Often Partisan

The Ben Foster Deal

Dan Ashworth confirmed yesterday that West Bromwich Albion were in talks with Blues for the services of goalkeeper Ben Foster. The BBC reports Dan Ashworth as saying that the price “had to be right for us [WBA] – and Blues” – which set me off thinking what is the right price for the Leamington-born stopper.

Fozzy signed for Blues for £6mil from Manchester United in 2010, signing a three-year contract which crucially also has a two-year option. It’s my understanding that this option is in the club’s favour which would mean that whilst Foster is heading into the final year of his original deal Blues have got him for three years in total. I’m waiting for confirmation on this but if it is the way I think it is – and in honesty, the club have a penchant for options in their favour – then that would seriously undermine the scare stories that we have to do a cut-price deal for the former England international.

With the uncertainty around not just the club but the goalkeeper situation – Doyle has a deal on the table and Butland is the centre of a storm of media speculation regarding his future – it might not seem sensible to be offloading Foster straight off the bat. Foster is quite a strange character in some ways because I think it’s very unlikely he’ll move away from the midlands again – it’s well-known he’s very much settled here and I wonder how much money he’d have to be offered to move to somewhere like a London team such as QPR. Ashworth has always driven a hard bargain and I suspect that he may well be using the fact that Foster wants to stay in this neck of the woods coupled with Blues’ financial situation to try and get Ben on the cheap knowing that Fozzy won’t go anywhere else and that Blues really need to get his wages off the books.

There is also the idea that maybe Albion would do a swap deal and maybe offload Myhill to us with a smaller cash payment to make it easier. Of course this would be complicated by the transfer embargo and would need Football League approval – however it’s my understanding that the FL has scope to allow transfers whereby it would ensure that Blues could put out a team next season – and with Blues possibly only having Butland that would be a lot easier to prove. Whether Myhill would be number two to the England youngster though would be a completely different ballgame.

I’m of the belief that this transfer is going to be a big pointer to what the next few months have in store for us. A quick sale for a cash upfront price – like Roger Johnson as an example – would indicate that Blues need cash now and would do nothing to assauge fears that this summer will be another installment of the great Birmingham firesale. A longer, more protracted affair where Blues manage to drag out a much more reasonable price – well, that would point to a) Peter Pannu’s hardball bargaining skills and maybe a less pressing need for cash after all.

I like Foster as a keeper but I think Blues may just be in the lucky situation of not needing him. A decent experienced keeper on a Bosman who is willing to play backup whilst Butland gets some first team experience will do Blues fine, which would allow the sale of Foster to not massively affect the squad. If Blues can get a figure north of four million quid I’d think that there might be a chance they will only need to sell maybe one other player to ensure that they have the funds to get through the next year.

Like everything else, time will tell but now the Baggies have finally installed their new head coach hopefully we will see some movement on this and the protracted sale of Foster might just get completed soon. The sooner Blues can do a decent deal and move things on, the better.

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26 Responses to “The Ben Foster Deal”

  • pierre says:

    if peter pannu played hardball over the transfer, could blues afford to keep him for another season(eg zigic).any idea what sort of wages we are talking about.

  • daddyblue says:

    I read on the free forum that we only paid 4 mill with 2 mill add on and 1 mill of that was a relagation clause. I still think we need a 5 mill transfer at minimum or to the value of. Part exchange would be good but don’t we have to wait for a new manager before we start letting players go or signing players. As a manager i would not be pleased if players are released and signed, what if i don’t fancy them.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    I think BLUES should hold out before speaking figures with wba,maybe the vile will be needing a new goalkeeper after what I saw of shay given in the euro’s.
    Think P`P would love a bidding war between wba & the vile.

    Also getting a bit p!ssed off with wba,seems they keep trying to preach to the BLUES what “they” need & what “we” should do,remember January all this talk of Foster,wba telling us,do a deal now or we will look elsewhere,well Foster is back at BLUES now,so the ball is in P`P hands lets hope for once he puts the incoming wba phone~call on hold for a while,”WELL P`P IS GOOD AT KEEPING QUITE” !!!!!

    Think GREEN has agreed to go to Q.P.R.
    Myhill on his way to Bristol City ??

    • nicky wicky says:

      Myhill going to Bristol City where did you he hear that? Thats good news that means he won’t be coming back to Blues!

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        Read it a couple of weeks back,where I don’t know,read that much,think the McInnes connection with the wba has a lot to do with it & Bristol need a goalkeeper.

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    I think we need to be careful with the expectation we are heaping on Jack Butland.
    His only league experience is 20 odd games in League Two . He has never played at senior level for Blues, & who knows which defenders will be available in front of him come August.

    Also he is in the UK’s provisional squad for the Olympics – What are the the implications there ?
    As example would he be preparing with the rest of the Blues squad on return to pre-season training next month , or with the Olympic squad ?

    • nicky wicky says:

      Butlands only league appearances is in league two but he has played for England and while he was playing for Cheltenham he also saved a penalty! Roy Hodgson has enough faith to take him to the euro’seven though he probably won’t play Dave Watson must have said he is good enough!

  • nicky wicky says:

    Well if it’s true then about the financial state being at break even , or at least there not needing to be taking the first offer then PP should ask for at least £5 million,but to be honest i wouldn’t want to see Blunders Myhill back at Blues again. he cost us so many points last season in away games! If he came he should have to fight it out with the other keepers. If what you were saying about the embargo,and reports are are true then PP could have sold off half the squad by now if he’sd wanted to!

  • pierre says:

    i agree euston 9 about wba, the trouble is fosters insistent on staying in the midlands makes it a limited market for us, probably only a massive wage hike would make him reconsider.only a matter of time before mr ridgewell pipes up again.

    • nicky wicky says:

      What is it about you and some other fans who think that players are only motivatedby Preier League and Big Money. Foster said last year that he had no problems playing for Blues in the Championship,and Curtis Davies has apparently turned down the chance off a big money move to The Prem because he prefers playing for Blues, or at least his family is settled in the area. Foster doesn’t strike me as a player where money is his primary motivation. he could have got more money going to other clubs but chose Blues because it was close to his family!

      • Euston 9.18 says:

        Nicky Wicky:

        “It’s always about the money”

        If FOSTER was offered more by the vile than wba was offering,do you really think he would join wba,because he played there on loan last season.

        Zigic didn’t join BLUES because he was a fan or Helb (remember him) “JUST THE MONEY” !!!!!

        • nicky wicky says:

          If Foster wanted better money he could have stayed at Man Utd. He came to Bluesbecause his family is fromLLeamington Spa. he got a good wage,but he said he had no problemplaying for Blues in the Championship. The Blues board loaned him out to get himoff the payroll. Kevin Phillips ,and Barry Ferguson went to Blackpoolnow you’re not telling me they’re getting the same money they were getting at Blues. Do the clubs ever sspeak to the players when they get relegated to see if they can come to some agreement over their wages?

          • Euston 9.18 says:

            Nicky,your saying ferguson & phillips went to blackpool for less wages they were getting at BLUES ??

            So they were helping the BLUES out but not themselves…REALLY ??

            A player (s) putting the football club interests 1st instead of there own,must be a 1st.

  • nicky wicky says:

    If Blues signed Foster for £6 million then the club shouldn’t let him go for less. There is apparently no need for a firesale although players some players may need to be sold to keep the club as a going concern,but talk of an exodus is pannick as PP has had a load of offers already but turned them down! We need to concentrate on getting a new manager in to steady the ship,and give some direction to the club!

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Foster has said he’d like to stay at Albion and encouraged Ridge to join him there. I personally dislike him for that and for the fact he turned his back on his country. £5m would be a fair price.

  • Lichfield Blue says:

    He was WBA’s player of the season and, for me, he’s the second best English Goalie in the Country and so £5m seems a reasonable fee; I can’t see Albion paying that, but that’s their problem.

    As per other comments on here, my main concern is that we don’t get ‘done’ by WBA or anybody else – Foster is a valuable asset and is arguably worth more [look at the price for some other Goalie’s such as de Gea]. Furthermore, if we can offload Big Zig, then perhaps we then have the budget to test Fozzie’s statment that he would happily play for Blues in the Championship – I suspect he’ll be true to his word.

  • bluenose08 says:

    I agree we shouldnt let foster go on the cheap ! But if he goes we are only left with butland if doyle doent accept a new deal. I have a mate who is a cheltenham fan and he said butland has potential but is still making errors ! so i am not sure about him being no 1. I still think if we have to sell anyone lets get ziggys wages off the books as i would rather the money was spent on foster if he will stay and imho i think we play better when ziggy is not playing ie when he went off against reading !

    • nicky wicky says:

      what makes you think ziggies still on this mega money? As far asi know it’s just paper talk?Surely if he was on that kind of money they would have tried to move him on by now?Look what happened last season PP shipped out a load of players on big wages for moderate fees. People have been predicting another exodus this season,but PP’s had loadsof offersbut hasn’t accepted them. There doesn’t seem to be any pressure to sell players this year unless the fee is right so surely if he was on such money PP would be wanting to get rid!

  • Oldbluenose says:

    As usual, A lot of conjecture regarding Foster’s future,

    If we get to keep him, — We have a 1st class goalie, [ as was shown the season before last ].

    If we have to sell him, — As long as we get around 5,mill, It helps our finances.

    Either way, we are win-win,!!.

  • WBA18 says:

    I honestly think Blues are owed in excess of four million and it’d be somewhat disrespectful to shortchange their club in a deal that might see us receive the second best British goalkeeper of recent times. Perhaps if Myhill was to go the opposite way permanently it might mitigate his fee but I don’t see us doing you a terrible deal considering the almost symbiotic arrangement the clubs have had with loan deals and transfers in recent years and a presumed will for that to continue due to the sheer proximity of the clubs and all the convenience that comes with that.

  • Ben says:

    Foster only cost £5million; the extra £1mil has to be paid once he reaches 50 league games for Birmingham city.
    Hence the reason the fire sale stories have come out as in 12 games time he will cost us £1m – money I don’t think we have

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Once again Often Partisan sums it up in a nutshell! Anything else is dependent upon PP and The Great Money Hunt.
    Now all we need is a manager….

  • Reeboh says:

    I’d say £4.5m lowest, but really think we’ll get a bid of £5m for him.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    If WBA don’t pay £5m then we should hang on to him. Maybe £4m and a decent squad player like Cox or Wood. If we had kept him last season I think we would’ve probably gone up automatically. In the end he is our player and WBA are taking the piss trying to take advantage of our financial plight and get him on less than his market value. Quite frankly if another local team like say Leicester or Villa came for him for £5m I’d sell him to them and leave the baggies with Myhill.

  • Bassett Baggie says:

    I would like say as a WBA fan is pay the money and get Ben on a long contract , best keeper I have seen in my 50 years watching them.

  • Somersetblue says:

    Just been reported on sky sports news that baggies have offered £3.7m take it or leave it!,ain’t enough in my opinion.

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