Downing Out!

STEWART Downing has been in Birmingham today for a medical and to thrash out the fine-print on a move to Aston Villa. Horse’s mouth. Gazette exclusive. More later.


33 thoughts on “Downing Out!

  1. Well that is interesting. I heard £12m mentioned. I think this is all available for new signings.
    Still we have (in 4-4-2 formation) available:
    Forwards: Alves, Emnes and Tuncay
    We need to replace Mido with a real £ 6M striker. Hope Tucay stays untill Xmas!!!
    Left wingers: Yeates and Jonno.
    Please no changes here after Downings departure!
    Right midfield: Aliadiere & O’Neal
    O’Neal exchanged to Nugent from Pompey. A right winger like Morrison bought?
    Central midfield: Digard, Walker and Bates. Here we need to spend £ 6M for a greative player and an experienced old head (free agent).
    We are OK with the current defence and Steele, Arca, Shawky on the bentch. Not bad by C’hip standards as we have several internationals.
    AV, what is the story about Jonno to Fulham. I hope not true!
    Up the Boro!
    **AV writes: Not our Jonno, the West Brom one you mentioned as a Boro target.

  2. I think Villa will be a good move for Downing – not only will he be playing for one of the great motivating managers he’ll be linking up with other good young players who are close to breaking into the England team.
    Also he’s more likely to get a good run in the side (without being an automatic choice) rather than joining a top four club – So good luck to him and I hope he is successful.
    On the prospect of Jinky staying – I think he’ll be going too as the comments by Lamb saying that he’s not for sale were qualified by ‘unless we receive an exceptional offer’.
    Unless he signs a contract extension pretty soon it would be madness for Boro to throw away £10m to keep him for a season in the championship when other players could fill the gap for a lot less money.
    **AV writes: I reckon “exceptional” could be as low as £3m.

  3. Last season, Downing was a major disappointment, and I am really surprised Villa are prepared to pay £12m for him. I’d have said £6m tops.
    We still need to offload more than half the team. Alves (achy foot my @rse-he just doesn’t want to play in the Championship), Aliadiere, Shawky, O’Neill, Tuncay, Pogatetz, Huth, Arca, Mido (if anyone can find him).
    Where are all the replacements going to come from? At least Jonno should get a regular game, and Walker should start alongside Digard. But our squad will still be smaller unless a NUMBER of signings are made.
    A stronger team, and scoring two goals a game? Who does Southgate think he’s kidding? Only himself.
    Club are embarassing the fans. No money for the likes of Webber and Hughes (not that I want either of them). These type of signings will get us nowhere but relegated to League One.

  4. “The key is getting four or five £40k per week players off the wages (that’s £10m a year).”
    AV, I agree with you. But who are the four or five players? Downing, Tuncay, Huth, Alves, Pogatetz and Mido…
    Up the Boro!

  5. Stewie deserves the move, and I wish him all the luck in the world, but if he’s being bought by O’Neill to replace Ashley Young, then he’s going to need to pick up his game.
    Like most of the folks on this board, I hope that this transfer allows us to start fishing for some “acceptable” targets…please, please, please not Hughes and Weber!

  6. Good luck to Downing.
    It will be interesting to see how much of the transfer fee is spent on new players. What has the PL parachute payment been spent on?
    AV – have you heard how many ST tickets have been sold, my money has gone out of my bank account and I am still awaiting my ticket.

  7. AV writes: The key is getting four or five £40k per week players off the wages (that’s £10m a year).
    Assuming AV’s right (and he usually is) let’s guess who the four or five might be.
    Easy ones to start are Alves and Mido. But it’s not that easy. Both players would only be sold at a huge capital loss.
    We might be prepared to accept that BUT there will be stage payments on their transfers-in outstanding on both players. In Alves’s case Boro might have yet to pay Heerenveen around £8m when he is sold.
    Additionally, there will be the image rights and (I use the word reluctantly) ‘loyalty bonuses’ which are outstanding and need to be paid up. To get rid of Alves and Mido could cost MFC £12-15m less what we could recoup in transfer fees – say £6m. In the worst case it might costs MFC £6-9m to get these two off the wage bill. Are they willing to find that money? It would certainly swallow the initial payments from Villa fro Downing.
    So that’s the first two out but a huge cost TO us.
    Similar arguments would apply to three other candidates: Aliadiere, O’Neil and Huth who could all be expected to fetch near their incoming fees. So if we received an (optimistic) total of £12m we might have quite a few million surplus.
    Tuncay is the real problem. Well he didn’t cost us anything as he was a free transfer but is that view correct? Most probably not!
    For a start there would be agents fees. I can’t even begin to estimate these but for a major international star I’m sure they would be substantial.
    Add to this a big signing on fee that the Boro would have expected to write-off over the life of his contract. But with him leaving early the write off period is halved and the outstanding money will have to from somewhere. Add in those pesky image rights and loyalty bonuses and we’d need a very large fee to leave much for new signings.
    Again, that’s not the end. Tuncay is on a healthy salary (reported to be over £70k a week) which he’s unlikely to voluntarily reduce when he moves on. Prospective purchasers (unless they are NUFC) will takes these future costs into account when calculating the fee they can afford. High wages will also severely limit the number of clubs who can afford him so competition for his signature will be limited and may constrain the fee MFC receives.
    So there we have the main candidates for a move. The net receipts will never be as high as the headline transfer fees and in some cases there will be a net cost to MFC that will exceed any fees received and savings in wages.
    Who’d be a football manager?

  8. £12m for a player whose kicking foot has a pin in it and who scored precisely nil goals last season is an amazing figure. Good luck to him
    We should use a 100K to put a bounty on Mido.
    The PFA website lists all the players available on frees at the mo. You soon get bored trawling through but here’s one for you, MICHAEL BALL. We haven’t had a LB since Quedrue, and he can take a penner.

  9. This list is great fun!
    Henri Camara,Sibierski, Hamman, Darius Vassel, wait for it, …MARK VIDUKA.
    you can even filter for the player you want. Is that what Championship manager game is all about?

  10. I think the price is about right for Stewy. If it was Man Utd ,Liverpool etc we might have got £16m. If it was Man City £20 million. For a team in the second rank, Villa, the price is what I would have expected.
    My prediction is plenty of assists from Stewy when he has a proper centre forward like Carew to aim for who can actually head a ball. Good luck to him and I’m glad he’s not going to Spurs and Mr Redknapp.
    Lets hope this means we can start to move ourselves.

  11. Good luck to Downing, did well for the Boro, hope he continues in the England squad to show those Southerners they are wrong.
    How much parachute payment do we get – is this money not to be used for squad re-building, plus the possible £12m for Downing. Surely this kind of money should see us trash talks of Webber and Hughes.
    Is this £12m plus parachute paying for the golf course and hotel rather than a serious promotion bid that requires quality experienced players.

  12. The farce that currently goes under the name of Middlesbrough FC will be a poorer place for the sale of Stewart Downing – even taking account of the £12 million quid fee. I wish him all the success in the world. He did his level best for Boro, despite the knockers who failed to realise what a “confidence” player he is.
    He is certainly the most skillful and exciting home-grown player I have seen in my 30 plus years of supporting the team. It`s a shame he couln`t realise some more of his ambitions with us.
    All the best Stewie and thanks for everything.
    Now prepare to weep at the dross our hapless manager is going to waste our money on.

  13. Good luck to Downing I hope it works out for him at Villa and he cements his place in the England squad for South Africa.
    Unlike the likes of Yakubu and Woodgate Downing agreed to stay at the club despite the massive downsizing Gibson put in place. It’s strange how football works. A few years ago we were the buying club and Villa the sellers i.e. Ehiogu, Southgate, Boateng etc now its the otherway around with Tuncay also interesting the Villains. Anyway time to look ahead to mediocrity and the championship. Thanks for nothing Gibbo.

  14. without my first post the second doesn’t make any sense! Have you got it AV?
    I was on about the players available on free’s on the PFA list. Michael Ball is my first choice. A proper LB. We haven’t had one since Quedrue, and he can take penners.

  15. Why didnt Martin O’Neill just become our manager in the first place, he obviously covets all of our players anyway, and all that was needed was a few additions

  16. “**AV writes: The key is getting four or five £40k per week players off the wages (that’s £10m a year). That can be then reinvested in six or so players from the very best Championship seasoned quality available – and yes, when the movement starts Boro will be among the big fish and best payers at that level, even if they bank some of the transfer take and considerably reduce the wage ceiling.
    The important thing is make the cash count and getting the right players in.”
    From the Notts Forest web site:
    “Doncaster Rovers Chairman, John Ryan, may have his much dreamed of bidding war for star defender Matthew Mills after all. Forest were the only club with a confirmed bid in for the 23-year-old centre-half and were in the box seat to sign him for a tidy £1.5m. Donny Chairman John Ryan had until now been praying for a public auction for his most prized asset, but other than the Reds, no one had joined in. That was until today, when relegated Boro eclipsed our bid. The question now is whether NFFC will up the ante and match the offer on the table from the Smoggies.
    Forest are desperate for a new centre-half, preferably two. Losing out on Mills would be a blow to the fans and the club, as he is without doubt one of the best in the Championship. He’s worth more than our £1.5m bid as well and will be worth a hell of a lot more with another good Championship season under him next term. With this in mind, it might be an idea to up our offer and get the deal done.
    At this moment in time, the Reds are still in for Barker at Blackpool and Mills, but both deals hang in the balance and could go either way. Although Danny Hone at Lincoln is being talked about, he would be seen very much as a plan ‘B’ and very much as a second best.”
    * Do we really need another centre-back or are Pogi & Huth perhaps on their way out of the door? If not, after the news that he’s still after Webber & Hughes, do we really need any further proof that Gate has finally lost the plot?

  17. Talking of departures – According to the Gazette, what’s the most embarassing thing a player has said in public that has left him with no alternative but to leave the club? …”Hello, I’m understudy to Brad Jones”

  18. John Bowman.
    Good post, I read the other day that Boro are still paying part of Woodgate’s wages at Spurs.
    Clubs, Agents, players a murky business indeed

  19. Players on Free transfers
    Nicky Weaver
    Leonard Pidgeley
    Patrick Kisnorbo
    Sol Campbell
    Michael Ball
    Zheng Zhi
    Moritz Volz
    Jerome Thomas
    Darius Vassell
    Vincent Pericard
    Michael Mifsud

  20. I don’t even know where to start with comments like ‘thanks for nothing Gibbo’.
    Could people be any more ungrateful? In the history of MFC, we’ve had 13 straight years of relative success. One blip, and all the bed-wetters and whingers just can’t help themselves. Some of you lot seriously need to give your heads a shake and have a think about what you are saying.
    Stop whinging, stop moaning and start supporting!

  21. Stockport Wiggy
    I posted earlier today and it went missing. Presuming Stewie joins Villa the pressure is then on for the Trinity.
    Until now there was nothing much they could do but despite that they managed to get someone willing to be be No2 to the Corporal and a good prospect from the lower divisions.
    The difficulty we had was the links to Hughes and Webber, hardly Galacticos. More from the same stable as Jason Eueuluseless.
    Bringing in players who are cast offs at the level we are now in would be a real slap in the face for the academy system and an admission that the Gibbo ‘low cost, local base’ model was seriously flawed. What made it even more concerning was the fact we had to get people out to bring in the no hopers.
    Assuming the deal goes through we may see some activity emerging that has been kept under wraps. (see, Borophil, trying to be positive)
    Lets also get some decent deals for those due to leave.
    In the back of the mind is the thought that the club we can afford is a golf one and it is at the expense of the core product – Boro.

  22. You beat me to it Rob, about the players coming from Villa a few years back – trouble was, Boro got a load of useless coaches as well.
    However, along with not a few other players, most notably Jimmy Floyd and Juninho, Boro qualified for Europe, got to the UEFA Cup final, and won the League Cup , second rate though it was (Sunderland and Newcastle wish they had).
    Let’s see how Villa do, and Downing won’t have Barry to feed him like Zenden did. Will Downing get on with Ashley Young? Will some more Villa players be coming Boro’s way? Think about it, no, don’t.
    Exciting home grown players ? Anyone remember David Hodgson (regarded by many as the best Boro player since BC) or even No 1 Stewie, Ripley ?
    £15m last January would have been better, with three players coming in to keep Boro in the Premiership. Losers all round, even if hindsight is a wonderful thing. It was obvious without hindsight. And remember why it was that Downing wanted to go. Lack of investment by who………….?

  23. Find it hard to believe that AV pays for a Boro season ticket. Have they no shame? Maybe Boro are waiting to see how many tickets they would need to print before doing it- they just might not bother.
    Hope your cash is in an escrow account, AV, just in case. Or you may be offered a souvenir ticket with moving images of previous Boro greats who have died, as with MJ (or Mido).
    SG says the club is for the people of Middlesbrough/Teesside. Do they want the club or would they rather sell it for a few mill dollars (no debts attached) ?

  24. Hughes and Webber are just smokescreens to cover up the real targets and put other suitors off the scent surely!
    Not even Gareth can be this inept, especially at Championship level. Just wait and see there will be a few signings that will restore belief and boost our collective confidence. If not then the 10 game plan will be too long to carry the fans. The middle to end of September will be a watershed for this club.
    Continuing the transfer suggestions, I reckon David Healy would be worth a punt at this level. He has the fighting spirit plus if we go up he is good enough to be a squad Premiership player at least. He also has plenty of experience in the game and has two or three years left in him at 30 years old. We could offload Aliadiere and pick up Healy for half the incoming fee!

  25. Four or five high wage earners out? That would be Downing, Tuncay, Mido, Alves and O’Neil. However AV’s hint that £3million would see Johnson go while it doesn’t surprise me is disappointing, I suspect he wants to move on. He would have been a great asset in the Championship.
    Selling Downing now for £12m is excellent business for Boro, given he’s not fit and will not be for some time. Boro have now got the opportunity to start buying some premiership/top championship players, interesting times.

  26. Thanks Stewie, considering he came through the acadamy £12m is a good deal. And I wish him all the luck and hopefully gets his start in the England Squad in the World Cup next year.
    We still need a decent keeper, that was our major flaw last season. GS saying that Turnbull and Jones were up to the job last season was a joke, and look where we ended up. It’ll be the same this season if we don’t get one.
    I reckon Alves could be a sensation in the Championship (if his foot gets better)!
    Is BoroPhil really Steve Gibson?!
    Anyway I’ll be there August 7th.

  27. If the new home kit is a Coca Cola can then the away one is surely a Pepsi Max (or more probably Pepsi Zero).
    Am I 2 weeks of the pace with this? I’ve been off the radar.
    **AV writes: It’s a translucent orange/gold Lucozade design I heard.

  28. God we are sad…Gibsons ‘just trust me’ seems rather empty at the moment. Like I said previously if the Barcodes were not in a worse state everyone would have been laughing. Southgate, you’re doing my head in. Just go…

  29. I wish downing all the best with his future at Aston Villa and I hope that we will see he playing for England at the World Cup next year because he deserves it!
    Anyway now there is a matter of buying players of premiership quality to join the boro. We definetly need a central midfielder such as Zheng Zhi or Didi Hamann, then also if we lose a striker then we should definetly go for Vennegor of Hesselink. Surely he would come, he’s had talks at bristol city, so surely he’s good enough for Boro. Or Hulse. But please not hughes or webber, they’re not the kind of player we need in our team..
    Bring on the next season and hopefully we’ll be in the Prem next year, if not goodbye the gate!
    Come on Boro!!

  30. Following on from Mike’s point above and his link to the MFC Website I was staggered to read the following:
    “Team News ’09… Choose Your Favourite Away Shirt
    YOU’VE given us your choice of home shirt, now’s your chance to vote on an away design to make a comeback at our MFC Official club stores.
    We have six away shirts of the past for you to choose from in our online poll. One will go on sale in the MFC Official club stores and online here at in the near future. You can get shirty and help Boro decide which of the home tops pictured here should return.”
    When did we vote for the Coca Cola shirt? Better still where is the vote supposed to be recorded for the away strip or is it just another example of more MFC spin?

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