Skip to content

Dutch cap

Looks like we’ve hit a MAJOR roadblock over the Connelly deal – he wants to play for us, and we’re convinced we’ve got a case, but read this from FTT:

“The meeting with the Dutch FA appears to have had a disastrous outcome for Wimbledon FC. Chairman Charles Koppel represented Wimbledon at the Dutch FA. The club had hoped that the Dutch FA would rebuff AZ Alkmaar’s claims that Connolly should be held to a prior verbal agreement to join their club and that Wimbledon would receive the player’s registration. However in a shock decision the Dutch FA have decided that AZ Alkmaar have a case! While the Dutch FA haven’t yet ruled against the Dons, they have decided not release Connolly’s registration and will allow AZ Alkmaar time to find supporting evidence of a verbal agreement. “

So, looks like the Dutch FA have backed their own member. Quelle surprise. However, there’s more from Rob De Leede, Dutch FA spokesman:

“This is an urgent case and it should be completed by December. We cannot guarantee that it will be settled in time for the start of the English football season. We have been asked by Alkmaar not to release the player to join another association. All they have to prove is that there was a verbal agreement. I don’t know if they have any witnesses to a deal being done.”

December? Fucking hell, that’s practically 5 months. This has unsurprising gone down none too well with TB, who says:

“Connolly is training but he can’t get out on the pitch – it’s a restraint of trade. The Dutch FA are preventing him from playing. You can’t stop people working – there will be lawsuits and Christ knows what if they do. How else is he going to earn a living? If a verbal agreement can be binding then we’d need to stop the four players who said they would join us this summer from playing for the clubs they eventually went to.”

I wonder who these four players were? Never mind, what seems clear is this : the Dutch believe that DC should be an AZ player, and they just aren’t going to budge over it. Which means that we’ll have to take them to the EU court over it unless it’s proven that there WASN’T any independent witnesses. In a nutshell, DC is in limbo. There is another way of course, and that is to pay off AZ, but how much? I’ve heard E4m (£2.6m or so for those opposed to the single currency) bandied about, which I severely doubt we’ll pay. DC can train with us, but he can’t play, which naturally has POed us big time stylee. Obviously, he wants to play for us, he’s come out and said it. Even if he didn’t, he would want to play football full stop, he clearly won’t want to return to AZ after this so maybe the Dutch club are dragging their clogs over it to teach us a lesson? Hmm, I blame their lax drug laws meself.

Now what? Given the fact we want DC playing ASAP, I can see one of three things happening : 1) We offer a compensation package for DC to AZ. 2) We drag this through until December and get somebody on loan in the meantime. 3) We get the heavies in. I would like to see 3) happen, because I’m sure that we have a much stronger case (insofar as we DO have DC’s signature on a piece of paper). Can’t see WFC putting up with 2) unless we have to, but my instinct at the moment is 1). Probably not as high as £2m, doubt if it will be as high as £1m but don’t be surprised if we don’t quite get him that free…

The whole thing is a mess, though for once I don’t think WFC are to blame. I think the “good faith” thing comes into play, and it’s a bit naive of the Dutch camp to think that a verbal agreement works outside the lowlands in quite the same way. Whatever happens, there’ll be lots more of this to come. Watch the sparks fly.

More later if anything happens this evening.