Date:Friday January 18 2008
It's been nearly two weeks since Steve Holland tabled a bid for Stuart Fleetwood, and after one slight adjustment to that offer we still haven't had an answer. Forest Green's professionalism in the matter is questionable.
Steve Holland claims that they have twice failed to return an answer. On Monday last week they promised they would consider the £175,000 bid for their star striker at a board meeting the following Friday. That Friday came and went without an answer. It took till Tuesday this week to be told that a slight tweaking of the bid was needed; the Alex made the tweaking and were told that Wednesday was the day they'd get a final answer.
However, Friday has come and Steve Holland says the club still have not heard from the Blue Square Premier side. Media reports saying the bid had been accepted were premature, assuming Holland isn't covering up to stave off hijackers, and the saga could well enter it's third week.
Forest Green have every incentive to delay the deal. Charlton and mega-rich QPR are both reported to have shown interest, if they could tempt a bid from either of those then they'd rightly be able to push the money up further.
Fleetwood is out of contract in the summer, which leaves me baffled as to why £200k straight up is even being considered. A a player released by Hereford in the summer, they'd have made £200k in six months. That is some deal for a Blue Square Premier side.
It's a gamble for Rovers. They are on the brink of pushing the Alex too far; Holland has already said that whilst the offer remains, he will pursue other targets. It could all back fire on Forest Green; with very few other bidders willing to even go near the £200k mark, they could be left offloading him at the end of the month for a cut price fee or lose him in the summer for nothing.
The deal may yet be called off simply due to Forest Green's actions, or lack of actions, during the past two weeks. Dario Gradi returns from his holiday any day, and his thoughts will be extremely interesting. We know he's a man who won't be messed about with in the transfer market, a man who hates being made to look desperate.
So, Forest Green, maybe it's time to decide if you want the money or not because come next week, the offer may not be there to take any longer.
Date:Friday January 18 2008
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