Should Heinze be allowed to make Liverpool switch?


7th, August 2007


gabbyheinze.jpgGabriel Heinze is a troubled man. Apart from being the footballer that no commentator can agree on in terms of pronouncing his surname, he’s also trapped in a loveless relationship. By that I mean his stay at Old Trafford. Heinze will take his dispute with Manchester United to a Premier League arbitration panel next week regarding his wish to leave the club.
The Argentine wants to join Liverpool and claims he has a letter from United which would allow him to leave if a club offered £6.8m. However, United insist they made it clear Heinze would not be permitted to join one of their title rivals and still has two years left on his contract.
Is this fair? In any other job, Heinze would be allowed to hand his notice in and, in a tricky scenario, would be given ‘gardening leave’ before being allowed to join a rival company. However, we all know that football is a very different place to the rest of the world… but isn’t that how the Bosman ruling came about?

As this row brews, Heinze has vowed to “carry on like a professional” and is continuing pre-season training with ManYoo. Apparently he met up with Alex Ferguson at United’s Carrington training ground yesterday to discuss his future, having confirmed he has brought in lawyers to try to force through a move to Anfield.
Previously United chief executive David Gill said he was happy the club was in the right. “He is a contracted player for two years and unless we receive an offer which is acceptable to us as a club, he will remain with us,” he said. Gill says that before Liverpool revealed their interest, he verbally informed Heinze’s agent that United would not be prepared to sell him to any of their three major domestic rivals. That conversation is thought to have been recorded, and if so, could feasibly be used as evidence if the matter ended up in court.
Is this another case of an agent unsettling a player? Ferguson believes so saying “I think that if we could take away the agent’s role in this I don’t think an awful lot is wrong with Gabi’s position at the club,” said Ferguson. “We’ve looked after Gabi very well. He had his cruciate knee operation and we looked after him. We let him do his rehabilitation in Spain, which he wanted and I think he’s delighted at how we’ve treated him. We’ve conducted ourselves in a way that suited Gabi perfectly.”
In yet another murky transfer saga (although not half as messy as the Tevez affair), Heinze highlights the problems in football. It would seem that football isn’t a free market and the Bosman ruling was only the start of opening up the market for players to work in. Do you think that it’s unfair that Heinze’s move to Anfield is facing such opposition or is it fair enough that ManYoo don’t want to lose a talented player to a rival?

Posted in Liverpool, Man Utd, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Jon says:

    It’s an odd one, but I don’t think anyone can really say for sure without seeing the evidence, such as the letter and the recorded conversation. If this letter does exist, then I can’t see United having much of an argument. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops, this one.

  2. Phantom Pain says:

    I’m a bit disappointed at his attitude. He has since his arrival been one of my favorite players at the club and a big hit with most fans. Losing your place to another player(Evra) is disappointing but a footballer of Heinze’s caliber should know that to regain his place he needs to work hard and not threaten to leave.

  3. Kipp says:

    Bosman isn’t as big a catchment net as it would seem, actually its more the reason why so many foreigners can play in the premier league after forcing all leagues to discard ‘nationality’ caps, anyway
    he can buy out his own contract, its just he cant afford to

  4. dp says:

    All that matters is what’s on paper. If it Scouseland FC met the price and no one else did, Man Yoo is up a creek and Heinze will be taking Hyppia’s place at left back at Anfield. Personally, I hope he does, as the chants that would ring back and forth would be unprecedented in foulness and volume. Plus, it should be an open market–cmon.

  5. Amy says:

    A lot of businesses have people sign contracts saying they won’t go work for the competition for a certain period of time after quitting. It seems fair to me that if you sign a contract stating you’ll get paid for a period of time, that the entity paying you has a right to quash a move to anyone they like during that period. If players don’t like it, they can move to a pay-per-game scenario. Contracts protect both sides. Heinze drew pay while rehabbing his leg, while providing no service to the team, because of the protection afforded by his contract. In return, United gets to dictate things like ‘ok, we’re willing to let you move to another team – as long as it’s not one of our domestic rivals.’

  6. daf says:

    It’s fair. He’s contracted for another 2 years. Boohoo.

  7. Bezzo says:

    I’ve read that there was a verbal instruction to his agent informing him that he couldn’t join a premiership rival and that this has been recorded so they may use this if it goes to court. As a United fan I hope he sits on the bench for the next 2 seasons and becomes lame!

  8. Dave Lee says:

    I always think it’s strange when football clubs tell a player that he’s not allowed to go.
    Would you want a player at your club who you knew doesn’t want to be there?
    Useless, if you ask me…

  9. Bezzo says:

    I just can’t quite understand how this situation arose, and I feel a mug for judging Heinze so wrongly. I didn’t think he was the kind of player who would fuck off despite us paying his wages for over a year whilst he didn’t play for us, but did manage to swan off for Argentina and get crocked again. I didn’t think he was the kind of player who would rather move clubs than stay and fight for his place. I didn’t think he was the kind of player who could so easily forget how well the club and fans have treated him, how we’ve loved him, and even contemplate a move to our most hated club.
    It’s been some time since I’ve felt really bitter over a player leaving us, but this Heinze business has left a really nasty taste in my mouth. No deal has gone through as yet, but I can’t see there being any way back now. As a group of fans, we are very unforgiving, and I don’t see we could get over the humiliation Heinze is currently putting us through. The memories of me gloating to Leeds fans over Alan Smith makes this situation all the more painful, as I can easily imagine how much the dippers are enjoying this.
    So, ta ra Gaby, fuck off, and I hope it makes you sick to your stomach when you’re playing for some European club who don’t give a shit about you, and you hear us chanting “ARGENTINA! ARGENTINA!” for Tevez. As is repeated time and again, no player is bigger than this club, and that certainly applies to Heinze, the cheeky Argie bastard we used to adore.

  10. Matty77 says:

    Even if the letter does exist, what’s a letter? Would it stand up as a legally binding agreement in such a way a ‘contract’ would? This s doubtful. United stuck by Heinze through his injury, and although in my opinion he will never get in the first team over Evra at Old Trafford anymore, a little bit of loyalty woudln’t go a miss.