August 11, 1977
The £440,000 Liverpool have invested on the talented feet of Kenny Dalglish has brought a worried and hostile reaction from the players union. Cliff Lloyd, secretary of the Professional Footballers Association, told me last night: “It makes me shudder. It is unfair on the player and bad for the game generally.”
And Derek Dougan, the P.F.A. chairman, added: “It is totally unrealistic. There are only two clubs in the country who could find that kind of money but the rest could suffer as a result.”
Lloyd’s worry is that the higher the market goes among the top clubs, the more it puts on the value of players lower down the scale.
And he points out: “There are over 80 of the 92 professional clubs struggling to keep their heads above water.
“Just think how long it takes to accumulate that kind of money. I realise Liverpool have just collected £500,000 for Kevin Keegan from Hamburg so they will say they are still in funds after replacing him.
“But this is such a risky business. Think what the insurance premium alone will be to cover that amount of money. There is no longer any reality in the transfer market when deals like this go on.”
Dougan points out: “How can the Minister of Sport ask the Treasury for money for football after this?”
“Dennis Healey would say ‘yes,’ but I’ve just read of £440,000 being invested on one player. There is no answer to that.”
“One reason we have been pushing so hard for the freedom of contract is to try to take away the burden of these kind of transfer deals.
“Half a dozen independent reports on the game have strongly condemned the transfer market as a financial strain on Soccer and now it hits a new peak.
“This kind of deal can only harm the game. It’s not Liverpool I blame it’s the system.”
(Daily Express: August 11, 1977)