Vital Football

O'Neil agreement reached/4 to stay but 2 go

O'Neil agreement reached/4 to stay but 2 go

The fact that Gary O'Neil returned to the Boro side at the weekend answered the question about a 'compromise' being agreed between the two clubs over the final £1m payment.

The only question was 'how much' was agreed...

Varying amounts had been flung around over the weekend although Admin Andy confirmed to The News that this amount was £500,000 plus: 'we came to an agreement eventually, although we have to keep the details confidential.

'However, they have paid us more than £500,000 and both sides are happy with that.'

Of course it is not the £1m we should have been paid but Boro 'could' have let him sit out the season, tried to sell him in the summer and we would not have got anything at all...

As said previously, this - for me - in many ways is no different to what we have been trying to do with other clubs, or players, we would owe money should 'so and so' happen. Yep I understand that as a club in admin we cannot justify costs of course. All in all though it is another example of just how 'out of touch with the real world' football has become!

If only transfer, and contracts, could be as straight forward as agreeing a fee, paying this fee - or at least a large percentage up top - job done...

Not such good news on the academy front though as 2 young Blues have 'walked out' on the club!

Spanish winger Pablo Navas Alors was going to be released at the end of the season anyway although rather than wait until June for this the former Barcelona kid has decided to walk early...

A bigger blow for our future is Florent Cuvelier 'quitting' with 2-years left on his contract.

The Belgium U18 international midfielder was very highly thought of, although with so much going on around the club his old man had 'dragged him out' of his contract early.

I do not know what is going on day-in-day-out at the club but some 'reports' on what is actually happening with the academy set-up at the moment are less than impressive? Some of these kids are not meant to be training at all and they have to make their own way to games and so on. How true these 'reports' are, and how much has changed, remains to be seen...

Paul Smalley, talking to The News, was less than impressed that Cuvelier has moved on but did confirm Alors was going regardless - the decisions to leave early were both made by the players behalves, or on their behalves: 'Florent is in dispute with the club at the moment and is currently back in Belgium. He's got two years left on his contract but I don't think we will see him back.

'It has not been instigated by the club, it has been instigated by the father. He is not happy with the club and decided to take Florent out.

'It's a shame. He was one of our good ones in terms of the intake last year and is a talented young player.

'As for Pablo, he was going to be released anyway and decided to leave early. That was entirely his decision also.'

I know we are going to be a no power championship club next season, and not be surrounded by the 'glamour' and 'glitz' of the premier league, but you would have thought that the step-up that some of the former academy players have made this season - even if it is out o necessity - would have been an incentive to Cuvelier, who could well have been playing 1st team football next season?

Of course it is a loss for us, but no one player is bigger than this club and if someone wants out, whatever age or level, I guess you get them out...

Although there is better news of some other academy products.

Perry Ryan, Peter Gregory, Ellis Martin and Billy Goddard have all been offered professional contracts.


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Date:Tuesday April 20 2010
Time: 11:10AM


I had high hope for Pablo, but it seems that he didn't quite make the grade. It's a shame to see things going so badly wrong in the acadamey which only two seasons ago was full of promising youngsters and had in my opinion the best Youth Acadamy Director in the country.
20/04/2010 13:01:00
Bit gutted about Cuvelier as he really was a hot prospect.. but if he doesn' t feel he is right then best he does what his Dad says. Agree with Sneakay comments re Paul Hart being the best there was but Paul Smalley is no fool and we have a good crop all the way up from U16. Ryan, Gregory, Martin and Goddard bear that out
20/04/2010 13:26:00
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