Harty on Leonardo Ulloa and the Albion

I DOUBT any of us will ever tire of the old cliché about there never being a dull moment at the Albion – this week especially after the setting of a new transfer record with Leonardo Ulloa’s departure to Leicester City.

Friday, 25th July 2014, 8:00 am
Leonardo Ulloa

Even with the phrase ‘undisclosed fee’ being bandied around, I understand that the fee, with various add-ons, could rise to in excess of £10million. Then again, some might argue that the only way Leicester City will get into Europe is by writing a song.

And, as the popular Argentinian departs the Amex, coming through the door in the other direction is striker Chris O’Grady from Barnsley for a reported fee of £500,000.

I really hope O’Grady gets off to a flyer when the Albion play their opening home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday in just over a fortnight.

Despite the obvious gulf in the size of the fees, supporters will make comparisons. I myself am reminded of the 1991-92 season when, after reaching a Wembley play-off final, the Albion’s potent striking duo of Mike Small and John Byrne were sold off, to be replaced by Mark Farrington, Raphael Meade and Mark Gall.

Three into two certainly didn’t give the Albion the edge. And, in the case of Farrington, the words poison chalice spring to mind. He arrived from Feyenoord with the club having paid out £100,000, and a glowing recommendation from then Albion director/‘saviour’ Greg Stanley, a footballing kiss of death if ever there was one. He probably went on to be one of the most barracked players in the club’s history, a horrendous season ending with relegation on the last day at Ipswich.

Whether or not O’Grady turns out to be one of a number of purchases the Albion use with the Foxes’ money remains to be seen, but this really is now make or break for the Albion.

The Amex honeymoon is well and truly over. This week came the news that they’ve lost the Bennetts Field car park, which could present a logistical nightmare come matchdays.

Quite simply, Sami Hyypia’s team have to perform from the off, otherwise if the ‘product’ is not right, 27,000 can quickly become 22,000, closely followed by 18,000, which equates to 12,000 empty seats. That will clearly become apparent on the Football League Highlights Show on BBC1.

Many thanks to 5 Rings Telecom for inviting me to their golf day at Gatton Manor last Friday.

My fourball was a Worthing FC fans’ dream, with my three partners Messrs Raynsford, Tiltman and Young representing footballing heroes of mine from different eras.

Unfortuantely, my golf didn’t match the company.Gatton Manor clearly isn’t Hill Barn and I ended up finding more water than Jacques Cousteau.

But, what I was aware of was three Woodside legends all saying how impressed they were to hear about the progress made by Adam Hinshelwood and everyone else at Worthing FC.

There is no way of dressing it up, the last few years have been very difficult at the club, but with everyone pulling in the same direction, the future is now looking far more optimistic.

And, finally, the Spare Parts came a spirited second to Broadwater CC on the Green on Monday night.

A great time was had by all, during and after, and St Barnabas collected a few quid.