawley Town family.
In addition to the extra pressures placed on the team managers the fans’ reactions will essentially be that no one cares what they think or feel.
So is it down to money? If so then the deal is almost certainly a disaster. We note that the fee has not been disclosed and I understand the implications here following a discussion with former CEO Michael Dunford after the signing of Gavin Tomlin.
That lack of disclosure (or transparency) means that the Crawley Observer’s revelation a few days ago offers a figure to conjure with.
If we start with £250,000 we can put things into perspective.
For example we can consider Dominic Solanke; recently bought by Liverpool from Chelsea with the fee to be decided by tribunal because of his age.
It is believed that fee will be set at up to £3 million.
Even if Luton Town offered more a quarter of a million for Collins the inference from a figure that is ten times greater is that Solanke is ten times a better striker than Collo. That is arrant nonsense.
The old adage about knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing has never been better illustrated than by the transfer fees paid for Premier League footballers, especially strikers. Monopoly money isn’t the half of it.
If Everton can ask for £100 million for Romelu Lukaku then Crawley could reasonably have priced Collins at a million. I don’t expect they did so can someone please tell me I’m wrong.