…or does it?
Certainly from the Leeds United perspective and our relationship with them, the announcement today that Jermaine Beckford is now an Everton player would seem to bring to a conclusion our relationship with Leeds United.
Let me first say that dealing with Leeds over the past few years has been an experience. They have always responded to us professionally, quickly and fully complied with their side of our agreements. As I have said before I don’t believe that Leeds owe us a penny. We have done well out of them, what with the decent initial transfer fee, last year’s friendly (relive Steve foster’s excellent pictures here), the appearance clause and considerable publicity we have gained and continue to gain.
It did get exciting once or twice thinking a big money move was on the cards, particularly in the January transfer window after the goal that beat Manchester United but it was not to be. Ultimately Jermaine did his job, scored the goals that got the draw with Spurs, and finally and crucially for Leeds scored the goal that got them promotion in their final league game against Bristol Rovers.
Unfortunately that meant he was allowed to go on a free transfer and today we hear the official announcement that he has signed for Everton. So we came agonisingly close to receiving a sum of money that would have given us the financial security that would have kept the wolves from the door for a few years. And yes it does hurt a little to get that close and not get what we hoped for. But it was always out of our hands and as much as we hoped Leeds would accept an offer or Jermaine would sign another contract it was not to be.
Is it the end of the story for us? Hopefully not. I am writing to the Everton chairman and will suggest that it might be a nice gesture for Everton to recognise where the player that they have just signed for free has come from. Who knows maybe the player might remember his roots, we can always be pleasantly surprised.
But whatever happens, we should all be very proud of the role we have played in creating a striker who has the chance to set himself up for life and who will grace the highest level of the English game for the coming season. Good luck Jermaine!