U.S. men's schedule, results
Sanneh courtship with West Brom is over after exchange of barbs.
By Gary Davidson (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, January 23, 2003) -- United States defender Tony Sanneh's courtship with West Bromwich Albion of England's Premier League can be considered officially over after the two sides traded barbs through the media.
Sanneh's German Bundesliga club, the financially strapped FC Nürnberg was trying to arrange his loan to England, but West Brom officials were incensed that he told German media, "I do not want to play for a club which is not as good as Nürnberg."
"We will now be exploring other options," Baggies managing director Brendon Batson told England's Birmingham Post. "The player has made comments in the past regarding a proposed move to Albion. It now appears he has made further remarks to a German newspaper expressing his reluctance to join us. We're obviously frustrated, bearing in mind the amount of time and effort we have expended in negotiating with the club and the player. But, considering the team spirit that has been created at the club, we wouldn't want to sign a player with that kind of attitude."
Nürnberg and West Brom had negotiated a loan fee for the remainder of the season with the English club having an option to obtain the player outright after that, but Sanneh, whose deal in Germany runs through 2005, refused to agree, alleging the written contract sent to him by the English club was for less than had been verbally negotiated.
"I am not just an object," Sanneh was quoted. "It was and is clear that I do not want play for a club which is not as good as Nürnberg. Should (Nürnberg) think I could help in the form of a transfer, then I will consider it, in the case of appropriate offers. But I am one of 25 players and it's not my fault that the manager thinks selling me makes the most money."
These are trying times for West Brom, promoted this season to the Premier League, with the Baggies (4-14-5, 17 points) are 19th among 20 teams and facing relegation. Despite attempts to lure several top players to improve fortunes, Batson and manager Gary Megson have been spurned by all except Nigerian wing-back Ifeanyi Udeze who was brought into the fold with the transfer window closing January 31.
Nürnberg (6-8-3, 21) is 12th in the 18-team Bundesliga, but within four points of sixth place in a scrum in the middle of the standings.
Gary Davidson is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be
e-mailed at email@example.com.
Gary Davidson is a SoccerTimes senior correspondent and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.