Now, it is time for Liverpool to show some integrity and respect and leave our player alone. It shows a complete lack of etiquette to pursue a player that has been openly stated as off-the-market. It should be construed as a needless act of misconduct if any further attempts were made to unsettle a Villa player.
They have made their bids, they have been rejected, and now it is time for them to move on. McLeish, although being a new manager at the club, deserves respect from Dalglish now that he has told other clubs to back off.
The FA should introduce a policy whereby clubs can stipulate which players are not for sale at the start of a transfer window, and that any bids or attempts to unsettle said players are considered to be a breach of the rules and punishable with a fine that is paid to the player’s current club.
It would be a simple process to introduce. There could be a couple of weeks after the season finishes to hold talks with players before the transfer window opens. After that, it is business as usual except for a list of published names that are out of bounds to any other club. There are plenty of other players to choose from, and clubs deserve for their best players to be left alone. It would also send a clear message to players who believe they can pull the strings.
Liverpool’s antics, successful or not, have undoubtedly unsettled Downing and it should not have happened.
Downing now has to concentrate on how he can win over the Villa supporters in the next season. It will be difficult for him, and I would not want to be in his shoes on the opening home game of the season now that he has almost stated that he wants to leave. But if he can keep banging in the goals and the crosses for Bullseye Bent then that is what’s best for Villa.
Liverpool – please go and knock on someone else’s door.