Friday, 6.55pm: Peterborough United Director of Football Barry Fry has weighed into the George Boyd transfer controversy by calling Nottingham Forest’s owners ‘a disgrace to the game’.
Boyd spent the day at the City Ground after the clubs agreed a fee in the region of £500,000 and the player agreed personal terms.
But when a medical, that started first thing this morning, failed to lead to confirmation of the deal, suspicions about a possible problem were raised. That fear was confirmed late tonight when Forest pulled out of the deal claiming that a sight test had revealed less than perfect vision.
Forest’s actions angered Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony who took to Twitter and then to Sky Sports News to vent his frustrations. He said the whole process ‘stank’ during a long and powerful rant.
MacAnthony said: “Forest were chasing George for a couple of weeks and had made offers that weren’t good enough. We accepted an offer from Crystal Palace, but (Forest manager) Alex McLeish jumped in and matched the deal because he wanted the boy so badly.
“We gave George permission to speak to both clubs involved. He agreed terms with Forest before going there for a medical at 10.30 this morning.
“He’s been there all day and then I got a phone call off him late tonight and he was absolutely in bits. He said he passed the whole medical procedure before they made him do an eye-test.
“The eye doctor said he has a problem with one of his eyes and for that reason the owner of Forest didn’t want to do the deal. That happened a couple of hours before the window closed and the whole thing stinks to be perfectly honest with you.
“George has played 300 games in six years and scored some quality goals including one from the halfway line.
“Alex McLeish came back on and asked if they could take George on loan, but I told them to forget that after the way they’ve messed us around.
“I’m more devastated for George than anything else. He is up there with his family in a hotel and it is just about the most ridiculous thing that’s ever happened in my life.
“George passed a medical with Forest three years ago when he went on loan, but this time he has been treated terribly and I’m not happy about it.
“And when a club does that to you so late in a transfer window, there is not a lot you can do. It’s a complete shambles and I can’t get my head around it.
“I’ve told George to get his chin up, forget about all this nonsense and get himself back here. We’ll be delighted to have him for the rest of the season and even happier if he would sign a new contract.
“In the meantime we’ve already had another big Championship club, which is run by good people and has more chance of getting promotion, on the phone.
“They want to sign George when the loan window opens - and they’re not worried about his eyesight either.”
Boyd now faces a return to London Road, at least until the loan transfer window re-opens on February 8.
Boyd’s state of mind will now be an issue for Posh boss Darren Ferguson. When a proposed transfer to Ipswich fell through in August, Boyd’s form was poor for a while after returning to London Road.
It’s also a concern for the Posh finances as the club could now lose Boyd for nothing in the summer as he will then be a free agent. Their best hope now of recouping some money is a loan deal that includes a loan fee.
Boyd is believed to be the biggest earner at Posh with a weekly wage in excess of £10,000. Boyd has previously spent time on loan at Nottingham Forest, making a handful of appearances on loan in the second-half of the 2009-10 season.
Posh signed Spurs winger Alex Pritchard and extended the loan of Manchester United midfielder Davide Petrucci after believing they had sold Boyd.
What now for Boyd?
A selection of your views on the possible departure of George Boyd:
- George gave us six years of commitment, no little skill, and some wonderful moments. All the best George you deserve your shot at a bigger club.
- What a player. Six years of pure genius and three promotions plus that goal against Huddersfield!
- If you do go George, you owe us nothing. Thanks for what you have achieved at the club.
- Good luck to you George. It’s not your fault that you have a decent agent who managed to get you 10-15 grand a week.
- He has got his dream move. All the best to a Posh legend.
- Has anyone realised that George could now score the goal that sends Posh down in the last game of the season at Palace?!
- I’ve seen George develop into a good, hard working player with a never-say-die attitude. For his first few years we all admired his skill and trickery which was also great to watch.
- Obviously sad to see him go, but he has been poor since he came back from Forest. The biggest positive is it frees up £10k a week.
- Fantastic deal, good money for an average player by Championship standards.
- He can and will be replaced, as can any other player. He has been great, but now seems to be at the stage where he is just average.
- All Posh fans should wish him all the best, a real servant to the club and a great entertainer.