The Sting


JANE AUSTEN'S ALLEGRO on the strange case of Luca Murphy.



I don't know much about the lad and only saw him play once when Pools were beaten by Shildon in the Durham Challenge Cup. 

He could have done better for Shildon's second goal but overall he had a reasonable game and looked good going forward. Although I am unable to recall the player's name, my mate and I both agreed that the lad who played alongside him looked a better player on the night. It was said that a number of Premiership clubs had been keeping tabs on the lad and it came as no surprise that Fulham came calling and took him on a two week trial.
"I would like to wish the lad well but based on what I have read, I am unable to do so."

According to Pools, after the trial, Fulham said that he was not good enough for them and gave HUFC a list of reasons to support their decision. Reports stated that upon his return to Pools, Murphy would not sign a professional contract and that he threw his dummy and reputation out of his pram, and overnight had become an all-round bad egg to the extent that his attitude was having a detrimental effect on the youth dressing room. Reading between the lines I would say that he may have been advised to play the spoilt brat and create a situation with which to force the club's hand. That being the case, Pools rightly, but bravely, decided to let him go.

Next thing we know, Fulham have signed the lad on a two and a half year contract. Not bad for someone they did not rate a few days earlier. I wonder if they will advise Pools the reason for this change of heart. It makes me query the quality of the Cottagers' coaching staff. Assuming they do have a case, Mark McGuire and Raj Singh must rigorously pursue every available avenue with Fulham to seek some sort of financial redress or to have the player banned from playing for them until the situation is fully investigated and resolved.

Hopefully Pools still have written evidence from Fulham giving their reasons for not wanting to sign Murphy in the first place. It is sad really, as Fulham are one of these clubs that most people like but if it is they who encouraged this move they should hang their heads in shame and be made to pay a decent fee for the player as well as having appropriate action taken against them and anyone else who was involved in such underhand chicanery.

Sadly I fear that Pools' efforts might come to nought for I have no doubt that the Premiership will look after its own even though Fulham are soon to leave the Greed-is-Good league ...or have they just joined it on a lower level? I would like to wish the lad well but based on what I have read, I am unable to do so. Perhaps he would have been better guided if he had spoken with Luke James on his experience of leaving Pools at such a young age in yet another badly-handled move.

So far as I can see there are only two winners in this sordid affair. The player himself who will no doubt get a hefty signing on fee and his agent, who will doubtlessly take a handsome percentage from this same signing on fee. I do hope that they enjoy their filthy lucre.

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