Remember how we sold Scott Parker for £5m and Cole for a relative pittance when we went down? Compare that to the Wolves approach. They have set ludicrous fees for Jarvis and Fletcher and are either playing poker very well or are determined to get top dollar or to hold on to their imitation diamonds.
How does this work then? Well, for one, Wolves did not offer absurd, unaffordable contracts to their players. God only knows what Sullivan and Gold were thinking when they gave Parker that extended contract on a rumoured £80k per week. That effectively priced him out of the market so, when we had to sell following relegation, there was only one potential bidder, a Turkish team apart. So Spurs and Parker had us over a barrel. As a Spurs fan, Parker was going nowhere other than White Hart Lane and, knowing that through his close friendship with the Redknapps, Spurs were never going to pay market value whilst matching Scotty's ludicrous salary. So, not for the first time, West Ham dropped its shorts, bent over and invited Tottenham Hotspurs to take advantage.
And with Joe Cole? I was on holiday in Mexico when he was sold. I came back to the UK on the day of an England international and watched the game in the pub. Cole came on as a sub and the caption read, "Joe Cole, Chelsea" and I thought somebody had made a mistake, only to be told that he had been sold days before for a joke of a fee. What happened there? Bit like Parker really. Cole was a Chelsea fan, knew Lampard well and West Ham bent over a barrel, dropped the shorts and invited Chelsea to take advantage. We must be the only club that has knowingly undersold a player to Chelsea since the arrival of Abramovich!
Now the boot is on the other foot but Wolves are teaching us how to play the game. If we want Jarvis, we have to pay market value or higher, even though we seem to be the only club interested in him. Mind you, it could be worse, Wolves could be asking us to pay £15m for Fletcher!