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The Value Of Charlie Adam


As the wintry January chill sets in, the transfer window is also upon us. And with clubs needing to dig deeper to find hidden gems with big clubs largely inactive, Midlands rivals Aston Villa and Birmingham City are reportedly engaged in hot pursuit of Blackpool trickster Charlie Adam. His manager Ian Holloway has reacted angrily to the alleged £3.5m bids and feels they have undervalued the Scot. This is another classic case of showing how much a club’s talisman is valued.

Transfer fees are not black and white. A fee is not only based on a player’s ability and potential, but also their worth to that particular club. From a purely objective view, £3.5m seems a very reasonable fee for Adam. He has limited Premier League experience but is a player in hot form and one of the most important players for Blackpool and Scotland.

To look at a different angle, Tottenham Hotspur completed daylight robbery when buying Rafael van der Vaart for a meagre £8m from Real Madrid. Of course, the difference was that the talented Dutchman was largely unwanted in Madrid. But after nine goals and six assists in the Premier League this season, the cunning nature of Harry Redknapp’s transfer becomes clear.

Adam’s Blackpool sadly do not have the money to compete with similar big-money transfers. Out of nine players bought over the Summer, cash exchanged hands in just one of them, Craig Cathcart’s £600,000 move from Manchester United. The club’s entire wage bill for a season is around £5m, which is less than John Terry’s yearly income. Plus Bloomfield Road is three times smaller than many Premier League grounds, and the club’s highest transfer fee paid is the £1.2m to Leicester City for the services of in-form goal-getter DJ Campbell. So the sparse finances of the club place speculation over bids for Adam into context. A fee of somewhere near £6m or £7m looks to be what Holloway and Blackpool might be after. That is if they would let their prize asset go in the first place.

After signing from Glasgow Rangers in August 2009 for £500,000, offerings of £3.5m show how Adam has excelled, and are a credit to Holloway’s management and his team. But the 25-year-old may not want to up and leave just yet. Aston Villa and Birmingham have both struggled this season, and also sit below Premier League newcomers Blackpool in the table. Stewart Downing and Ashley Young take care of playmaking duties at Villa Park, whilst David Bentley’s arrival at Birmingham will quash suspicions about a transfer.

The influence of the Scotland international is clear and concrete. In all but two of the Seasiders’ victories in the Premier League this season, Adam has chipped in with either a goal or an assist. Like fellow promoted clubs West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United, the star players are paramount and will not go cheaply. If you took Adam and Campbell out of Blackpool’s squad, the club’s first season in the top flight may not have been so rosy. There is a similar story with Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie at West Brom, as well as Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan at Newcastle.

Holloway has described Adam as a “genius” and declared: “you won’t get him strutting around the place. He’s not like that, but he’s a fantastic footballer.” The witty 47-year-old is also a wise man and has admitted he may be inclined to sell if the price is right, and it is only for us to see if Adam could make a step up in his career. After reaching a Europa League final with Rangers in 2008, surely Adam could fit into most Premier League teams aside from the top three or four. Holloway is probably the only man who could determine this and make it happen.

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  1. paulm

    January 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    If Darren bent is worth £24million then surely Charlie Adam Is worth more than £3.5 million. It’s a joke. Torres was only £22 million which shows that Aston villa have seriously overvalued bent and undervalued Adam. Charlie Adam should be at least worth 8 million.

    • The Gaffer

      January 20, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      Ollie said this afternoon that Adam is valued at £46m. A bit tongue in cheek, I think, as well as a way to tell other clubs to shove off.

      The Gaffer

  2. JC

    January 15, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Since I’m not from England, I need to ask – is Blackpool a viable spot for a Premier League club? I keep hearing on the broadcasts that it’s a popular tourist destination, which seems to imply that it’s a nice place to live (or at least visit). Wikipedia lists it as the third largest settlement in the Northwest behind Manchester and Liverpool. With proper management, investment into the infrastructure, and more than a fair bit of luck, could they be a side who sticks around for awhile?

  3. dominjon

    January 14, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Seeing as Blackpool didn’t even use the money that got for being in the EPL to get undersoil heating it is fair to say they have a little bit in the bank. If they are serious about keeping Adam just offer him a new contract and double his wages, which would still put him well below what he could get from the clubs chasing him, but would probably be more than enough to keep him happy at the club.

  4. Hemelboy

    January 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    You omit the influence of contract length as well, players begin to decline in value sharply if their contracts have less than 2 years to run because of the potential Bosman at the end of it.

    Secondly, the key point in the VdV transfer was the squad size limit. VdV was not going to make Madrid’s 25, so he wouldn’t play at all and would plummet in value. If he could have been registered in the squad and made the odd appearance I severely doubt an £8m fee would have possible to achieve, as a Spur I have to say what a great piece of business that was, even if we sell him next year we will still have made a boatload of cash and if VdV stays then even better.

  5. Tony

    January 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Villa fan here. Loving what Holloway has done with Blackpool. Whilst Adam seems important, Holloway has managed to rotate his squad and still do well.

    I think much of this may depend if Adam pushes for a move. This may be to earn more money or may be to play with better players (this latter comment is not meant to be disrespectful to Blackpool’s squad as they have done fantastic to date).

    Holloway is in exactly the same position as Ged is with Ash Young. Do you cash in on them sooner rather than later when you can earn more of a fee or hold on and reap the supposed benefit of having your talisman in the side. They will both probably move inevitably due to a combination of ambition/money as neither are historic supporters of their clubs. I hope whatever happens works out for both clubs as I enjoy seeing the seasiders in the EPL.

  6. Dave C

    January 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I just like the fact he has a proper old-school footballer’s name, from the days when everyone was called Charlie, George, Bobby, Bryan, etc.

  7. jose

    January 14, 2011 at 9:22 am

    oh damm, the scottish version of cesc fabregas running the show.

  8. 1974seasider

    January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Everybody assumes Blackpool are poor. They’re not. They are cash-rich because they have received their Sky tribute and they have low overheads. Blackpool are already heading for a £22m profit this season on turnover of £50m and that is without any outgoing transfers. The point is Blackpool don’t have to sell Charlie Adam therefore they are able and entitled to turn down whatever offers are made for our players. Blackpool FC’s prudence – derided and sneered at by so many – means we are in a very strong position when it comes to handling transfers so try to consider this fact in your bar room discussion as to how much you think he is worth. He’s under contract and he’s worth as much as Blackpool say he is.

  9. Brian

    January 14, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Is he really only 25? I always assumed he was older…

  10. Guy

    January 14, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I don’t think they can stay up without Adam. So, let me go out on what I think is a pretty strong limb and say Charlie is going nowhere at any price…..this season.

    Period. Finis. End of. (Check back with me in Feb.) 😉

  11. N17

    January 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

    We (Spurs) bought VDV for 8M.

    • Jason

      January 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

      Love the N17… No to Stratford!!!! We are Tottenham from the Lane!

  12. ithink

    January 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

    if he really thinks he will get more then 3.5 million then he is the one that needs his head checking !!! he is going to over price him and restrict the guys carrer to just blackpool what a idiot !!

    • ithink2

      January 14, 2011 at 7:45 am

      He has played really well this season, but thats one season, Scottish football is not the EPL. Players burst on the seen many times in their first season as the teams dont know how to play them. Consistency is why a player is worth their value. I wouldnt go above 4m for this reason. Hollaway is just drumming up a price war, as teams bigger than them need signings more than he does, however if he stays till the end of the season the likes of Villa will have made their move else where and could jepordise his future of one of the bigger teams. Above us maybe Mr Hollaway but position and class is something you gain overa long period of time and suspect Aston Villa will have a brighter long term option, wouldnt you?

    • Jason

      January 14, 2011 at 7:54 am

      I think the point of the article was that to everyone besides blackpool he isn’t worth more than 3.5 million. However, to Blackpool he is worth much more than that 3.5 million because the loss of Charlie could mean relegation and loss of millions more because of it.

      • idontthinkatall

        January 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

        Nailed it.

    • Earl Reed

      January 14, 2011 at 8:13 am

      I don’t think that’s the case at all. I think Holloway knows where the club stands, what, 8 points above the relegation zone? Losing Charlie Adam would almost certainly put this club into the fight of their life for Premier League viability (if they aren’t already). If that isn’t a good enough reason to “overvalue” a player (i.e. fear of demise), then I don’t know what is.

      Let’s put this another way. If this were July, I could see Holloway being more realistic with Adam’s price, because he would have time to scour the market for a replacement. But the January window is short, and you always risk the ability to get acquisitions to blend. Add to that Adam’s high place within the club, and it’s no wonder that Holloway is marking up his product.

    • Dave C

      January 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

      I’ve never understood all this “restricting his career” nonsense. How is holding someone to a mutually agreed contract a restriction of anyone’s career? If being at Blackpool was a restriction of his career, the guy shouldn’t have signed the contract.

    • bluederren

      January 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm

      How wrong you will be. Idiot!!!!!

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