Often Partisan

The Gray Situation

News has broken this evening on the Guardian website that Leciester City have agreed to pay the release clause in Dimmy Gray’s contract – reported to be £4.7m. Gray signed a new contract for three years at St Andrew’s last month but apparently that has done little to halt the speculation surrounding his future at the club.

As you can imagine, social media went into meltdown with various fans decrying how low the release fee was, how the money was obviously going to be hived off back to Hong Kong and how it was evidence that the “bad old times” at Blues are still with us as Blues have already turned down more money from Bournemouth in the summer. I must admit, the report took me slightly aback but I think as fans we need to be rational.

Why such a low release clause?

First of all, we only have the Guardian’s word that the release clause is £4.7m. If we accept that as the truth, the first thing to take into consideration (and you’ll have to trust me on this) is that the amount offered by Bournemouth wasn’t as high as reported in the press. My understanding is that downpayment offered was significantly lower – I’ve heard a figure as low as £1.5m to be initially paid. There would then be payments made over a period of three years, both staged and when conditions were met which would have taken the deal to a similar figure to the release clause mentioned above.

Secondly, I’ve heard through contacts in the media that the clause above doesn’t include conditional payments – ie payments made when conditions are met, sell-ons etc. Therefore any deal would be offered to Blues would be £4.7m plus…

Why give Dimmy a deal with a release clause in it in the first place?

Sadly, it’s a fact of football life that players hold all the cards. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Dimmy refused to sign a deal without a release clause in it – and I’m sure his agent would have set a figure which would be realistically attainable to protect his client’s interests.

Blues would have been over a barrel – not offer a clause and potentially lose Dimmy in a year either free abroad or to a tribunal fee (I’ve heard a max £1m quoted for that as a downpayment), or include it and at least guarantee the club a decent payoff. Not only that, but no contract equals an unhappy player – which would equal lower levels of performance, etc etc.

So we’re shafted then?

On this I say no – for two reasons. Firstly, the question has to be asked does Dimmy want to go to Leicester or is this his agent trying to push through another deal to get another 10% for himself? It’s not like he would be guaranteed first team football – Leicester have Marc Albrighton, Riyad Mahrez, Jeff Schlupp – even Jamie Vardy plays wide occasionally.

Secondly – there is the Liverpool thing. It’s been widely reported that Liverpool have a first option on Dimmy and I have been assured that is true. If you knew that Liverpool might want to sign you – and having seen your former teammate Jordon Ibe make it into the first team – if you were Dimmy would you not think you had a chance there?


What I think this comes down to isn’t about Dimmy at all. People are getting wound up but the truth is, football has always been like this. I can remember being unhappy because Gary Rowett was sold on for £3.5m (a record outgoing fee at the time) to Leicester two seasons after we signed him for less half of that from Derby. Blues have always sold on good players to higher-placed teams – like most teams in football (including our rivals over the expressway), it’s the way football works.

The crux of people’s angst I think lies in what happens to that money. IF (and it’s a big IF) Dimmy does go, the pressure is on Panos and Gary Rowett to reinvest. I can only give my opinion on this, I can’t speak for anyone else – but if Dimmy did go and Blues weren’t seen to reinvest most if not all that transfer fee – then I think Panos would destroy every bit of credibility and kudos he’s built up in the last twelve months.

Premier League loans wouldn’t cut it – if Dimmy goes I think Blues would have to go sign players. That could turn it into a positive – imagine Dimmy goes, and Blues sign permanently a decent centre-back, a decent winger; hey maybe even a third player to beef up the squad. Then the deal would be okay, and people would be happy. Time wouldn’t be on their side – with six days left of the window we could have no shenanigans like those surrounding Rob Kiernan or Robert Tesche.

My message to Panos, if he is reading this would be simple. If Dimmy has to go – then do the deal quickly, and get in replacements just as quickly. Succeed with that and the team could end up stronger – and I think people will accept it had to be done. Fail however – or be seen not to be reinvesting the money – and I have no doubt people will assume you’re spending the money in a Wan Chai girly bar with Pete and Carson. This is when the job of being the Blues head honcho gets hard.

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85 Responses to “The Gray Situation”

  • rhees says:

    Agree on all points there Dan
    Dimmi has been very wasteful with the ball and put our defence under pressure.
    4.75 mil sounds good price to me

  • Ken says:

    I think the fact that Blues didnt sell Gray back end of last season plus his signing a new contract points to the conclusion that they dont “need” the transfer fee money to prop up the accounts. As such I would say that any fee they get will be reinvested into the team. As far as replacements / additional players etc are concerned, Id be reasonably sure that GR has a list of targets…with details of permanent signing cost, loan fee etc etc to hand. Giving revised terms to Gray and there being a release clause means that they were alive to this happening and I just cannot envisage GR having his plans B and C

  • Tony E says:

    Tatts is adamant that no such agreement exists with Liverpool, but what really annoys, if this is true, is that Fulham sold Roberts for £11m to Man City. I don’t believe that Roberts is better that Gray, in fact I feel Gray is a far superior player. It might all be b.s, but sadly I suspect it to be true. Hope the club move quickly to either dismiss this report or push the deal thru’ allowing Gary as much time as possible to bring in replacements.

  • Walker says:

    I think this is paper crap. He’s worth at least double that and it maybe Leicester or an agent trying to get a bargain or rock the boat. The tinker man can tinker somewhere else!!!

  • Tmsblues says:

    I am not convinced that Dimmi is worth a bigger fee. Have you seen his recent performances they haven’t actually been stunning. Sell and reinvest is a good deal for all… Maybe if he looked as just stated on sky he should have been buying in Roberts from Barnsley !

  • Robin says:

    I have noticed of late the fans have started believing & trusting again after Pannu so Panos needs to be very careful with the way it’s handled ,it would be such a shame after the the start we’ve made this season & of course Vile match all that hard work could go to waste very quickly ….hope im wrong

  • KC says:

    The timing of this is is a disaster when the the management. the players and the fans seemed as one more so than they have been for such a long time. Keeping Dimmi was the turning point.

  • weaponsguru says:

    Dan, are you saying that if he isn’t seen to be re-investing any money received for Dimi on the team, you think that Panos would be in “The Doghouse”?

    ……I’ll get my coat ……..

  • Richard Granfield says:

    I hope Gray stays as it sends a message that we have ceased selling our best players.
    HOWEVER, if he is sold to Leicester I would insist Liam Moore came as part of the deal.
    Moore 22 a central defender who has played 10 times for England Under 21’s.

  • andy says:

    Unless Dimmi asks to leave then Blues should be turning these bids down, the kid in today’s market is worth double the so called release clause.

  • Blue Steve says:

    Liam Moore as part of the deal and 5 million to re-invest in a left footed left winger.. I think I’d be pretty happy with that. Dimmy has not shown up that well so far. He is capable of scoring the odd goal but his crossing is average..

  • Berkshire Blue says:

    I’m not convinced that this will come to pass this transfer window. But, if it did, my message to Panos would be to not be panicked into spending the money at the tail end of the window for the sake of it – the likely outcome would be overpaying for players the manger doesn’t really want.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Again, if he leaves for a premier club, he’ll just get splinters in his ‘arris. Never in this world is Gray premier league quality. Two of those players he would be up against at Leicester – Riyad Mahrez and Jeffrey Schlupp – are far superior imo. So, he has the same choice as last time, join a premier club and sit on the bench (if he’s lucky,) or stay put and play first team football. For me, it’s as black and white as that.

  • Gerard says:

    Quite simply

    Grays performances have not been exactly breath taking never mind all the hyperbolics we have head indeed some from the player himself , (better fitter stronger )
    Secondly I think in todays market albeit for a player who I value nearer 3-4m , the market price based on similar sales especially to the Premiership his market value is nearer7-8m as in any business the market dictates]#
    Thirdly I agree with Dan- take the money for the right deal let GR do what he does best and sign good players that we need in priority positions and then I think we shall all be happy because suddenly play -offs or better under GR is a definite
    Fourthly – if he is sold and GR cannot or does not re-invest because of financial constraints the majority of monies received then Panos and the trust we have him currently will dissolve and then chaos off the pitch is guaranteed and GR will be the least happy
    Finally if we believe Panos -that any buying or selling of a player can only be done with the managers final permission that indeed is the true safety valve regardless of whether the Guardian is right or wrong with its report tonight

  • Hillfield Blues says:

    Just don’t get this story. Dimmi has been very average at best in the 3 league games so far so why now. If they were going to sell him he would have gone to Bournemouth months ago where he would have been guaranteed premier league game time.

  • KC says:

    Gray is a huge talent. Keep him and make a stance that is even bigger than his talent.

  • Blues fan says:

    Contacts don’t mean a thing today if a player wants out he or his agent will instigate a way out in all honesty apart from a couple of half decent shots he has been awful so far this season his crossing is woeful and he is far to greedy and messes it up most of the time he is a good player but it’s as though he’s made it and he only has to turn up he needs to wake up and put himself about a bit but If he wants out sell him get a half decent defender in and keep some money for the January window.

  • LichfieldBlue says:

    I’m not sure that we would need to reinvest that money on another winger, given Viv Solomon’s cameo last night. He looks like he can be the next Gray. Very exciting. I’d like to see another centre half brought in though.

    I quite like the fact that we are out performing richer clubs on a shoestring budget. A big signing might upset the apple cart.

    If the money is needed to keep the club afloat, and Rowett can pull yet another masterstroke signing in on the cheap (a la Michael Morrison) that’s fine with me.

    • RichardM says:

      Agree with tis point, and let’s not forget Koby Arthur as well who can play in this position. Both players could positively benefit from Gray’s sale. Be sad to see Gray go – but I’m not yet convinced that he is the real deal, nowhere near as effective as, for example, Nathan Redmond.

  • ian ambrose says:

    Always blues good player is gone too cheap Foolish to blues too soft sell player!!!… How up Norwick FC interesting to buy to wolves player of Benik Adobe it worth £14M Thats unfair why blues cheaper sell player £4.7m gray still 19year old is good player winger worth £10m-£15m !!! Always blues player sell to cheaper let us down and no bring blues fans !!!!

  • blue says:

    i don’t know if it’s because it’s silly season for the papers or a Vile fan phoning in false reports to the Guardian to unsettle the team, but it’s hard to believe.
    why would Dimmi want to go and warm a bench with the prospect of playing in a local derby against a team he’s probably always dreamed he’d play in and score against?

    nah, it’s a red herring………. hopefully..

    KRO Dimmi

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The club could easily put this to bed by dismissing the claims. But will they?

  • Paul Lum says:

    I agree with a lot of what you’ve said but I do not believe for one minute Liverpool have any first dibs clause. I mean why would they? Also as I’ve said on Twitter £5million for Gray is a disgrace. Just when I thought we were on the up we get brought back down to earth. If he goes it’s all about staying up. We won’t reinvest

    • Madmanbigc says:

      Gray ent all that. Need to bring in a couple of strong experienced players like we did with savage and carr and build slowly like we did prior to CY. KRO.

  • Texas Pete says:

    I really hope tha Dimmi has good insulation against this nonsense and he isnt reading the comments here. He is a kid. We are calling the 24 yrold Great Dane a raw talent and yet this teenage in demand talent is being discredited by his own supporters.
    It coming to the close of the window so there are going he be crazy stories and we are adding our own gypsy curses and planning his replacement!.
    As far as the Liverpool “truth” is concerned. Have they put down a deposit? Do they have a hold on him till they find someone better? Till the window closes? Till someone else matches their holding offer? They need to s**t or get off the pot. There is no logic in it and Dimmi knows about it then he will play like he is on prosac.
    I really appreciated almajir’s sober comments but the responses to it are worthless. Obviously we should be demanding he stay until the time is right not just because the media says it.

  • Stephen says:

    GR is very astute. I’m sure that he has already told Dimmi to concentrate on improving his defensive duties (until the end of the month). Which would explain Dimmi’s attacking performances so far this season.

  • Art says:

    If this is true it will be a backward step and will only lead to more despondency on and off the field.

  • Adam True Blue says:

    I see on here (Often Partisan) a lot of times, comments about players commitment, how about fans commitment to the players that we have got? Not long ago DG was going to be our salvation, and while he is playing in our colours then he should afford the support of all Blues fans, derogatory comments are only going to convince him that he doesn’t want to be here or put extra playing pressure on a young lads shoulders. I for one like Dimmi and given better support and opportunity think he will flourish, and with the extra quality we now have can only see his consistency improving. Why don’t we wait for official confirmation instead of ‘slagging’ off players still wearing the shirt.
    Moan over….

  • atko says:

    I’d like to see him stay. He’s not had the brightest start to the season but there is no doubting his talent. Some Blues fans don’t rate him but those in the know in the game can’t be all wrong….there’s enough clubs taken a look at him! He can play left & right & after Tuesday night I would love to see Gray on the one side & Solomon on the other at some point. If they were both on their game, I think that would be phenomenal!

  • Agent MLeish says:

    Hang on, the media and the club are now denying that DGs release clause has been triggered. Who is telling the truth and who is spouting BS?

    • almajir says:

      I think the Guardian may have jumped the gun on a bid being offered.

      • Bluepenguin76 says:

        I just cant see it being merely 4.7 million ! Seriously,I could accept maybe 6 million in hard cash for him with a few add on’s but anything below 5.5 million down would be poor business.

        Would agree with move for Liam Moore as a make weight he looks like a tidy prospect but In all honesty i’ll not believe any of it until it happens. For me it makes little sense that Dimmy would go???,why not stay and getting another year under your belt playing 1st team.

  • Jamie says:

    Gray could be as good as Stirling, I think he might worth 8 million in this market now, if he is gone, will shinnie, Toral and Cotterill work? if we need pace, maghoma could provide. With as short as 7 days now, I seriously doubt we can bring in anyone quality with a REASONABLE price.

    Agree Centre back needs to imrpved, GR should have someone in mind.

  • ChrisG says:

    I think if we can get a deal for Dimmi of over £5 mill plus a sell on clause would be a good one in our current situation, we are desperate for at least one CB & we have a few players who could fill Dimmis roll in Mogoma, Soloman & Koby Arthur. Although he would be a big loss it would make sense financially

  • I hope we do have a first refusal deal with the pool as it ll mean we will mean a reasonable price received , if it comes to selling, but some of the fee will go to paying off the £12,,million owed…

  • Nicklas C says:

    See, this is what I don’t get when it comes to contract renewals at the Blues, Why leave it so late?

    You see you have a player with massive potential at the club the club should of approached Gray with an extension let’s say for example, with 2 years left on his contract, that way the club itself is in a much stronger negotiation stance when it comes to minimum release clauses etc etc….In fact they may have had a chance to exclude any release clause in the first instance.

    It seems quite apparent for years now that that side of the business is poorly run.

    It happened with Butland/Redmond/Mutch just to name a few

    I am just a nobody and even I would do a better job!

    • almajir says:

      They did approach him 12 months ago. He didn’t sign it…

      • Nicklas C says:

        See where your coming from there Dan, but what did they offer??…an Extra 775K Wages and a Pucka Pie?

        No one know’s?? was it sufficient/tempting offer? or mediocre???

        In reality and this is a fact!, any decent agent would demand at least double wages and anything up to triple, plus a signing on fee and that excludes any bonus etc etc..

        Personally I don’t think whoever does the negotiations down the STANS being Chef Scout/Director of Football..or whatever they call it nowadays

        Just my personal opinion KRO!

        • almajir says:


          I think (don’t quote me cos I don’t know for sure) that they doubled to tripled his wages. He’s one of the highest paid players at the club now. You’re free to have your opinion but your assumptions are way off.

    • Agent McLeish says:

      Seems like most players have a release clause nowdays. It is probably good for both the club and player if the clause reflects the market value. The fact that DG did sign a contract was good for both the club and the player. I think both have handled the situation well up to this point. At least if he does move on we won’t see a large chunk of the cash being trousered by PP1 as his ‘commission’. Assume that PP2 has no such ‘arrangement’?

  • Matt says:

    Andre Gray – 9m. Twice the player of Dimmi? No chance. I hope the lad stays, he’s got a great attitude and always works hard. On his day, as shown against Leicester in preseason he’s virtually unplayable. This kind of player only comes around every so often. Blues can’t keep pulling these kind of players out the hat and then sell them for pennies. Disheartening.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Totally agree. What is definitely disheartening is the attitude of some of our supporters towards a 19 year old kid who has played only one full season. He has already made 10 appearances for England between u18 and u20 level so also highly rated within the England set up. Personally I think its a disgrace if he ends up going for £4.7m.

      Wake up folks – we have got a special talent on our hands here. He might have had a quiet start to the season but he is obviously working hard on the defensive side of his game against three good sides. Opposition teams are very aware of him now and he has got to learn to deal with that – how to find space when being tightly marked or doubled up on and how to draw markers out of position to create space for others.

  • Jamie says:

    Very well written piece, I agree whole heartedly, if we sell Dimi and get 3 decent players in .I.e the centre back that’s needed as cover and a couple of decent squad players, it would definitely soften the blow.
    Personally I think it’s his agent, the night before the news broke Dimi put on Twitter “sometimes people don’t have your best intrests at heart” and straight away I thought he was on about his agent, then the next day the Leicester news broke.. I may be wrong, but the tweet was intriguing non the less…KRO

  • Jonathan Garrett says:

    I think we (blues) should take the money,get a new centre half,and whoever Gary feels we need, Viv Solomon-Otabor sounds extremely promising, a ready made replacement,and keep the rest of the money,should another signing be necessary, obviously hoping that the money is given to Gary in the first place,ps great article Dan (as always)

  • Blues fan says:

    I don’t think fans are saying grey is rubbish because he obviously isn’t they are saying and I agree with them that he doesn’t seem to have moved on this season he acts as though he’s made it like he only has to turn up for the game plus you can’t keep coming up with the excuse he’s only young.

  • Bluehobba says:

    “spending the money in a Wan Chai girly bar with Pete and Carson”…. now that’s top quality… haha kro

  • JohnB says:

    I think signing the new contract was a strategic move to make sure we obtained a minimum figure for Dimmy if he was sold – if that was the clubs idea or Dimmy himself trying to give something back im not sure but good luck to him whatever he decides to do. KRO!

    • Bluepenguin76 says:

      John totally agree ,I hope people take that into consideration if he does leave. He’d have obviously felt it better to sign a contract and get the club a larger fee. In all honesty if he hadn’t signed do you think we’d be talking about a fee of nearly 5 Million?? . We’d have the premier League blood suckers offering 1.5 million!

      What I would say is Dimmi is worth more than that in today’s market! Roberts to City and Gray (Brentford) to Burnley went for over 20 million combined,are they any better than Demari?. We’d have mugged ourselves at 4.7 million.

      Hoping he stays but if he leaves hope its for a decent amount!

  • Macca21 says:

    It really annoys me when everyone talks about selling to a bigger club. Take away the CY problems no way Leicester City are a bigger club than Blues, surely Dimmi can see that, IMO although they have started well Leicester are still my Favourites for relegation this season & with lots of luck we could pass them on the way up.

    If he goes fair enough but not to Leicester this makes no sense. What a side wards step that would be & I can’t see it happening..

    • Blues fan says:

      That’s the problem at blues Macca 21 our owners and selling the club it is taking far to long if it ever will happen that’s what is holding blues back we are skint and nothing ever changes don’t forget it’s a job to these players they are not fans and until the ownership changes we will stay the same we will get no decent players.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Dimmi as been making up the numbers so far this season so if he goes for £4.7 million with add ons then that’s a good deal for Blues .. Get that centre half in and maybe one other and I think we’re be a stronger better team without him IMO , Koby Arthur deserves a run in the team so if Gray goes then let’s hope that he can fill is boots . Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Have to agree Dave. We have Maghoma and Solomon-Otabor who can slot in, so we won’t be desperate. For me, a new centre back should be our priority. Solve that problem and we’ll be on our way.

      • jonno11blue says:

        You’re joking aren’t you Maghoma is rubbish. He was the worst player on the pitch Tuesday night. His work rate is poor, doesn’t mark his man and wasn’t supporting the forwards.

      • Macca21 says:

        Maghoma is not a champ player. I mentioned before in a previous blog he won’t start more th 5 leagues games this season . One of GR’S desperate signings

      • ShirleyBlue says:

        Maghoma was brought in as a squad player and is nothing special from what I have seen and what his record suggests. You can’t possibly have seen enough of Solomon-Otobor to assess whether he is ready for first team championship football – you are just guessing.

  • exgasmantom says:

    latest on ESPN states “Leicester City are in talks to sign Birmingham City winger Demarai Gray after activating a release clause in his contract, sources have told ESPN FC.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I would have thought that, by now, the club would have come out and quashed these rumours. But not a dickey bird.

  • Bluenosedez says:

    Christ there are some deluded fans amongst us.

    People suggesting we are a bigger club than Leicester are living so far in the past its unreal. Have you paid any attention to what they have done over the recent years? They got bigger attendances in their league 1 season than we have got in the championship. They have wealthy backers and I have heard best atmosphere in the prem. If people cant see why DG wouldn’t go there they need to take their blue tinted specs off.

    We are going in the right direction, slowly. To suggest he should stay here and Leicester are a sideways step is insane chaps.

  • Mitchell says:

    Blues have never historically been able to hold on to gifted players. Gray situation is no different. What we have to hope for is that the loss is softened by an extra player or two who GR brings in that have the current attitude of honest/hungry and desire to wear the blue shirt.

  • jonno11blue says:

    Sorry Dan, Dimmy has got to stay for at least another couple of years, if he doesn’t the credibility of Panos and Rowett will have taken a hugh knock. Also you keep going on about Liverpool having an option on him. The club has clearly stated a number of times that no such option exists.
    Despite the great improvements since Gary come we are still struggling to entice the fans back to St Andrews and selling your prize asset will only drive people away.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Too right. The first one to go out of an improving team and a current U20 England player who will only get better. I guess the people who have been criticising him will be happy though. If he goes it just says what a poor state we are really in.

    • almajir says:


      Liverpool have an agreement where Dimmy is concerned. I am 100% sure about that, due to the person who told me. I don’t think it’s quite as some people imagine it to be – but yes – they have an agreement with us over Dimmy. Reece Brown too.

      Also, if Gray’s release clause is met, it has to be accepted. That’s the point of a release clause, really. It’s down to Dimmy then if he wants to go – and before you say it, as I indicated in the article, sources indicate Dimmy would not sign a new deal without one.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Ranieri has been on sky news and said he’s happy with his squad and plans no signings ? KRO

  • Hugh Essay says:

    I think £4.7m plus add ins for Gray is food value. Can Blues insist on add ins or can Gray walk for the release fee? That is the question.

  • Brumbie says:

    It would be great to keep our best players but it won’t happen I’m sorry to say. When bigger clubs come calling waving £20 notes our best players are gone we are just not a big enough club to fend them off. Bigger clubs than us struggle to hold on to players, it’s just the way it is. All our best players go in the end they always do so we just have to hope we get top dollar and reinvest what we get. Seeing our players leaving for unattractive clubs who we don’t think of as big clubs is tough but like it or not we are not a big club and we just have to accept the way the football food chain works.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    No team is insulated from having to sell players it doesn’t want to. Look at Liverpool and Sterling and Everton and Stones. We have to make sure we don’t push it up a wall as with Bob Latchford: only two good years from Kendall and Harry Styles (whooo?). That deal took us only in one direction.

  • Texas Pete says:

    I have never heard such a load of bull created out of one bogus news article. They are now saying that Leicester is backing away from the deal………that never existed in the first place. Roll on September as quickly as possible. I will looking at videos to see how many players are wearing red shirts under their blue ones. I count zero so far.

  • Mitchell says:

    Barton joins Burnley. Little bet he doesn’t survive a sending off during next 6 games at Championship level!

  • JBfromOz says:

    Exactly what Bars in Wanchai are we talking about ????
    Be careful with your answer as I’ve been in most of ’em.

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