The club can report that we have had a number of offers for members of our playing squad and staff over the last few weeks.
As such, Craig Draycott, BWFC’s media and communications manager, sought clarity from chairman Danny Hunter, on the club’s, and his position on these offers.
This is what he said: “Look Craig, we’re in the middle of a very good season and we have a very settled club and dressing room. So, both myself and Luke have to weigh up what’s best for the football club, what’s best for our players and what’s best to achieve both our, and the club’s, very real ambitions.
“Firstly, my thoughts are, that I feel I am pretty consistent year-on-year, in regards to policy, players, transfers and how we run the club. We are pretty consistent on how we choose to operate and who we choose to deal with. We work on the premise that we are in complete control of each and every player going out of our club, if they are under contract with us, and stay in control until that contract runs out.
“It’s true, some clubs, agents or advisors, do get busy in January and they do interfere or unsettle players during transfer windows, and that has perhaps happened to us recently. But in truth, they are just noise to me, and when that noise gets too loud – and trust me, it has become louder and more frequent as we’ve risen through the leagues – Then we step in and stop the nonsense and posturing, before a player gets to unsettled. It’s then that everything may need to be re-evaluated quickly, evaluated sensibly and evaluated without emotion.
“That said, we have to accept that we cannot control certain situations, especially when wanting another club’s player. We accept we’re not even partly in control when in that position, until a deal has been struck with the said club. We accept when dealing with other clubs, that they may or may not even want our, or anybody’s, interest and that of course is their prerogative.
“We also accept even after reaching an agreement with a club, that the demands of a player, his agent or his advisor may yet scupper any deal. It’s often at this point, as the agent gets involved that the deal starts to become too rich for a lot of clubs.
“Nowadays, I accept that we have to deal with a player’s agent or advisor at some point, but in the main I don’t like doing so. So, I try not to pre-empt things, and I try not to complicate the process, as I feel that most deals are much of a muchness and should be pretty simple.
“But these deals do seem to get complicated by certain agents or advisors, who are in my opinion governed appallingly in this country. Why? Because many of these so-called ‘experts’, controlling a young man’s future, are unlicensed. While some are just friends, some are well meaning family members, and some are chancers who have had a son in an academy and are now suddenly experts in a young man’s future.
“Trust me when I say this, pretty much all of the good agents, good advisors and good agencies would agree with my sentiments wholeheartedly if they read this article.
“So, after all the phone calls, emails, waffle and brinkmanship that goes on for the sake of what I would call nicking a few quid; it’s my job to ensure whether we’re bringing a player IN or allowing a player to go OUT… that my manager, when the deal is done, is more than happy. It’s my job to ensure that any deal benefits our football club, and I of course want a deal that benefits our dressing room, the player, and one that can improve our chances of future success.
“If that all sounds a bit simplistic, that’s not my intention as the process is anything but simple. But I just have our football club, my manager, our players and our supporter’s interests to concern myself with, and I have no interest whatsoever in whether a deal benefits the agent or the advisor.
“In 19 seasons here, I’ve never paid one penny to an agent and many of my fellow chairman tell me, that puts us at a great disadvantage – but I disagree with them strongly. Why? Because as I said, many of these agents or advisors at our level are not properly regulated, they are not properly licensed, they are not good at their craft and as such, they shouldn’t be entertained.
“They don’t in my opinion, deserve to be paid the money they demand or get. And it should be remembered, that every penny that they receive, instantly goes out of the game. So, I feel I’m better served and football is better served by giving that money to either the selling club, a player or increasing my Gaffer’s budget.
“It should be a consideration to all, that agents at our level can only make money if their client is moving on every five minutes. So, the reality is, it’s in some agent’s or advisor’s interests – no matter how they want to portray themselves or frame things – for them to advise their client to up sticks and go elsewhere every year, or 18 months or so?
“The trouble with that is… players who without that advice may be settled, are then rushed into making the wrong decision. These players often end up at the wrong club and become disillusioned. They are often asked to play in a formation that doesn’t perhaps suit them. And, many end up walking away from the game or sitting on benches and not playing football – surely that can’t be right?
“Having overseen this club over 19 seasons, having overseen our rise through the non-league ranks and having established ourselves as a National league club. It has meant I’ve had to adapt to agent power over the last 10 years. It’s meant that building teams, building dressing rooms, creating loyalty and creating a caring culture amongst the players, management and staff, has become a lot more difficult than it used to be at this level – but trust me it can still be done.
“But the club’s and my position at this moment in time, is that nobody will be leaving this football club. Certainly not without both myself and Luke being totally convinced that it’s good business, not only for our ambitions, but for the player, our dressing room and our supporter’s ambitions.
“We want the chance to win something, we want the chance to perhaps experience Wembley and genuinely like the make-up of our squad. We also genuinely like our players as people, we like them as a group, and we think our staff, our squad and our management team can achieve success collectively this season… Having said that, one or two players may go out on loan in the coming weeks to get themselves some game time, but only on short-term loans that suits Luke to get certain players match fit, and ensure they’re ready for what will be a very heavy run in.”