Date:Thursday February 9 2006
The result of the latest Vital Burnley poll shows that 75% of Burnley fans agree that the decision to accept the bid for Ade Akibiyi was the right one.
Its an uncompromising figure, that suggests that the club have got it spot on. There were things to consider. He was 31, he had not scored since December, and the fee was almost three time what we paid for him under a year ago.
On the other hand, his goal scoring this season has been impressive, with Ade leading the scoring charts at the end of 2005.
When you weigh the facts up, the club have performed an outstanding piece of business, similar to the business conducted by Real Madrid for Michael Owen, though the fee for the Spanish club was significantly higher.
We now have Michael Ricketts to replace Ade, until the end of the season at least. Some fans may point to the fact that none of the money has been spent so far, but that gives us a chance to target players while the window is closed, and boss Steve Cotterill has a chest to ensure further progress is made next season.
The Ricketts deal could be perfect for all parties. The player, eager to kick-start his career, and the club, having signed a player who represented his country, and commanded a fee of £3.5 million.
In the last few weeks, we have slipped away from the playoff positions, but the situation can be rectified, with a strong run until the end of the season. If the Ricketts deal does not work out, he will return to Elland Road, and Burnley will lose nothing.
If Ade had stayed for an extra season or two, his fee would have dropped dramatically, and Burnley would not have had those funds to strengthen the team for next season.
Boss Steve Cotterill has done wonders in the transfer market in his time at Turf Moor on a shoe-string. He now has a bit more cash to make some signings in the summer, who can strengthen the squad as a whole, and make us stronger next season. Theres always the chance that Ricketts can reproduce his best form in the climax to this season.
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