Nigel Clibbens discusses today's transfer news
After a day that has seen Jacob Butterfield and Adam Clayton switch between Middlesbrough and Huddersfield Town, Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens has explained how the deal came to fruition.
“There has been a lot of media speculation with various linked clubs and claims of deals being widely reported – almost all of it groundless.
“As we explained on Saturday, a deal was progressing to sell Adam Clayton but was not concluded. All of Jacob’s side was fully agreed, but Adam Clayton was still uncomfortable to complete at that stage.
“Adam was in the final year of his contract at Huddersfield Town and we sat down and held preliminary discussions about an extension to his contract at the end of last season and then early in the pre-season, but it quickly became apparent that there was no prospect of that happening.
“Adam expressed a wish to leave if a club reached agreement with us and it matched his aspirations too. He made it crystal clear that whilst he has good feelings towards the Club, he strongly felt his future football career was best served away from Huddersfield Town. That’s football.
“Whilst we were open to selling, we made it clear to Adam that we would only sell if the terms were right for Town. Adam expressed a strong wish to talk to interested clubs, but he agreed that would only happen after Huddersfield Town had firstly agreed transfer terms. From the outset both the Club and Adam understood any deal would need to work for all three parties; Huddersfield Town, Adam and the buying club,
“Adam knew replacing him was always a key issue for the Club and so if no overall deal, including an ability to get someone in, was acceptable to Huddersfield Town, then Adam would remain a Huddersfield Town player for the remainder of his contract. There was certainly no cheap deal to be had.
“Expressions of interest and offers were received over the summer from a number of Championship clubs but following a series of formal offers from them and negotiations with clubs we finally agreed a deal that worked for us last week. That was with Boro. Crucially we were able to potentially replace Adam and receive significant cash too, which will help us reinvest and develop.
“As is normal in these situations, during this process Adam was kept fully updated. From the outset he had confirmed Middlesbrough was provisionally acceptable to him, subject to agreeing personal terms and understanding their plans.
“On Wednesday last week, we granted permission for Adam to talk to Middlesbrough as per our promise. Adam travelled immediately, met officials and discussed terms.
“Adam and Boro confirmed to us he had agreed to go, meaning the sale was only subject to his medical. We all agreed it was an important move for Adam and all parties were delighted.
“Adam’s confirmation then allowed us to begin discussion with Jacob Butterfield about joining us. After meeting Jacob and his visit to the Club, we agreed terms very quickly and prepared for deal completion last Friday. Dean spent some time talking to Jacob directly and we were all very impressed by him.
“Jacob is a player that has been at the top of the list of all of our managers in recent years. He is a player we have admired for a very long time and one who Ross Wilson and his recruitment team have done a lot of work on.
“Jacob and the Club expected to finalise the deal on Friday, but regrettably that was not possible due to a new last minute hitch with the Clayton deal. Jacob was at PPG Canalside on Friday with pen in hand, so that was a disappointment all round. On Monday Adam was training at PPG Canalside, but by the evening the deal was close to completion again! On Tuesday, once again, Jacob was ready to sign, but remarkably we again had to wait for more loose ends in the Clayton deal to be sorted. This morning, at the third attempt, it was done, much to everyone’s relief. It’s been a saga!
“When you have a deal of this nature, with one player coming in and another going out, it takes a lot of work to bring it to fruition. There are lots of things that can go wrong and lots of people who need the deal to work for them. For those reasons, it is very rare to get them done. For us to complete this, after Mark Robins left us at the same time, has made for an extraordinary few days for all involved.
“Usually these parts of a transfer are played out behind the scenes, but this time the media speculation was particularly high.
“We could have walked away from this on Sunday after Mark left, but that would have been totally wrong. We never gave that a thought. We have been totally, 100% committed to Jacob throughout.
“Standing back as a Club, we have replaced one player who wanted to go and was in the final year of his contract with a younger player (Jacob) who has more Championship experience, is of fantastic quality and calibre and character, plus attained a significant seven figure transfer fee. The deal has already allowed us to capture Conor Coady quickly and at the same time still provides cash and the opportunity to develop and improve the squad later. That represents excellent business for the Club.
“Without Jacob’s patience and resilience in difficult circumstances on Friday, on Sunday and again last night, this may have not happened. It shows how much he wants to be a Huddersfield Town player. We are really pleased to welcome him and look forward to him being a great success here.
Chairman Dean Hoyle added:
“This was a really tough deal to pull off in normal circumstances, but it is brilliant work by those involved at Town to get it over the line now. I’d like to thanks all at Middlesbrough, especially CEO Neil Bausor and Chairman Steve Gibson, who were instrumental.
“I’ve spoken to Jacob a lot in recent days and we are all absolutely delighted that Jacob has finally joined us. I’m sure Boro are just as happy – it’s a ‘win-win’.”
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