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Lescott: No respect

By Stewart Littler :  23/08/2009 :  Comments (36) :

I truly believed that Lescott would not go to Manchester City. I didn't think Everton would want to sell and I thought that whilst he would (quite rightly) be interested, he would be man enough to take the 'no' that came his way.

He has been a fantastic player for us over the last few seasons. Those coming out now and saying 'he is not all that good' are wrong in my opinion. I never saw Deggsy Mountfield play but, from what me Dad tells me of him, I thought he was the present-day 'Mountfield type' player. Excellent at the back, versatile, and weighing in with a fair share of goals (admittedly not quite at the level of the 80s legend). Perhaps not truly world class, but a very very good football player.

So it's a shame to see that he is, in fact, a very very poor football professional. I could take the lack of 'a commitment to us' statement, as he would not want to burn any bridges, and probably thought (as some of us did) that we might end up selling anyway. I could take the transfer request. No problem with an official means of communicating his wish. However, when told no, he should have got it out of his head and got on with things.

His alleged behaviour since then has been despicable. Let's just apply them to most of our situations — the fans who have a 'normal job'. If you had asked for something at work, and your boss told you no, and you then went on to tell him your head wasn't in the right frame of mind for work, and then when he said tough shit, you performed poorly (and likely with intent) and continued to display a bad attitude, you would quite rightly expect the boss to be taking some action. The massive difference is that Lescott probably gets at least 50 times in a year what most of us do.

There will be some who will crazily claim that this is what the club wanted all along. To sell him and make him look the bad guy. Moyes is all the evidence you need. He has maintained that he did not wish to sell. He has acted professionally to both the club and player in question in saying no. He has removed any doubt from my mind that he is the boss when it comes to matters like these.

"It's been difficult because Joleon's attitude has been so poor and it's had an effect and that's why we've had to leave him out" is the quote from The Telegraph which sums up my disappointment with Lescott. Moyes made Lescott the player he is. For Lescott to shit on him in this way is a lack of respect to him and says everything you need to about him as a human being.

Some have compared Moyes's behaviour in the days leading up to this season to that we saw around a year ago. There is a massive difference. Last year, he was frustrated and annoyed at Everton. This year, he is frustrated and annoyed at Lescott and Manchester City.

We saw the response on Thursday and I think, and hope, that we will see more of this today. We achieved 8 points from 8 then. If I were a betting man, I would be having a ton on us having double that after 8 this time.

I'm not worried about losing Lescott now. In some ways I don't blame him. More money, better prospects, change of scenery, new challenge. I actually think he could be the final piece in City's jigsaw — let's face it, if we had players like Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Robinho and Tevez, to name but a few, we'd all be pretty confident of challenging.

Their problem was the defence, and I think they will have a fantastic pairing of Toure and Lescott. That annoys me somewhat, as I think City's conduct has also been terrible, but that's for another thread. We now need to ensure we get the best deal possible, and I trust Moyes to use the money he can generate wisely and improve the squad further.

So Lescott will get his wish. He never owed us any loyalty. He never owed us the goals he scored, or prevented. He simply owed us respect. And I would think the only reason Moyes hasn't fined him is because he's probably thought 'what's the fucking point!'

Reader Comments

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Mike McLean
1   Posted 23/08/2009 at 14:33:55

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That’s one interpretation and has the ring of some truth to it.

Another might be that the club’s money men smacked Moyes’ arse and he had to sell.

But who on earth could think badly of our magnificent Chairperson and his blissfully marvellous backers?
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 23/08/2009 at 14:46:29

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An article that roundly villifies Lescott but finishes by suggesting that you don’t blame him...

Strange.

Once the request was submitted he should’ve gone... this has been dragged out by Moyes to no advantage.
Kunal Desai
3   Posted 23/08/2009 at 14:55:17

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Moyes said that with only 2-3 weeks of the window closing what players can he get in if Lescott goes......well he now only has a few days so had this all be done and dusted a while ago he wouldn’t have been left in this predicament.
Besides other clubs can do deals within a couple of days so why take 2/3 weeks to sign players maybe he was referring to the everton way where it takes weeks and then in most cases never materialises.
Ray Burn
4   Posted 23/08/2009 at 14:43:00

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Money men nothing. This is all down to Lescott and his abysmal behaviour.

Forget loyalty to the club, that just can’t be expected nowadays; this is about loyalty to people and about being professional and principaled.

Would you treat a person who took a chance on you, gave you a huge break in your career and turned you into a ’someone’, as badly as Lescott has treated Moyes, just so you could double your money?

I know I wouldn’t, not for any amount of cash.

Moyes has demonstrated himself to be a man of integrity. Joleon Lescott is firmly at the other end of that scale, a snake in the grass.

I wouldn’t be anywhere near so damning if he had pursued his move whilst giving it his all on the pitch, but his reprehensible behaviour has somehow managed to make Rooney look honourable. No mean feat J-Lo.
Gareth Atkinson
5   Posted 23/08/2009 at 15:06:30

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I’m sorry but loyalty is the least this money grabbing shit bag owes us.

Would he have a sniff of the world cup if it wasn’t for Everton, would he fuck, would any other club of took a chance on him with those supposedly dodgy knees, would they fuck.

He was dreadful at the start of last season and the season before but Moyes stood by him in both instances and dropped Yobo instead and parterned him with Jaglielka which seen his form flourish and get an England call up.

So the least he owes us is bit of fucking loyalty I think.

Don’t get me wrong I think the whole thing has been terribly handled and tested Moyes to full, but there are two cunts in all this Mark Hughes and Joleon Lescott and I hope it goes tits up for the both of them.
Matt Traynor
6   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:01:49

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Whether he’s right to pursue "ambition" or money, Lescott’s behaviour has been unprofessional.

His head wasn’t right? Moyes should’ve fined him his wages whilst he wasn’t right to play.

Compare that with the referee on that opening game with Arsenal. Mark Halsey found out 2 days before he’d been diagnosed with cancer. Didn’t stop him from doing his job, for which he is paid a fraction of what the players get.
Stuart Downey
7   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:15:47

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I hope Joleon goes £25m. At this point, I see we only have 2 options: sell him or let him rot in the reserves. The former is much better for us.
John Andrews
8   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:47:55

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You cannot possibly let Lescott rot in the reserves. It makes no sense whatsoever. The bloke has had his head turned by tales of untold wealth. He can, possibly, double if not treble his salary at City.

If folks are honest on this forum, who in their right mind would not want to better themselves in this way?

Art Tosh
9   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:47:36

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Football professionals aren’t employees in the way we are (if someone calls our mobile phone and says come work for me and I’ll pay you double, we can resign and leave). Footballers are contractors. They are self-employed suppliers who sign a contract with a firm to perform work for a specific period of time and to be paid for their services during that time. When a contractor refuses to perform, there are legal ramifications - because that contractor has signed a contract that legally commits them to the service they provide. Everton should sell the Lescott contract to City (which is effectively what it is) but also sue him personally for loss of future value (for the club) - set a precedent; footballers have to fulfil their contractual obligations or they get treated like any contractor/supplier. If a supplier doesn’t meet its obligations to my firm, I have to take action - otherwise the contract is meaningless.
Martin Mason
10   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:39:15

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At the right time and place, selling Lescott for £25 million is great business by Everton as that value of new players is more important than Lescott, good as he is.

The way that Everton do transfer business and prepare for the new season though is disgraceful. They are like a footballing banana republic and they shame the name of this once wonderful club that I started watching in the 1960s. They are a poor side and Moyes, whilst good at spotting a bargain, is tactically naive and negative, more a Championship than Premier League boss.

The difference between the teams that have gone down in recent years and Everton’s banana republic squad is very fine and we are in grave danger if Everton’s management don’t get some good squad players in. We have been flattered in recent seasons by a few great consistent performers like the magnificent Phil Jagielka, great little Stevie Pienaar, Leighton Baines and Lescott however much we slag him now.

Lescott was a great buy and in the end you cannot and should not try to keep a player who wants to move on. I thank Joleon for his great performances for Everton but I despair of the franchising of English clubs to rich foreign owners and their ability to illegally prise loyal players from poorer clubs. I put no blame on Lescott because, in the end, all of us would move if we were offered double our wages. The blame is 100% raghead money and unprofessional tactics by city.

I desperately hope that Everton don’t go down the franchise route like Liverpool, Chelsea and United (hats off to Wneger and Aresenal though, what a manager). Let’s keep the soul of Everton out of foreign hands, even if it means we don’t come 5th. Please though, let's buy some passionate players and play decent football — not 4-5-1. Come back Colin, Alan and Howard or your 21st century counterparts, we desperately need you.

John Martin
11   Posted 23/08/2009 at 18:12:57

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As soon as Lescott made it clear he wanted out Moyes should have told city the asking price and sold him. Instead he messed about we are having another awful start. Still only 8 more days of dithering to go then Moyes can do what he does best. Get a small bunch of players who wont step out of line to punch above our weight and then he can take all the glory. IMWT
David Shaw
12   Posted 23/08/2009 at 18:26:24

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Why should Lescott show Everton any respect?

Because we pay his wages?

We the fans pay Everton ’their wages’ and they don’t give us any respect!

John Martin
13   Posted 23/08/2009 at 20:05:16

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Well said, David Shaw. I don't blame Lescott for a huge increase in wages and a club with ambition.
Steven Mills
14   Posted 23/08/2009 at 20:12:14

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You can’t blame him for wanting to get off.

Man City say "come and play for us with Barry, Tevez, Adebayor, Robinho, etc and treble your wages whilst your at it".

Everton offered no progression and no incentive to stay. "Oh, but once Arteta, Yakubu and Jagielka are back its like having 3 new players".

Maybe some new signings and actually some evidence that the club are showing ambition to improve on last season's efforts might have convinced him to stay another season or two. But no, we still have Osman, Hibbert and Neville as guaranteed starters.
Russ Quinlan
15   Posted 23/08/2009 at 20:37:38

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Unfortunately, we have no ambition... sorry, the Board have no ambition — and that's one reason why he’s going.

Now Moyes is even saying that he is trying to bring in 4 players, ’but time is getting short’!!! Who’s fucking fault is that!?!

I know what's gonna happen: Lescott will go and we’ll get nobody in and it's mid-table at best. I am truly sick of it.

Gerry Western
16   Posted 23/08/2009 at 20:45:20

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So it would seem they have finally agreed on a fee of around £24M. I’ve been saying since Day One that the club would sell but only if they were offered a huge fee. I predicted they would be prepared to deal for £25m so not far wrong there. Moyes is being criticized in some quarters for his handling of this but I think he’s handled this brilliantly.

Some are saying Moyes flatly refused to sell but that’s not quite true. He actually said he didn’t want to sell one of his most valued players but he allowed himself a get out clause when he added that City’s valuation did come close to that of EFC. If he was adamant about not being prepared to sell, why on earth would he allude to a disagreement surrounding the valuation, it would have been irrelevant. That simply doesn’t make sense. I think we all know what that means in bargaining terms.

Some argue he said he’s not for sale and that is true but that was simply posturing in my book. He was simply hardening his attitude in response to City’s derisory offer of £15M. Furthermore, that initial offer must be viewed within its context. The club had disclosed its accounts prior to this offer being made. Clearly City were looking to seize upon the club's poor financial position.

There really was only one way the club were going to improve upon that offer and that was to get City to realize that, unless an offer matching their valuation was received, there would be no deal. It's probably taken City longer than expected to reach that point but they appear now to have relented.

The question is: Was it worth it? I’d say it was. What it also says, however, is that our financial position is even more precarious than I thought... and Moyes, knowing this, has had to play a serious game of hardball. To his credit, it seems to have paid off if the figure of £24M is proves to be true.

Ian Tod
17   Posted 23/08/2009 at 21:09:32

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The elephant man, the elephant man, Joleon Lescott the elephant man.
Richard Tarleton
18   Posted 23/08/2009 at 21:10:23

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Lescott owed us nothing. Just as when we bought him from Wolves, he came to :a) improve his bank balance and b) to further his career.

Sentimental crap about footballers owing teams loyalty ("respect" is your synonym) is ridiculous. Everton over the past half century have pillaged many teams, particularly Blackburn (Vernon, Pickering, Newton); Blackpool (West, Ball, Walsh); and Man City for Kendall as manager.

Like you and I, Lescott works for money and Everton under Kenwright and Co cannot offer the best rates, so we lose Rooney, Lescott and will lose Rodwell in a year or two.

Mike Southworth
19   Posted 23/08/2009 at 19:15:10

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Lescott deal is done, subject to medical and personal terms. £24 million is the figure Sky are reporting. I just hope there's time to bring in a replacement or two...
Ian Smitham
20   Posted 23/08/2009 at 18:20:36

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Lescott fee agreed on the OS.
Stuart Latham
21   Posted 23/08/2009 at 22:55:02

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What a mess. Moyes thinks he has the final say but he is an employee. The board have the final say and apparently they have been talking to City, which is why Moyes is so pissed off. This could've and should've been sorted weeks ago.

Do we really think whoever comes in is our first choice? No of course not, we will have to buy anyone who is available because there are only 8 days left!

Lescott has tripled his wages and joined Tevez, Robinhio, Adebyour, Toure, Ireland, Wright-Phillips etc etc.He gets paid to play football. At this moment he has more chance of winning things at City than at Everton and he will be three times better paid!

Meanwhile, we have no new signings with 8 days to go before the deadline. Let's get realistic, this is a no-brainer!

Russ Quinlan
22   Posted 23/08/2009 at 23:21:19

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It would be funny if he failed the medical!! Last time I remember any of our players said he wanted to go to another club, it was Nick Barmby to the RS and look how he turned out!!

Lescott... GTF!!!
Lee Jamieson
23   Posted 23/08/2009 at 23:35:04

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Spend the money now before its too late... Who can we get in this short time? Taylor from Newcastle, Joe Ledley from Cardiff, Benega from Valencia, Hutton and either Lennon/ Bentley from Spurs. I suppose we could always end what we started with a bid for Moutinho. Lets start spending boys!
Steven Jones
24   Posted 23/08/2009 at 23:40:02

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Russ ... Lescot GTF ... agree 100% sort off ... as he is history .. .

Whatever Moyes does with the money, we can only hope... but this whole saga has impacted the players and the squad attitude, passion and performance — hence Arsenal and a little today at Burnley. Unless you are really at it, the likes of the Burnley fixture can bite you...

Let's look ahead to what is coming... a fixture list that is not too difficult till the second half of November with the two red machines ...

Arteta, Yak and Jags to come back, four new faces (fingers crossed) and one or two youngsters taking advantage of the Europa and Carling Cup competitions...
We have a really good situation and we the supporters, Davey or the players should not blow it. So I agree 100% — who the fuck is Lescott now but a transfer budget and a blip in focus that is now behind us?

John Andrews
25   Posted 24/08/2009 at 00:15:06

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I watched the Burnley game today and the less said about it, the better. The team looked dispirited, uninterested — call it what you like, they looked as if they did not give a toss!

Is anybody certain that this money will not be stashed away for DK? I should also add that I cannot see Moyes getting four new faces in. Who, in their right mind, would want to join the mighty Blues now FFS???.

Khoon Yean Soo Hoo
26   Posted 24/08/2009 at 00:31:18

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The main problem with Everton is that the Board has no ambition. My worry is not so much of Lescott leaving but what we are doing to strengthen the squad. Yesterday’s game at Burnley shows that we lack depth in many quarters. Right back position is glaringly weak. Life without Arteta makes our midfield dull and lack innovation.

Hence the Big Question is what is Moyes going to do with the £24M within the next 8 days? A badly executed or rather ’lack of action’ next 8 days will see us struggle through the season and possible early exit from Europe YET again...

Sean Patton
27   Posted 24/08/2009 at 01:21:18

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I am with you Tommy but it is a bad idea to judge people by your own standards — particulary the gutter morals of the Premier League footballer.

I feel this will prove to be a very good deal for Everton, perhaps not in the short term as we are losing a fairly good defender who can play in two positions and score goals as well.

As long as Moyes gets to spend the entire sum on new players, then we will be better off in the long term, no more squad disharmony and a better squad with quality additions.

It solves a problem as well in that Rodwell will be moving back to defence in a season or two and he has to be accomodated so one of either Jagielka or Lescott would have to drop to the bench and we all know which one it would be.
Johnathan Wilkinson
28   Posted 23/08/2009 at 17:17:24

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Everton have agreed a fee with Manchester City for £24 Million. Do you think this was good business for Everton, or have Everton left it too late?
Kirk McArdle
29   Posted 23/08/2009 at 23:44:59

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Can the Toffeeweb site developers please take down the player profile pic of Lescott. Reading the comments on the Colomns and Mailbag page, all I see is Judas Joleon staring back at me and making me more annoyed!!

Thanks and keep up the good work TW

Neil Humphrey
30   Posted 24/08/2009 at 07:02:09

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Footage of the Lescott press conference:

http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/9480/hibboshoeq.gif
Russ Quinlan
31   Posted 24/08/2009 at 08:00:59

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After rescuing Lescott from Wolves when nobody else wanted him cos of his knackered knees, he’s turned into an England player and then he fucks off, just like Smith did with Barmby. I just hope he flops at Citeh like that other little shit did.

My problem now is that Moyes is saying we need 4 players (like before) but he now says ’time is short’ FFS!!! Who's fucking fault is that then!!!!

I’m getting totally sick of the running of our club by these clowns.

Jonathan Smith
32   Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:51:11

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Look. This move was inevitable. The only annoyance is that a year ago Lescott was very happy at the club, and the club, and we as fans, were very happy with him. All it takes is somebody to say "I can double your wages" and that all changes.

I can’t blame him, who could? Football's a finite career and he’s already spent half of it on Championship wages before he got his break so he knows he’s got a short amount off time to truly rake it in while he can.

Given this inevitability, I’ve gotta say I don’t think Moyes and the Board could’ve played it better — if the £25m after all add-ons is correct then I honestly think we’ve managed to squeeze every last penny out of them, whilst gaining the respect of other clubs and fans from our plight. I’m not sure we’ll ever know whether Moyes honestly thought he’d be able to keep him or whether it was all part of the game — if it was a ploy then very well played. The only worry now of course is who we can get in to replace him before transfer deadline.

The City Board were adamant that ’we won’t be taken to ransom over transfer fees because of who we are’. Well I’m afraid they just have — you think Arsenal feel a little silly after taking just £16m for Toure (equal if not greater class to Jolly)?

You think Villa wish they’d held out for more than £12m for CAPTAIN Barry?

Fair play Everton — talk about making the best of a bad situation — now for God’s sake just spend it as wisely as you accrued it.
Nick Lambert
33   Posted 24/08/2009 at 13:56:57

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Well said Tommy Gibbons! At last somebody gets the point. If somebody gets offered double their wages it is very hard to turn down but please supporters, pundits (yes Alan Hansen, I mean you in today’s Daily Telegraph) and players... please don’t use the defence that it will "set him up for life" as if he’s some poor church mouse.

He’s an effing multi-millionaire anyway with earnings that only FTSE CEOs, pop stars and investment bankers can relate to. Does that mean he shouldn’t go? No, of course it doesn’t, but in the words of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men... "Show me some goddamned respect, I’ve believe I’ve earned it" - by that I mean David Moyes and EFC’s supporters have earned it.

Ajdin Hrustic
34   Posted 24/08/2009 at 04:58:38

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It hurts me that Lescott is leaving. He was a talented player, and for me I don't want to sell any more of our good players. I understand Lescott was desperate to leave, but if Moyes said he would stick by his policy, there's no excuse for selling.

Well £24 million in the bank, who do you think we should spend it on? Our options for defense are fading away, so I believe Taylor, Huth, and Distin would all be fine players to fill the gaps. Dan Gosling is coming up the ranks, and same as Seamus Coleman who has set a fine example in the friendlies. Just for frees, possibly Michael Ball and offering Valente a new 1-year deal?

Jason Broome
35   Posted 25/08/2009 at 03:10:14

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I’m hoping we sign Distin. Big, quick, powerful, commanding and level headed. He would be a suitable replacement and partner for Jagielka as he is similar to Lescott.

All in all we got more for Lescott than Rooney, which is pretty good business. Lescott is not as good as he thinks he is and replacing him will not be as hard as we think.
Brian Baker
36   Posted 24/08/2009 at 14:49:42

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What is tapping up?...and is the Lescott saga a case of tapping up?

"In professional team sports, tapping up (British English) or tampering (American English) is an attempt to persuade a player contracted to one team to transfer to another team, without the knowledge or permission of the player's current team. This kind of approach is often made through the player's agent. It is expressly forbidden in many professional leagues.

"The correct way to negotiate a transfer is for the two clubs to first agree a fee. Once a fee is agreed the selling club will give permission for the buying club to talk to the player, usually to discuss personal terms, such as salary and the length of the contract. None of the transfer fee negotiations should be done via the media or the agents, it should be in secret, between the two clubs away from the media."

So back to the Lescott saga. Was Lescott tapped up? Before we can answer that we need to get clearer grasp of what can be defined as tapping up.

A milder form of "tapping up" involves a manager's letting his admiration for a player at another club become known, perhaps by hinting at his interest while working as a pundit during the broadcast of a game in which the player is taking part, "he's the sort of player any manager would be very keen to sign", or by lavishing praise in programme notes when the two teams meet. There are also the "source close to the manager"-type newspaper rumours which in many cases originate within the club and are intended to flag an interest while retaining plausible deniability against charges of tapping up.

So any contact even by a third party, be it via an agent or the media, can be deemed as tapping up.

So did Manchester City conduct proper transfer negotiations with Everton in the first instance? Probably not. If not, why not?? Did Manchester City deliberately convey the message to Lescott that they wanted him via the media or an agent, or via a combination of both, before conducting official negotiations?

In my opinion,  Manchester City deliberately released their interest via third parties, to firstly unsettle the player, which should in theory force the transfer price down, and then forcing Everton to sell at a lower price.

If they went through the correct channels then there would be no influence from the players aired dissatisfaction when negotiating a transfer fee, meaning that any agreed fee should in theory be higher.

So are Manchester City guilty? Is Lescott guilty?

In my opinion, to first question: YES.

To the second: NO. Lescott probably is not guilty as there is no public evidence of him contacting Man City, but he has just shown disloyalty to his contract and employer.

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