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What Can We Learn From Everton's Joleon Lescott Saga?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15:   Joleon Lescott of Everton runs with the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on August 15, 2009 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
dennis berryContributor IAugust 24, 2009

Every year it seems that there is at least one transfer that blows up in the faces of the parties involved. This year is no different; whilst last year's pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo by Real Madrid dominated footballing headlines, so did this year's courting of Joleon Lescott from Manchester City.

From the moment Manchester City's desire to buy Lescott became public knowledge, it seemed that we couldn't go a day without a verbal exchange between managers Mark Hughes and David Moyes. Moyes has been panned as "childish" by Manchester City fans, while Hughes has been branded a 'bully' by those in the Everton camp.

But what can we learn from situations like these?

There is no doubt that money is an attractive proposition in any profession; but there is perhaps no other industry that sees as much profligacy as the "Beautiful Game". Is Lescott really worth the reported sum of £24 million? Can Ronaldo justify an £80 million price tag?

Regardless of any argument I make, money will always be a part of club life. No-one can blame either City or Madrid for being fortunate enough to have truckloads of money. Likewise, no-one can blame Moyes for wanting to keep his best players.

Perhaps the only reason that these transfer stories seem so dramatic is the press. Last year, the Real hierarchy stated bluntly that Ronaldo would be joining them before they'd even consulted United. Turning the winger's head before anything had even been discussed. This year, as soon as Everton announced that a bid had been rejected, City officials 'let slip' that Lescott's wages would be doubled at least, should he move.

There are plenty of private negotiations that cause no such controversy; I can't recall public feuds after Roque Santa Cruz joined the citizens or Andrey Arshavin joined Arsenal. Why, you might ask?

Well, simply put, in neither case was the media used as a medium. City negotiated a price for RSC within closed doors and announced his signing once they had got it, and the same went for Arshavin.

However, in both the Lescott and Ronaldo stories, the media stoked the flames by helping clubs to trade blows; Moyes plain out-blasted City, Hughes responded by belittling Moyes and insulting his club. From a neutral perspective, they both acted childishly. But without a doubt, tensions wouldn't have run as high without media interference.

So the question is, should the media only be informed of dealings when they're complete? What do you think? Would it dull the summer, or would it help to bring an element of professionalism back to a game that has come to revolve around mercenary tactics?

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