As Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley stories gather pace, what’s actually happening?

5 Jan

Two days in to the dreaded transfer window period and already Brentford have been deluged with rumours and stories concerning our star players. Alan Judge and James Tarkowski have, supposedly, both been attracting interest from Burnley whilst the former has also been the subject of a derisory  bid from Sheffield Wednesday.

I’m not a massive fan of discussing transfer rumours but even by normal standards the silly season has started early. And ignoring them won’t make anything just ‘go away’. Moreso when you look at the sources. Everybody from Sky Sports to the West London websites and Beesotted have jumped on the Judge ‘story’.

I take the piece from Beesotted most seriously of all. Dave and Billy seem to have that incredible knack of knowing the right people behind the scenes and winkling out the facts from any story. Whilst I’d don’t take everything they say as 100% Gospel, recent seasons have shown us that they invariably get it right. When other sources are chucking enough mud in the hope that some sticks (followed by an “as exclusively revealed….”), the Beesotted boys generally sort the wheat from the chaff.

And their article suggests that Sheffield Wednesday have offered to triple Alan’s wages which, if correct, one would think is something that currently we’d struggle to get close to. Whilst, of course, Brentford are not obliged to sell this season’s top performer, those sort of figures are sure to turn anybody’s head and make having to listen to ‘that band’ every week almost bearable.

Sheffield wednesday band with trevor francis

Any new player at Hillsborough will have to listen to this

With Burnley also reported to be after Alan, I can only see this heading to a similar bidding war as the one we saw between the Clarets and Hull City over Andre Gray during the summer. How it turns out will be a very interesting test of both Brentford’s resolve and plans aswell as the player’s own personal preferences. I have no insight on either factor so, rather than speculate, can only sit and wait for the next move. And it’s not a comfortable position to be in.

Burnley have, of course, also been lined with James Tarkowski. This after fears that Michael Keane would be on his way to Everton. However, with The Lancashire Telegraph now claiming that aswell as having a bid for James turned down, Burnley will be hanging on to Keane (“I’m going nowhere” is his purported quote) could that one die down ?

The Tarkowski story was one also reported by Beesotted (via their Northern ‘contacts’) and so seems to be one doing the rounds up that way, too. But, again, there’s nothing us regular fans can do about it apart from sit tight and wait to see what happens next or who Burnley are linked with. At this rate, I’d fancy them to go sniffing after Nick Proschwitz, such is their fascination with everything Brentford.

Tarkowski post Bristol City

Tarks – hopefully us Bees fans will have better days, too

And, as ever, there is nothing out of Griffin Park. On the one hand I fully respect their stance of refusing to comment on speculation. There’s no point in adding fuel to any fire. On the other, the days of sticking your head in the sand are long gone.

The Internet makes information available at the drop of a hat and people are happy to share it, read it or speculate on it in a bid to generate headlines, satisfy their own desire to ‘be in the know’ and stir up sales. I can only imagine agents to be sitting back and rubbing their hands at present.

The alternative is we come out and make a definitive statement. To say that the club have had bids (or not) but have turned them down. That we have no need or intention to sell and both players are under contract. That we’re building this side to push for the Premier League and have no desire to sell a key player to a play-off rival.

Of course, that will never happen. It’s just not the way we operate and comms haven’t exactly been our strong point in recent years – who could forget the ‘success’ of Village-gate or the Marinus debacle? Besides, when money is involved and the window has another four weeks to run, such a statement would be as valuable as the Chairman’s ‘vote of confidence’.

But like it or not, the fans have read the stories. The websites and news outlets are talking about them. It would be nice to see us at least try.

Until then, we’ve got an FA Cup game to think about on Saturday. I can’t imagine either player will feature (and only because of the chaotic calendar that sees 3 games in 6 days). But you can bet your  bottom dollar what conclusions people will draw from that.

Press day at the Brentford media centre could be an interesting one this week.


The  Internet makes ‘hiding in the sand’ a tough option for the likes of Rasmus, Phil and the media/comms teams


Nick Bruzon

8 Responses to “As Sheffield Wednesday and Burnley stories gather pace, what’s actually happening?”

  1. Garry S January 5, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Why would the club possibly make a statement to say that both players are not for sale, when they are on record as saying that every player IS for sale if our valuation is met?

    Don’t think it’s a comms issue to be honest.

    • nickbruzon January 5, 2016 at 8:40 am #

      Cheers Garry. Maybe I’m just unrealistic / living in ‘fantasy land’ but there is a whole host of things they could say. I’d rather read from the horse’s mouth than numerous other sources.

      That said, I’ve no doubt that every player has his price and things could come to a point where we are made an offer we can’t refuse.

      Thanks for reading

  2. lanesra January 5, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    The way the club is now being run with the new money ball concept, sell high replace with cheap deals and hope to strike a profit with a sell on later. If the club survive, happy days. If they challenge for top 6 makes players more viable but what happens with the fans dreams and aspirations. Slowly Slowly the heart is being ripped out of the club, we will get the corporate line….. its all about financial fair play blah blah blah. If the rumour is true regarding Vibe being the highest paid player at the club and possibly the league then how does that equate. Selling Judgey and Tarky is all about profit, no more no less. Meet the valuation and they are gone. Sadly the clubs aspirations now come with a capped ceiling.

    • Roderic January 5, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Interesting comments, to the point, no shilly shallying and windbag cliches, as per the blog; my impression, is that Judge is a decent man, a very talented footballer and essential to the progress and wellbeing of BFC. He is very honest and modest about his game performances; I have seen him make the sign of the cross, when entering the game, so I am sure he has a moral character and if anyone will show loyalty to the club, it will be Judge. I have commented, months ago, that the club should nail down a rock solid contract with Judge, to avoid any of this speculation. Vibe has shown flashes of decent play, but he does not seem to be filling Andre Gray’s boots; Gray was a big loss to BFC, he is showing that in his excellent strike record at Burnley. BFC could do with acquiring a striker with a good aim.

      • nickbruzon January 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm #

        Thanks for the comments, as ever.
        I do wonder why you persist in returning if this blog upsets you so much.

        As ever, the offer remains should you want a go yourself. I’m always happy to print from guest contributors and your clear knowledge of what makes an good column should, surely, be shared with a wider readership

  3. RebelBee January 5, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    The last window was a nightmare, this one promises to be as bad if not worse. The combination of agents, viral social media and the unabated greed of clubs and players, means that most professional football clubs get raided of their talent 2 times per year. It’s becoming like the local non league scene, where you rarely see the same players more than a few times as they move around for a few quid.

    Whilst we all need the benefits of buying and selling players there really needs to be a rethink on the way this process is now conducted.

    As for BFC, we’re already under siege with 2 star assets being enticed (choose words carefully) to leave us. This raises questions as to what MB and the club should and can do, and how this jives with our ambition, and in particular MB’s desire to reach the next level.

    I get that there are limits to what we can do in the modern game, players have the power now, and that everyone has a price. What I do want to see though is some real determination to keep our stars, and only to let them go if the money is too good, and ideally if they are stepping up a level. I dread the notion that we are to become a finishing school for young talent, solving our rivals recruitment shortcomings and always treading water as a result. Think BFC as a higher level Crewe as an example. Under MB’s direction BFC is rising again, and I totally reject the “little Brentford, we can’t compete” narrative put out there by many of our own fans. Lazy thinking and something that needs to be left in the past if we are to reach our potential.

    I’m fine with a balanced pragmatic policy on sales and recruitment, and we know that MB is willing to spend. But just as Everton did with John Stones, we need to show some resolve in certain cases – for me Alan Judge and David Button are 2 such cases. The remainder of this season, and more importantly next season , depend on it!

  4. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 5, 2016 at 7:53 pm #

    Every Bee’s heart sank yesterday hearing the speculation not only about Tarky, but also Judge, I guess what makes it worse is that its the likes of Sheffield Wednesday courting Judge.

    I cant fault Comms on this one. The fact that the club have said nothing could be interpreted as there’s legs to this story, and consequently it would be inappropriate for them to comment until there is a conclusion one way or t’other.

    There i’ve said it. I’ve actually defended Brentford’s Comms!

    • nickbruzon January 5, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

      Agreed re SW. But, money way well end up talking and take matters out of everybody’s hands.

      I can’t blame the club for their silence on this one. I just wish circumstances would allow for a change – even some form of acknowledgment. Silence is our default mode but, when everybody else is out there talking about it, just a shame we choose to ‘take the fifth’.
      It’s a tricky one to deal with for sure

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