On a bizarre day for football, considering it was also the night THAT semi-final happened, eyebrows were raised early when Ross McCormack signed for recently relegated Fulham from Leeds. The fee is to be believed at £11 million (although the official amount is undisclosed). This lead to many memes stating how ridiculous this amount it is, and the reignition of the debate of British players being overpriced. However many Fulham fans, including myself, are ignoring the price, as it’s an anomaly in a situation with more good things than bad. The fee is over the top, but it’s not as ridiculous as it sounds; and here are the reasons why.
1. This fee is a statement of intent by Shahid Khan
Since his purchase of the club at the start of last season, his tenure has been a unmitigated disaster. Several managers and relegation at what seemed an unsinkable club wasn’t the debut he was looking for being at the helm of a Premier League club. What’s the first thing any good chairman does at the sign of a crisis? Open up the wallet. He did so at first with Kostas Mitroglou, and that didn’t really go to plan, but this time, he wanted to get a man that can fire a team into the Premier League, and who better than last season’s top goal scorer in that league? Magath wanted him, Leeds owner Massimo Cellino told Khan the fee, and he has shown ‘I will do ANYTHING to get us back in the Premier League', and this is a bold statement to make for the sceptical fans and the media following his chequered first season. The age old adage comes to mind; ya gotta spend money to make money.
2. No Fulham fan expects him to fulfil that price tag.
Don’t get me wrong; paying ALLEGEDLY £11m for a Championship striker is ridiculous, and most Fulham fans agree. Any fan that sees that huge price tag and is expecting a world class striker to rock up is delusional. He’s good - matter of fact, he’s great - and he will most certainly do a job. I imagine (and hope) Ross will ignore this price tag and continue his superb form from last season. If he can bag 15-20 goals next season like any good Championship goal getter, and secure us a play-off berth, I am happy. He’s 28 years old so we’re getting him near his peak too, so Fulham fans are hoping for him to end our woes in front of goal. But I hope no one is thinking we’ve bought a Sturridge or a Lukaku because of the price. Look at the player we’ve got to lead the line, not at the currency following his name.
3. No one actually knows the actual fee, it’s all speculation
I cannot find one article that states that we have actually paid £11m for Ross McCormack. Every article you read leads with ‘McCormack signs for £11m’, but once you actually read on, it says ‘undisclosed fee believed to be £11m’. A far realistic amount is probably around about £9.5m with some fees banded about, which is still probably fair if you compare it to the £8m Blackburn paid Huddersfield Town for Jordan Rhodes. Everyone comparing it to Sturridge are making a joke based off a fee that someone has guessed. So let’s not point fingers just yet, if we don’t have all the facts.
4. I'd pay £100m for Emile Heskey rather than have Darren Bent again.
Seriously, he is god awful. Just god awful.
Fulham are in a process of rebuilding, and to have a player of his Championship calibre to join our ranks is a fantastic coup. For me, this bumps our chances of promotion next season from not likely, to likely, and with Magath surrounding himself with young Bundesliga talent, and the signings of Messrs Shaun Richardson and Adam Taggart – he and Khan are prepared to get out of this league at the first time of asking, whatever the cost.