Who went down stronger, Pompey or Burnley?
25-year-old striker, David Nugent spent much of last season on loan at Turf Moor and scored six Premier League goals for the Clarets. Had we stayed in the Premier League there might have been every chance we could have secured a permanent deal for the player with Portsmouth in such a financial mess.
There was almost an inevitability though that he would leave after Burnley's relegation hinting that he would want to remain playing in the top flight.In the end the Premier League offers seemed few and far between and he returned to his parent club probably expecting to move on in view of Pompey's dire financial plight and relegation. Former Burnley gaffer, Steve Cotterill though arrived replacing Avram Grant at Fratton Park and convinced the former Bury and Preston forward to stay on and play in the Championship.
It has now been revealed in the Lancashire Telegraph that Nugent was close to agreeing a permanent deal to return to Turf Moor last summer but in the end our club could not afford his wage demand. This was despite a season in the top flight, £14.4 million pre-tax profit, £7 million from the sale of Fletcher and £48 million over four years from parachute payments.
Meanwhile,Portsmouth still in a financial pickle having suffered administration and relegation to the Championship somehow could still afford to keep Nugent on their payroll. Nugent is now scoring freely for Portsmouth and the club are just four points behind the Clarets.That might have been just one point too if our game against them at Fratton Park on Saturday had not been postponed and Pompey had won.
Brian Laws talking about the Nugent situation this week told the LT:
"He was tremendous for us last year and we were very much trying our hardest to get him again this year to no success'
"It wasn`t far away but not close enough.
"It was the financial side of things more than anything else. Dave was on a substantially high amount of money at Portsmouth and we certainly couldn`t match that."
So who did go down stronger? Yes,overall it must surely be the Clarets in financial terms but this is one example where you begin to wonder if the Burnley Board have once again been too ultra-cautious by refusing to go the extra mile to secure a player they plainly wanted to retain.
On the other hand, how can it be right that a club like Pompey in such a financial mess can still afford to pay such high wages compared to a club that has continually been crowing about sound financial management and going down stronger?
Oh dear, I feel I am going to have to put the following statement up again:
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