Spread the love


As the transfer door opens, the flood gates really have started to opens as it has been revealed that Sheffield Wednesday have now made a bid for Brentford attacking midfielder Alan Judge.

This comes as no surprise to most people as the 27 year old Republic of Ireland international – who has been Brentford’s player of the season so far – has been linked to Premier League clubs including Leicester, Swansea and Bournemouth over the past few months.

However, until the arrival of the Sheffield Wednesday mini-wheelbarrow, no bid has actually been lodged for the player – valued at £6m by the club.

Once again, Wednesday seem to have taken a leaf out of Burnley and Wigan’s book (it must be a North of Birmingham thing) in lodging a derisory fee for one of our players – believed to be in the region of £1m.

With Burnley also expressing an interest for the player, we can can expect a bit of a bun fight and a bidding war for the winger who, assuming the valuation is met, looks increasingly unlikely to be staying at Griffin Park.

The Sheffield Wednesday offer apparently involves a ridiculous tripling of his wages – something that unfortunately ‘lil old Brentford’ is going to find hard to match as it completely smashes our wage structure.

The balance between keeping players happy and matching silly wages becomes harder and harder the more successful we become.

Wednesday are no strangers to paying high wages in the Championship with Hooper, Forestieri and Bannan all supposedly on over £30k per week. Brentford, in contrast, have found their strategy of getting relatively unknown or rejected players on the upward curve and paying them decent (but not silly) wages works in the short to medium term – until they up their game, put their heads fully above the radar and attract cash rich clubs.

Signed from Blackburn Rovers permanently in Summer 2014  after a spell on loan where he ‘scored the goal that took Brentford up’, Judgey has been a firm favourite for Bees fans with his enthusiasm and never-give-up attitude.

He had a rare poor game against Birmingham on Saturday. Conspiracy theorists will now start to put two plus two together as to why that was.

There is still a huge hurdle to be reached before anyone can consider Judge leaving the club. The bidder, whether it be Wednesday or Burnley or any other team, needs to match the £6m (plus add ons) valuation Brentford have put on their star player.

And unlike the days when Brentford would always get the rug pulled from underneath their feet where we would sell our players for peanuts, with our current backing it’s encouraging we can at least hold teams off until we get our valuation – even if we are unable to meet the wages.

Saying that, if Wednesday are really serious about bagging Alan Judge and not just throwing a bomb into the Brentford  camp to upset the apple cart, with their banding around £30k a week wages left right and centre, they can afford to cough up the £6m plus add-ons for our star player.

And if not, just leave us alone and let us get on with despatching Boro in a weeks time.

Don’t get us wrong. We love Judgey. And really really want him to stay. But unfortunately, this is a sign of how far we have come in a very short space of time – where once again we increase the value of a player we sign ten-fold within a couple of seasons. And big teams then in effect use us to scout their players for them.

As one of our Burnley contacts told us earlier – this is what used to happen to Burnley all the time. Teams with bigger budgets would come in and take the best players after they had spent a few years building them up.

The tide has only changed with Burnley getting in the Premier League for a season and getting a pot load of of money which has turned them from gamekeeper to poacher.

So watch this space as we will see how this whole transfer window saga pans out.

Needless to say, Brentford will have replacements lined up already just in case we do lose a player or two as the bosses can’t say they didn’t see this coming.

As to what we do about fending off clubs who come to poach our players who they barely knew existed two season ago – only two things will work for us in that arena.

  1. Some sort of old-fashioned display of loyalty from players
  2. A massive injection of cash.

Whaddu reckon??

Billy Grant