Djebbour Debacle


One thing that has rumbled on this summer is the status of Rafik Djebbour and whether he was or wasn't a Forest player. There was never an official confirmation, though the club hoped to renege on the deal. Perhaps this was why there wasn't anything official to say that the loan was permanent, but when he was signed it was said to be building into a 2 year contract.

Forest were seeking ways out of the deal. For one Djebbour didn't really make a break through. Another was his vastly inflated wages had ruffled a few feathers in the dressing room.

Now it's apparent the deal struck has stuck, Forest have looked for suitors, and in Greece there is interest. The problem being those suitors don't have deep pockets. AEK Athens was Djebbours former club before Olympiakos in Greece, but AEK are a shell of the club he played for. For one they financially imploded. As a consequence of this (it’s a familiar story of too many highly paid non performing players, and the club going down) they self-relegated another division to amateur level to clear the decks essentially, and virtually start over. They got promoted back to the Greek Second flight last season, but even there the money will be non-existent. Therefore they can't afford to pay anything like what Djebbour would want.

APOEL Nicosia are also rumoured to be interested. Again the money in the Cypriot League won't be huge, but it may be a better opportunity. APOEL of course were famous for reaching the Champions League Semi Finals a couple of years ago, so might be an appealing team, that as they also won the League last season, so will be in with a chance of qualifying again (I can only assume the Cypriot co-efficient is not how and as such they'd need to qualify). Even so they will not have deep pockets either.

So in essence what we have is clubs who want Djebbour but cannot afford him. Djebbour for what it's worth wants to leave. But he doesn't want to take what would be a humongous pay cut to do so. Understandably. None of us would do that in life, so why expect him to be different? We are talking a humongous cut in wages here, from his believed £30,000 a week (equates to £1.5mill P/A roughly) down to whatever he'd take elsewhere. I've also seen people suggesting he is a money grabber for doing this, but it's just human nature. If someone wanted you to leave your job for a less well paid job, but the contract meant you could negotiate a payoff you would. Every single one, but when it comes to Footballers if they do this it's considered as greed.

Let's put things in context, Djebbour for what's its worth, could easily sit and take £3mill over next 2 years for a) doing nothing or b) Playing for Forest. He could leave and demand his contract be paid off to quietly leave, or most likely, as may well be a negotiated pay off could be made whereby we pay X amount of the £3mill to him, thus actually leaving Djebbour essentially out of pocket. This could be also done by agreeing to pay a percentage of his wage whilst at another club.  What clubs are willing to pay is completely unknown, but all options are viable.

If Djebbour were to have a stellar season wherever he went, and move club again, then the deal would be negated. So then Forest might well have saved. That would rely on player and destination club however.

If were to take a smaller pay off, to call him a money grabber is a bit rich, ultimately he will take less than he could earn. Admittedly he could just leave and take nothing more from the club, but no-one in his situation would do that, it'd be financial stupidity. And as I said, you or I would do exactly the same (unless you're already a multi-millionaire)