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It’s no secret that the Adam Forshaw transfer bid scenario has caused much ill feeling within the Brentford camp. The management team have been plotting this particular close season for a few years now. The close season which sets us up for our first year in the Championship.


All of our sudden, our plans have been delivered an unexpected curve ball.


The players that Brentford have bought and developed were purchased specifically with Championship football in mind. Bidwell. Dean. Forshaw. Douglas. Judge. MaCormack.


Brentford didn’t want to “do an Andy Scott” who decided, when we won the 2nd Division championship in 2009, that that team wasn’t good enough to compete in a higher division, thereby going out and purchasing a whole load of players (some may say rashly), in a relatively short time.


For the first time in … well as far as I can remember … Brentford have been pro-active in renewing and extending contracts of key players. Not waiting until the contract was about to expire to try and tie the player down to a new contract. Brentford has put its money where it’s mouth was well in advance.


All our key players are under contract for a good two or the seasons now. Technically Adam Forshaw should be going nowhere as he has another two years to run on his contract which was renegotiated his deal keeping him at the club until 2016.


The only “key” player Brentford were unable to re-sign was Clayton Donaldson. His agent ran his contract down in order to try and get him a better deal elsewhere. The reality is Birmingham City, who ended up buying Clayton, did not in fact offer Clayton a better deal but matched the very good offer that Brentford had made to him (the Brentford offer was in fact more money if you include bonuses). And that makes you think.


As much as I very much like Clayton as a player and a person, he made a business/personal decision (maybe for very good reasons)  that he didn’t want to play for our club any more. And the best of luck to him.


Disappointing. As Birmingham in their current state have less resources and definitely less ambition than Brentford. But that’s the decision he made.


He was a model professional at Brentford … He delivered the goals … He worked really hard for the team …. And gave his all in the “Come on you Brentford” video


But he decided that he didn’t want to play for our club anymore and we have to bite the bullet and move on.


Owner Matthew Benham tweeted only a few weeks ago after the Donaldson transfer “No more key players will leave”. Many supporters breathed a sign of relief. And we have no doubt that Matthew’s intention was to keep the current squad intact and add to it.


But somethings don’t work out how you plan.


Which brings me onto Adam Forshaw.


Beesotted received some interesting information on the Forshaw deal that has really made us think. The same reliable source that told us that we were going to buy Odubajo from Orient even before we secured promotion last Easter weekend which I alluded to at the back end of this Ball Street video with my “grim reaper” jibe.


It’s well documented that Wigan made a bid for Forshaw. That bid was £1.5million. Knowing that 50% of any Forshaw transfer money will immediately go back to Everton, why would Wigan put in a ‘derisory’ offer of £1.5million that would obviously be rejected? Then go back in with a an offer of £1.8mill (not £2m plus as was apparently reported).


Let’s put things into perspective. The current offer would have got us Hogan in return (£750k) –  a division 2 striker.  We couldn’t have bought Odubajo (£1m) with the money we would have bagged from the “increased” offer for Forshaw – a League 1 player of the year who is under contract for 2 more years and playing in the Championship this season.


Wigan knew they weren’t going to get even remotely close to us selling Forshaw to them with those bids. So why table them ….  then make them public?


Mark Warburton is a very honourable man. He believes in doing things the right way. He is also a very diplomatic man. If you watch the way he conducts himself in press interviews, he never puts a player down. Even if he has been having a bad game.


He uncharacteristically criticised Wigan but in a very professional way. When the first bid came in Warburton said:


“Whatever we do I would like to think we do it in a professional manner


“If clubs are going to act in [a different] manner I can’t control that, but I would like to think we would never lower ourselves to act in such a fashion.


“I think the club concerned and their staff need to look at themselves, that’s for sure, and do things in the right way.


“Adam still has another two years to run on his contract. We have made it very clear how much we value Adam.


“He’s the League One Player of the Year. Why would we sell to a rival club?”


And after the follow-up bid, Warburton said ..


“Any bid is unsettling to a young player.


“I’m concerned about his welfare – he’s gone away for a couple of days to get his head straight.


“A bid is only a bid when it’s realistic. When it comes in an unsettles a player – that’s unacceptable. There’s been a second bid which is totally unacceptable.”


You have to read into these words and make what you can of them.


If this were somebody like Posh chairman Darragh MacAntony talking, the full story would be all over the news by now. But Brentford of new take a more measured approach to dealing with situations like this. Holding back a load of information, biting their tongues and ‘keeping classy’. And fair play to the club.


Dave Whelan has a knack of “I do what I want” about him. Even when he poached Uwe Rosler from us, he could have done it on the quiet … given our management team time to make some plans behind the scenes and get our house in order before telling the world.


Instead he just swept in on the day we were hoping to get the thumbs up for a new stadium and two days before our FA cup game at Carlisle (which unsurprisingly was our only defeat in four months) and let it out that he was pinching our manager – which knocked us slightly off kilter for a few weeks.


If the boot was in the other foot and we were poaching the Wigan manager, I’d dare say Brentford would have gone about it slightly more professionally.


The word is that Forshaw was, by all accounts, allegedly approached directly with regards a move. But these “off the record chats” happens all the time.


Let’s be realistic. In these days of texts and mobile phone and twitter and facebook etc, it’s easy to get hold of a player. If a rival club calls or texts a player to find out how he got on at the weekend … Or to wish him happy birthday … Is that considered “unethical contact”? Of course it’s not. Everyone has to be sensible with the interpretation.


The fact that Forshaw’s ex-agent at Key Sports Management apparently was David Downes who is now head of recruitment at Wigan, will mean that there is now a second natural ongoing natural channel of communication between Forshaw and the power brokers at Wigan.


Wigan seem to have a knack of going in for players but not quite completing the deal. Even recently, there have been two ex-Brentford players that Wigan have been linked with – Saville and Trotta. By all accounts, the offer they put in quite didn’t meet the parent clubs’ expectations … and these deals have also been left hanging.


However, one thing they do manage to do in putting an offer in is knock the player off-kilter … and cause problems for the player’s club.


“I’m concerned about his welfare – he’s gone away for a couple of days to get his head straight”


Read into that what you may.


Even since I started writing this article, Sky Sports News have reported that Forshaw has asked for a transfer (hence the change of title). They confirmed what I was alluding to.


This is when you realise that Brentford are moving into the big time. They develop good players. Other so called “bigger clubs” (if bigger is so called because of the size of ones wallet) will always come in and try and poach your better players. That’s life. That’s football.


It’s how the club. And the player. And the players agent  … deals with it is the question.


There’s now doubt Wigan have enough money to splash the cash. They’re still living off parachute payments that will make our playing budget look inconsequential. But it’s not how big your budget is. It’s how well you spend it.


It’s inevitable that Rosler is going to go back and try and purchase his “tried and tested”. He’s in a new job and has to prove himself. His loyalties are with Wigan now .. not Brentford … and he has to do what he feels is best for his club. That’s only natural and any good businessman would do the same if they went from one company to the next. There is no law to say that he can’t try and buy our players. There’s an argument to say – if they are any good .. someone is going to buy them … eventually … if they offer enough money.

We spoke to one of our contacts on Merseyside last week who claimed that Wigan tried to sign Conor McAleney and offered to triple his wage and also offered him accommodation for a year as he was out of contract this summer. He opted to re-sign for Everton for 3 years on July 1st instead.


Forshaw could double his wages in a minute with a move to Wigan.


The move for Saville in the Xmas transfer window is also common knowledge but Wigan cooled off him when Brentford turned a blind eye to them nabbing conditioning coach Chris Haslam.


If Brentford were offered “silly money” for any player, naturally they would have to look at it. After all it is a business they are running and the owner doesn’t have bottomless pockets.


The fact is. We haven’t been offered “silly money” for Forshaw. So surely it’s a case of reject and move on … And everyone lives happily ever after.


But that hasn’t happened?




We can only make the assumption that Whelan has succeeded in doing what he is very good in doing? ….


Upsetting the applecart ….. turning a happy camp into a not so happy camp ……


No Brentford fan that I have spoken to would deny Forshaw a boost in his career. Like Donaldson, he is a model professional and an ultimately nice person. We spoke to him at the Barnet friendly when he told us he would be back for the first game of the season. On numerous occasions I have heard people say “He’s too good for this division … He’ll be playing in the premier league before too long”.


We are under no illusion of Forshaw’s ability. And if he were to turn around in a professional manner and say he wanted to move on, in a way that Harry Forrester unfortunately didn’t, many fans would be ultimately disappointed. But they would tip their hat to him and wish him luck.


But the fact is …. Forshaw is a Brentford player first and foremost. And is under contract to us for another 2 years. And if Wigan, or anyone, want to poach him it should take more than £1.5mill and some loose change to make it worth our while. Figures of £6mill have been banded around.


But will Wigan up their offer from £1.5+ mill to £6mill for Forshaw? Probably not. They very very rarely pay big money for players.


Which leads me to believe that, unless something something drastically changes (either Wigan break their transfer policy .. or Brentford lower their valuation), Forshaw will remain a Brentford player when this transfer window shuts and until the next window opens.


But there is no doubting  – the manner in which Wigan have have blown this Forshaw scenario up (leaving news to the press etc) has put Brentford in an extremely awkward position.


We had a happy camp going into the start of the season. And something has been undoubtedly ruffled. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that.


How it gets resolved is the important thing.


Whether or not Forshaw leaves us this window is to be seen. Or has Whelan merely alerted other clubs who will now come and wade in with a bigger cheque either in this window or the next?


Talking to Los Three Amigos Wigan fanzine, they don’t believe that Wigan will pay anywhere near what Brentford’s unofficial valuation for Forshaw.


Tony Brown from Los Three Amigos: “Some Wiganers are complaining that Whelan won’t spend money, but most applaud the fact that the club is living within its means and has made profits the last two seasons. Whelan’s philosophy is that any player can go, if the price is right.


Over the past 12 months the club has bought the nearby Charnock Richard Golf Club to build a super training facility for the senior team and the academy.  That is where the bulk of our money has gone. James McCarthy went to Everton for around £14mill as did Arouna Kone for £5mill this time last year.


Fans expected the money to be ploughed back into transfers. However, Owen Coyle made what looked like bargain signings of players like Grant Holt (for whom it has not worked out) and Scott Carson at around £2m. Plus end of contract players like James Perch and Chris McCann, who have been excellent.


Last season Rosler had a preferred midfield trio of James McArthur, Ben Watson and Chris McCann and when they played together the results were excellent. However, the latter two received serious injuries in mid season and are still not fit.


The bottom line is that Wigan do not really need Forshaw, but at the right price he would be a good bet for the future. He would probably force his way into the team initially, but when the likes of Watson, McCann and Maloney are fully fit, he would face stiff competition.”


Maybe Forshaw will come back from his “head straightening” holiday and commit his future to Brentford.


Who knows?


If what has been reported is true .. and Forshaw has decided that he doesn’t want to play for Brentford for whatever reason, we as a club have to move on … a real shame .. but that’s the way it goes.


One thing I do know is the ball park has now changed. Brentford have a reputation of buying low profile players then developing them to a high standard. Vultures will always be hovering. We better get used to it.


Whatever happens with this Forshaw situation, it will be a big learning lesson for us. The management team are under no illusion that nothing lasts forever. Unlike back in the day, plans are no doubt afoot for when Forshaw or any of our talented players leaves for pastures new.


There is always another player young exciting around the corner. And we have to make sure that our recruitment process is always finding these players and developing them.


Already we have had glimpses of Tebar, who looks quality, and Pritchard who, like Forshaw, we have on loan from a Premier League side who also looks a class above. The new skool have arrived already.


On the plus side, Beesotted are aware that the club have not finished their transfer market activity this summer. We are still looking to land our biggest profile signing of the summer …  a striker … as well as a couple of other key players including a defender and a midfielder and another striker should hopefully join us before the start of the season.


And as for Forshaw. I really hope he comes back from his “head clearing holiday” with clear mind … And the realisation that the grass isn’t always greener.


Adam is an incredibly talented player. And he will undoubtedly go far.


We all want him to stay at Brentford. The ambition of the club is second to none and we are going places.


He will be a key player for Brentford … not a bit player.


But if Adam decides he future is not with Brentford …. hopefully he will realise that the world is his oyster out there.


And he, like us, should believe in his own talents …. And not sell himself short ….


And if Brentford are forced to sell … for once … they don’t end up in “DJ Campbell-land”  (where we had our hands tied behind our back to sell our top striker to Birmingham for much less than his true value) .. but we get our true worth.