Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The strange case of Ezri Konsa and Brentford FC

The glacial Aussie takeover of Charlton Athletic FC is apparently "imminent." Well it has been for most of this year and we are still waiting. He wants out and they want in but there's something there that's been clogging up the mechanism  and it isn't the laughable 'fit n proper person' test.

There have been strong views from some who claim to be in the know that the Aussies have struggled with the finances. They certainly did struggle when they first came to the table early last year but the strong hope was that they knew what was needed when they returned and the addition of Andrew Muir gave us all hope. I haven't been in the 'they can't afford do to it properly' camp but the sale of Ezri Konsa to, ahem, Brentford has me reaching for the top shelf.

Konsa has reputedly been lined-up by all the top clubs and it's been a matter of when, not if, he would slide into the Premiership for £5m. The lad himself must have been drifting off at night whether he was more likely to emulate Ademola Lookman or Joe Gomez. It must have come as much of a surprise to Ezri to find out that his promotion is to the Championship and the mighty Bees as it has to the Valley faithful. I should point out at this stage that Brentford are an established Championship side with an ambitious stadium move underway and they gave a great account of themselves last year. Indeed, their move for Konsa must be applauded as bold and well-informed. 

The problem is, what have they paid for him? Their club record fee was apparently £2.5m for Sergi Canos last year and the fee for Konsa was the standard Duchatelet 'undisclosed.' My thinking here is that if it was any way above £2.5m then the Bees would have been very keen to get it out in the open as proof of their ambition to their supporters to help sell season tickets. Logic would also suggest that Duchatelet and the Aussies might support that argument as evidence of a good deal for a good player that justified the sale, irrespective of who is trousering what part of the fee.

My fear is that the reason the fee is once again undisclosed (but not common knowledge like many of the others) is because it's not something Brentford are bothered bragging about (just yet) and that Duchatelet/the Aussies are also keen that we don't know because it raises uncomfortable questions. Questions like, is this Duchatelet's last greedy grab at the till? Do the Aussies hold so little sway even now that they couldn't stop a cheap sale or maybe because they too need the money to smooth their takeover.

The truth will out in a couple of years when the accounts are unwound but it will have become bloody obvious by then if we have, once again, let circumstances sell us short. I really hope the Aussies are prepared to explain just what's gone on over the past two years and we don't get everything swept under the carpet once again, but my money will be on a cast iron Non-Disclosure Agreement which prevents anyone bad-mouthing the contemptible waste of space that is Roland Duchatelet. One crystal clear fact that will go to the grave with him is that for all his business success, his four and a half year ownership of Charlton Athletic was a total failure of epic proportions. The missed opportunity was criminal but the wanton disregard for the club shameful and the way he allowed himself to be duped by a few trusted advisors when the avalanche of evidence to the contrary was all around him, was quite incredible.

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