Is McCormack sale any different?

08 Jul 2014 09:06pm, by YorkshireSquare

And so after much speculation Ross McCormack has finally completed his transfer to Fulham, signing a four year deal with the west London club. The deal is said to be worth around £11 million which is a significantly more than the £300,000 Leeds paid Cardiff for McCormack back in 2010. Although McCormack is proven at Championship level, averaging a goal every three games, he has been hot and cold. One decent season at Cardiff and one very good season at Leeds does not really add up to such a staggering fee. You can certainly say one things for Cellino in this deal, he drives a hard bargain. With early bids in the region of £5 million he seems to have squeezed the maximum amount possible from Fulham. Cellino is adamant though that he did not want to sell McCormack telling the Yorkshire Evening Post;

“I like to be in control of situations but it felt like he wasn’t my player. I was disrespected, he was aggressive with me. He didn’t turn up for the tour and all the time he wanted to go from here. It wasn’t in my mind to sell McCormack, it wasn’t my plan, but I had no choice. He’s a bloody good player and I’m not going to pretend that he isn’t but he didn’t respect me and it wasn’t possible to keep him.”

We have grown used to selling the family jewels over the years; Schmeichel, Gradel, Howson, Snodgrass and Becchino have all left in recent seasons. All for a combined fee less than this deal it is worth pointing out. But is this time different? Cellino seems fairly insistent that he did not want or need to sell the player but realising that it would be impossible to keep hold of him has ensured the club got the maximum value. Previous sales have reeked of desperation with players being sold for low fees to ensure we did not lose out when contracts expired and players who did not want to leave the club sold to balance the books.

This time, if what Cellino says is true, there is no requirement to sell players simply to balance the books. Despite the recent financial difficulties at the club it may be that we are in a position to reinvest a large proportion of the fee received for McCormack in new players. If Cellinos summer spending had already been budgeted for it may even provide a significant contribution to the re-purchase of Elland Road and Thorp Arch. Cellino will not or should not be judged on his words though, only his actions will tell us what the real situation I behind the scenes and if we can expect this money to be reinvested.

The club has been surrounded in the fog of the transfer embargo but shortly after the McCormack sale was confirmed Cellino announced the signings of goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and midfielder Tommaso Bianchi. They are the second and third new additions to the squad following on from the signing of goalkeeper Stuart Taylor last week. They are hardly big name signings though and many fans will believe we are still nowhere near being in a position to compete next year.

But what does McCormack move say about the club? Is it coincidence that his supposed transfer request was made the day after Hockaday was named head coach? Many would question McCormacks move to Fulham as lacking ambition, a move to another Championship club with small crowds would hardly seem to be the next step up for last years Championship top scorer. Perhaps McCormack is disillusioned with the situation at Leeds. With the sacking of a manger he clearly had a strong bond with and fought hard to keep at the club only to be replaced by a non-league manager maybe McCormack felt it was Leeds, not him that lacked ambition. His only comment so far on the move has been via Instagram;

“New start. Thanks for the good wishes. Devastated to leave Leeds under a cloud after 4 thoroughly enjoyable years. Will always be a fan.”

At the moment I can’t help feel that it is Leeds that are lacking the ambition. Cellino talks about respect a lot, as has Hockaday, but so far neither of them has earned my respect. Cellino appears to have shown little respect to his former manager, staff at Elland Road, certain players and the fans. The fans are what make this club and if Cellino wants us to respect him then he needs to act on his words. If McCormack did not have to be sold then we need to see the money reinvested. We need to see intent and ambition. So far hiring a non-league coach, selling your best player and buying mainly second tier Italian players does not feel that ambitious.