Fee Arsenal paid Southampton for Alex Chamberlain highlights football's madness

Daily Echo: Alex Chamberlain Alex Chamberlain

I KNOW we’ve been out of the Premier League for a while now, but have things really changed so much?

The top flight has long been swimming in cash to the point the clubs just throw it at things, and then still make a loss.

But the fee paid out for Alex Chamberlain, well, it has just left me dumbfounded.

As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, it could be as much as £15m.

A decade and-a-half ago, that amount of money took Alan Shearer from Blackburn to Newcastle – a world record at the time which got you the best centre forward of the day.

The fact that Arsene Wenger was prepared to pay so much for a 17-year-old with just over a year’s pro experience, in a position where Arsenal are hardly lacking, underlines the fact that football is eating itself.

Last January, Andy Carroll went from Tyneside to Merseyside for £35m – that was insane enough in itself, but the Chamberlain move is something else.

I don’t blame the kid for moving and any cries of the move being bad for him or of him and his dad being greedy are wide of the mark. After all, who wouldn't do the same in their own line of work?

Back here though, Saints have never been big spenders.

It looks like after 10 years we have only now bid an amount which surpasses our transfer record for £4m for Rory Delap – which itself was double the previous record for David Hirst.

But the rate at which transfer fees have increased since Saints first dropped out of the top flight has left my head spinning a little.

Rupert Lowe did great business getting (a then) gargantuan £8.1m for the late Dean Richards and the £7m for Peter Crouch, less than a year after paying £2m for him, wasn’t shabby either.

But his highlight had to be getting a deal then worth £12.1m for Theo Walcott, aged 16 and not yet a full professional.

If the player had been so minded, he could have held on and Arsenal would have paid perhaps just a few hundred thousand quid via a tribunal.

We could all say (and many do) a lot of things about Lowe’s tenure, but he certainly knew how to squeeze cash out of potential suitors.

(At this point I should also point out that the Walcott deal was later renegotiated down to around £8m when the next board of directors were trying to stave off administration and the club needed a quick injection of cash).

But how Cortese has got a guaranteed £12m plus a potential £3m more, I’ll never know – not least because I can’t see why any of the big clubs need to spend that amount of cash on what can only be described as fantastic potential.

I wish Chamberlain well, I really do. I just don’t understand the money being thrown around.

To be quite honest, it is all a little bit distasteful when held up alongside the ‘austerity’ the remainder of society is going through.

But, that’s football. It’s not a business.

It’s a bubble. A bubble which has long defied predictions of a burst and currently shows no sign of stopping its inflation.

And while that continues, the money thrown about in the top flight will only continue to to make the rest of us watch agog.

The Sports Pink Online

The Sports Pink is now available to read online. The latest edition goes live every Saturday night.
Click the front page for more information!

Comments (15)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:29pm Mon 15 Aug 11

Tirau Dan says...

. Sorry dan but the Walcott case contradicts your opinion that things are getting awry these days. The expert scouts and top flight managers are the ones who identify a potential star and pay for that potential. There are thousands of kids out there worth a shot at professional football but Walcott and Chamberlain were picked as potential world beaters. The Walcott case also shows that Arsenal haven't realised Theo's potential, he's a good player but Saints fans know he could have been much better. Will they do better with Alex? I hope so but honestly doubt it. Games in the Saints campaign this year coud have shown off his real potential and doubled his value. Impatience and pressure from his father denied us the chance to see him come on.
The Lowe analagies are low as well. The players earned respect on the field for Saints and fetched a good price.. the club really see the money. That era was more than "a little bit distasteful "
Yes football pays way too much to players but look at the wage of the lowest paid pros and follow the margins to the top. Where exactly do the margins change is it just at the very top few clubs that play in Europe?
. Sorry dan but the Walcott case contradicts your opinion that things are getting awry these days. The expert scouts and top flight managers are the ones who identify a potential star and pay for that potential. There are thousands of kids out there worth a shot at professional football but Walcott and Chamberlain were picked as potential world beaters. The Walcott case also shows that Arsenal haven't realised Theo's potential, he's a good player but Saints fans know he could have been much better. Will they do better with Alex? I hope so but honestly doubt it. Games in the Saints campaign this year coud have shown off his real potential and doubled his value. Impatience and pressure from his father denied us the chance to see him come on. The Lowe analagies are low as well. The players earned respect on the field for Saints and fetched a good price.. the club really see the money. That era was more than "a little bit distasteful " Yes football pays way too much to players but look at the wage of the lowest paid pros and follow the margins to the top. Where exactly do the margins change is it just at the very top few clubs that play in Europe? Tirau Dan
  • Score: 0

9:31am Tue 16 Aug 11

ÚTS says...

Tirau Dan wrote:
. Sorry dan but the Walcott case contradicts your opinion that things are getting awry these days. The expert scouts and top flight managers are the ones who identify a potential star and pay for that potential. There are thousands of kids out there worth a shot at professional football but Walcott and Chamberlain were picked as potential world beaters. The Walcott case also shows that Arsenal haven't realised Theo's potential, he's a good player but Saints fans know he could have been much better. Will they do better with Alex? I hope so but honestly doubt it. Games in the Saints campaign this year coud have shown off his real potential and doubled his value. Impatience and pressure from his father denied us the chance to see him come on.
The Lowe analagies are low as well. The players earned respect on the field for Saints and fetched a good price.. the club really see the money. That era was more than "a little bit distasteful "
Yes football pays way too much to players but look at the wage of the lowest paid pros and follow the margins to the top. Where exactly do the margins change is it just at the very top few clubs that play in Europe?
I'm sorry, but I have no idea what your talking about.

Walcot has scored international hattricks, been at a WC, beaten Barcelona and scored Champsions League goals. How would playing against the likes of Doncaster make him better than playing against Barca?

And what are you talking about "Lowe analagies being low"? What does that mean? RL did get very good prices for players. Whats wrong with that?
[quote][p][bold]Tirau Dan[/bold] wrote: . Sorry dan but the Walcott case contradicts your opinion that things are getting awry these days. The expert scouts and top flight managers are the ones who identify a potential star and pay for that potential. There are thousands of kids out there worth a shot at professional football but Walcott and Chamberlain were picked as potential world beaters. The Walcott case also shows that Arsenal haven't realised Theo's potential, he's a good player but Saints fans know he could have been much better. Will they do better with Alex? I hope so but honestly doubt it. Games in the Saints campaign this year coud have shown off his real potential and doubled his value. Impatience and pressure from his father denied us the chance to see him come on. The Lowe analagies are low as well. The players earned respect on the field for Saints and fetched a good price.. the club really see the money. That era was more than "a little bit distasteful " Yes football pays way too much to players but look at the wage of the lowest paid pros and follow the margins to the top. Where exactly do the margins change is it just at the very top few clubs that play in Europe?[/p][/quote]I'm sorry, but I have no idea what your talking about. Walcot has scored international hattricks, been at a WC, beaten Barcelona and scored Champsions League goals. How would playing against the likes of Doncaster make him better than playing against Barca? And what are you talking about "Lowe analagies being low"? What does that mean? RL did get very good prices for players. Whats wrong with that? ÚTS
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Tue 16 Aug 11

HorndeanSaint says...

I think there is a bot of Maori in there somewhere UTS, very difficult to understand what points are being made.
Whilst the Dark Lord may have negotiated good prices for players, the issue was that the hard cash seemed to disappear like mist on a sunny summer morning, never to be seen again
I think there is a bot of Maori in there somewhere UTS, very difficult to understand what points are being made. Whilst the Dark Lord may have negotiated good prices for players, the issue was that the hard cash seemed to disappear like mist on a sunny summer morning, never to be seen again HorndeanSaint
  • Score: 0

5:59pm Tue 16 Aug 11

COYR Ranger says...

Well done NC, just keep the cool. Be the astute Businessman in football!
Well done NC, just keep the cool. Be the astute Businessman in football! COYR Ranger
  • Score: 0

1:30am Wed 17 Aug 11

Hriuke says...

Anyone who mentions Rupert Lowe in regards to good business needs their head examined!
IMO
Anyone who mentions Rupert Lowe in regards to good business needs their head examined! IMO Hriuke
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Wed 17 Aug 11

SpLiDgE says...

Hriuke wrote:
Anyone who mentions Rupert Lowe in regards to good business needs their head examined!
IMO
I couldn't have put it better myself. RL was a crook in opinion, he extorted what he could. He never see a team with fans, he only see a business he could make from.
[quote][p][bold]Hriuke[/bold] wrote: Anyone who mentions Rupert Lowe in regards to good business needs their head examined! IMO[/p][/quote]I couldn't have put it better myself. RL was a crook in opinion, he extorted what he could. He never see a team with fans, he only see a business he could make from. SpLiDgE
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Wed 17 Aug 11

SpLiDgE says...

I couldn't have put it better myself. RL was a crook in opinion, he extorted what he could. He never see a team with fans, he only see a business he could make from.
I couldn't have put it better myself. RL was a crook in opinion, he extorted what he could. He never see a team with fans, he only see a business he could make from. SpLiDgE
  • Score: 0

11:47am Thu 18 Aug 11

lowe esteem says...

I know you reside in the Chapel of rest Dan, and i get your point, but the Chamberlain example is ridiculous. Andy Carroll maybe, but AOC comes from a club with a proven nursery that produces excellent players. Time will tell, but I think this deal has suited all three parties, though two in the short-term were more desperate for it to happen than the other. Please name me two of the best home-grown British players plying their trade in the Prem, consider their value (market forces etc) and then consider yourself thoroughly told off by a senior. We all know that the Sky will inevitably fall in on the Prem-isn't it lovely that Saints are well-placed to take advantage.
I know you reside in the Chapel of rest Dan, and i get your point, but the Chamberlain example is ridiculous. Andy Carroll maybe, but AOC comes from a club with a proven nursery that produces excellent players. Time will tell, but I think this deal has suited all three parties, though two in the short-term were more desperate for it to happen than the other. Please name me two of the best home-grown British players plying their trade in the Prem, consider their value (market forces etc) and then consider yourself thoroughly told off by a senior. We all know that the Sky will inevitably fall in on the Prem-isn't it lovely that Saints are well-placed to take advantage. lowe esteem
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Thu 18 Aug 11

Dan Kerins says...

I'm not too sure why I'm being told off! My point is about how transfer fees have run out of control.

For example, Burnley are apparently holding out for £6m for Jay Rodriguez - a price many fans are baulking at.

But, he's played at a higher level than Chamberlain, been a professional for longer and scored more goals last season. On that basis, logic would suggest that he should cost more than Chamberlain.

Then also consider that Javier Hernandez cost about £7m and Chamberlain's fee looks rather out of place. (Also, strikers tend to be more expensive than midfielders, as a rule of thumb).

At least Andy Carroll had played well in the Premier League (and lets not forget Liverpool suddenly had time against them and £50m burning a hole). Chamberlain had only done it in League 1.

You have to tip your hat to Saints for getting that incredible deal, but the fact that were prepared to pay that amount doesn't seem to have raised too many eyebrows in the footballing fraternity underlines how far out of touch with the rest of the world English football is.
I'm not too sure why I'm being told off! My point is about how transfer fees have run out of control. For example, Burnley are apparently holding out for £6m for Jay Rodriguez - a price many fans are baulking at. But, he's played at a higher level than Chamberlain, been a professional for longer and scored more goals last season. On that basis, logic would suggest that he should cost more than Chamberlain. Then also consider that Javier Hernandez cost about £7m and Chamberlain's fee looks rather out of place. (Also, strikers tend to be more expensive than midfielders, as a rule of thumb). At least Andy Carroll had played well in the Premier League (and lets not forget Liverpool suddenly had time against them and £50m burning a hole). Chamberlain had only done it in League 1. You have to tip your hat to Saints for getting that incredible deal, but the fact that were prepared to pay that amount doesn't seem to have raised too many eyebrows in the footballing fraternity underlines how far out of touch with the rest of the world English football is. Dan Kerins
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Sat 20 Aug 11

Tirau Dan says...

No telling off Dan and agreed tings are out of hand but I don't see the money paid for Alex as wrong as pundits and scouts really rate him as an age group international. J Rod price seems 20-30% inflated maybe? Prices are like realty purely market driven with agents scouts and greed all playing a role. I think the real shame in football is wages and sport betting fuelled allegations of corruption.
Re lowe though.. no comparism...he got a good price yes but nc has invested money and shows transparency a leading light in football imho
No telling off Dan and agreed tings are out of hand but I don't see the money paid for Alex as wrong as pundits and scouts really rate him as an age group international. J Rod price seems 20-30% inflated maybe? Prices are like realty purely market driven with agents scouts and greed all playing a role. I think the real shame in football is wages and sport betting fuelled allegations of corruption. Re lowe though.. no comparism...he got a good price yes but nc has invested money and shows transparency a leading light in football imho Tirau Dan
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Sat 20 Aug 11

The Wickham Man says...

Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway?
Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway? The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Mon 22 Aug 11

Tirau Dan says...

"polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side" "don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants"

Unbelievable fan or what? !%#@#
"polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side" "don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants" Unbelievable fan or what? !%#@# Tirau Dan
  • Score: 0

11:11pm Thu 25 Aug 11

DebHavard says...

i dont thin k southamtpon should buy this player 15 million ponds is far too much money.. southampton should spend money more wisley on public transports or building more prisons or inprovening the roads
hope-mark
i dont thin k southamtpon should buy this player 15 million ponds is far too much money.. southampton should spend money more wisley on public transports or building more prisons or inprovening the roads hope-mark DebHavard
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Fri 26 Aug 11

mayfly says...

The Wickham Man wrote:
Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway?
Cracking post Wickham.
Well composed and sensibly argued.
[quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway?[/p][/quote]Cracking post Wickham. Well composed and sensibly argued. mayfly
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Tue 30 Aug 11

lowe esteem says...

mayfly wrote:
The Wickham Man wrote: Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway?
Cracking post Wickham. Well composed and sensibly argued.
Like you though, a lot of hyperbolic assumptions made (from a polarised position?) and a gross dismissal or misunderstanding of the content of other contributors with VARIOUS viewpoints.
I will agree with some of your points, and beg to differ on many others, though in answer to the quiz, I think the answer is seven (Rolexes)
[quote][p][bold]mayfly[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: Good article Dan, but unfortunately you won't get rational argument where football is concerned - you will only get the same polarised soap opera hyperbole when you discuss the business side as you will get on the terraces discussing the football side. Ergo - Lowe is a crook, and therefore every single thing he did or will ever do - even wiping his 4rse is therefore totally incompetent class ridden stupid, criminal and wrong motivated only by greed and hatred of the fans, but Chamberlain, because like Walcott he was Saints starlet is fantastic, and can never be criticised, end of. The critics above have forgotten that when Walcott was bought it was a complete gamble that only later paid off. Now Arsenal are tossing a coin again, and praying they get another head. What the fans here need to think is - just whose money underpins these deals? I don't subscribe to Sky Sports and I don't pay a fortune to buy replica kit or season tickets - but I guess the suckers here like to feel that their hard earned cash entitles them to be stakeholders. They aren't. They are just the gullible worker ants feeding the insane endless premiership gravy train. And all for nothing. How many rolexes does a 17 year old need anyway?[/p][/quote]Cracking post Wickham. Well composed and sensibly argued.[/p][/quote]Like you though, a lot of hyperbolic assumptions made (from a polarised position?) and a gross dismissal or misunderstanding of the content of other contributors with VARIOUS viewpoints. I will agree with some of your points, and beg to differ on many others, though in answer to the quiz, I think the answer is seven (Rolexes) lowe esteem
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree