2 sie 2010

What a deal...

This is a short story about one transfer deal. It looked easy at the beginning, nobody expected any problems. But it may be ideal example of mentality of some people involved in football in Poland. Hear me out.

This is the story about Łukasz Gikiewicz, 22 year old striker. His agent, Marek Citko (you might know him, years ago connected with transfer to Blackburn after scoring a goal on old Wembley against England) was looking for a new club for him as his contract with ŁKS Łódź ended after last season. He played in 30 games, scored 11 goals.

Citko found team for Gikiewicz - Śląsk Wrocław. Great deal for young and perspective striker and negotiated sums also were impressive. He signed for free, got his shirt, talked to press, left with club for a pre season tour in Germany.

Problems started. Former club, ŁKS, claimed money for player schooling even though he played there only for one season and they failed to pay him all the wages then. Śląsk said it's a matter between ŁKS and player - but not to make themselves any future problems, did not played him in first friendlies.

The saga continued and ŁKS stated how much they want - half a million Polish zloty which is about 125,000 euro. Śląsk refused to get into this fight, even stated that they are safe from any problems as put special clauses in signed deal with Gikiewicz. They won't pay and if ŁKS would maintain their claims. But at least he started playing in test games, even scoring goals.

While being on second training camp with Śląsk, new options came to players agent mind. Citko tried to negotiate the sum with club, make it smaller and affordable for him and Gikiewicz to pay themselves. But also, he looked for another club, abroad and only for few months, to avoid paying ŁKS money for schooling, wait to his 23rd birthday and then, during winter transfer window, sign for Śląsk on the same basis.

Club from Wrocław was pretty aware of the problems and took another striker for their trip to have cover if Gikiewicz won't be their player after all. After few days of training in Croatia, Gikiewicz left Śląsk saying that there is no agreement between him, his agent and ŁKS. He traveled to Switzerland, where Citko found a club for him, for few months - FC Will, in second division, coached by Pole, Komornicki. Quite a step back, would it be?

He was there, trained there, played in friendly game. But Citko was still negotiating with ŁKS, probably desperate to save his face and deal for his player.

Yesterday, there was a Śląsk Wrocław team presentation, on beautiful market square, in front of thousands of fans. Every player came out, said few words, kicked the ball into the large public... the last player announced, surprise, surprise is... Łukasz Gikiewicz. Time to give voice to the hero of this post:

"I made around 1800km in last three days but I have no regrets. I came to agreement with ŁKS, I'll be Śląsk Wrocław player in this season" - said Gikiewicz. Apparently, the player and the agent payed the largest part of the sum, which was smaller than initial claim from his previous club. Śląsk also helped them to pay for the schooling but it was small amount of money.

It took them more than a month, cost Śląsk and player many nerves and probably collided with correct build to the season of his form. Śląsk had to take another player for the training camp, pay for him, while ŁKS was seeking easy money on a player that was theirs only one season.

It was pathetic piece of negotiations, combination of poor thinking, cheap catches and nervous decisions. At least it ended in a good way for Łukasz Gikiewicz.

PS. I know there are many examples of quite pathetic deals all over the world but... this transfer just looked so easy to solve for every part involved. Just had to mention it.

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