Friday, November 07, 2008
Clubs lining up for Appiah
By 1970’s Gooner
Many thought that when the captain of Ghana, Stephen Appiah, became available in the market for defensive midfielders he was ideal for Arsenal.
This is because he has the necessary experience at the top level (he was for many years at Juventus), possesses physical strength and has leadership ability, attributes that this current Arsenal side so obviously lacks.
But although originally considering the player Arsene Wenger stated that he was not in the running to snap him up.
Many thought that even though Appiah was considered a free agent after leaving his last club Fenerbacse, his high demands for wages, which were reported to be as high as £ 60.000 per week and a lack of action for 9 months due to a knee injury were enough to put Wenger off as well as a host of other interested clubs.
Appiah himself denied that his wage demands were putting off clubs and refused to go on trial to prove his fitness.
“If they want to check me out in terms of fitness that is fine but don’t tell me to get on the field and play for you to see how good I am because even if I am sleeping and I wake up I can play” he said to the Ghanaian press.
Appiah then went on to prove his fitness by playing in Ghana’s last two World Qualifiers.
Well, we can reveal that there was another reason why Wenger may have been put off.
And that is because Fenerbacse were letting interested clubs know that they still held the player’s registration and were demanding a hefty transfer fee of £ 7m!
The confusion prompted, Fifpro, the players union, to release a statement urging Fifa to iron out the issue once and for all to enable Appiah to play.
In its response Fifa said its decision to release the player on a free transfer still stands:
“On 11 June 2008, after giving the parties time to present their positions on the matter, Fifa advised by fax to both parties to consider their labour relationship as terminated and to focus on the financial aspects of the matter.
“It was also advised that should the player sign a new contract with a new club, in the case that an International Transfer Certificate were needed for an international transfer, the Turkish FF should provide it, in order to not hinder the player’s career”.
Since this has been cleared out there are now a host of clubs strongly interested in the player. This list includes Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham as well as Fulham and West Ham.
Harry Redknap while at Portsmouth was very interested in the player but the club's finances proved prohibitive. Spurs could prove to be more generous than Portsmouth especially now there are no transfer fees involved.
I wonder if Arsene Wenger might rethink his position on the matter.
Appiah refuses to go on trial