Date: 8th June 2006 at 12:03pm
Written by:

After Jamaica`s six nil defeat at the hands of England, I`m sure Marlon King is pleased to only be loosely associated with the Jamaican national side after his alleged expulsion from the Reggae Boyz squad.

As well as picking through the quotes and giving my opinion on Marlon`s exclusion I will look at the Iain Dowie fiasco and give you my ‘flawless` transfer and contract system.

Now, when the news that Marlon King would not play against England broke around a week ago, the official club site was for a change one of the first to publicly make it known Marlon would not play, and that he had ‘withdrawn` himself from the squad.

After Jamaica released a statement confirming Marlon had been released from the camp, King`s agent, Tony Finnigan told Sky Sports News that Marlon had not been sent home and that ‘He left the camp of his own free will, it was his decision and he was not sent home.’

He also revealed Marlon`s reasoning behind the decision was that ‘He decided to leave the camp because of the unprofessional way that it was run.’

The club`s official statement was as follows: ‘Watford can confirm that striker Marlon King has voluntarily left the Jamaican national team training camp,’

‘The Hornets striker was dissatisfied with the organisation and practice conditions provided by the Jamaican Football Federation – concerns he has previously expressed to the management.’

‘After a long and fantastic season, culminating in promotion ten days ago, Marlon is now looking forward to going on a much-needed holiday with his family and then concentrating on life in the Premier League with Watford.’

‘He is happy to donate any match fee he would have received from the Jamaican Football Federation to a charity of their choosing in his homeland.’

On the other end of the scale, Jamaican president Crenston Boxhill had this to say on the matter- ‘Marlon returned to the hotel, a little intoxicated, in the company of uninvited guests,’ he told the Daily Mirror.’

‘I’m quite familiar with my team members. I know how they dress and how they look. I also know their hairstyles.

‘These were not members of the team. When met by senior members of the team’s management he said some inappropriate things which were embarrassing, disrespectful to the team, and to Jamaica.

‘As the president I had to take a stand, even though Marlon was an integral part of the team. We had no choice but to ask him to leave.’

Now, from seeing Marlon King over the last nine months and knowing some of his background I can quite easily believe Boxhill`s version of events. Although Marlon has proven himself to have curbed his temper and got himself back on the straight and narrow.

However, with the greatest respect to Marlon on a couple of occasions he has swayed, slightly, ever so slightly towards the old Marlon; the alleged spitting incident at home to Millwall and the red card at the Molinuex, the main two.
So from this angle, I can quite easily see Marlon coming back a little worse for wear and with uninvited company.

But because of the way Marlon has got his priorities right and shown it for much of the season, it seems unlikely he would put his international career in jeopardy in such a stupid way.

It is because of this, and the fact Marlon has stated himself he wants to get back to goalscoring and keep out of trouble, make me believe his agents statement over what Crenston Boxhill has said.

Moving on to another controversy Iain Dowie`s appointment as Charlton Athletic manager has certainly gained the disapproval of his former boss Simon Jordan.

The background of the story is as follows: Iain Dowie was recently released from his contract at Palace by mutual consent. The reason given was that he wanted to move north to spend more time with his family. However, he turns up a couple of weeks later, a few miles down the road at London rivals, Charlton Athletic.

Outspoken chairman Simon Jordan then issues a writ as he believes Dowie gave fraudulent reasons for leaving, and before you know it Charlton and Palace have locked horns in an unnecessary legal battle.

So who`s in the right and who`s in the wrong, in short, and in my opinion, Dowie has done nothing wrong.

Dowie`s side of the argument is that he did not leave Palace to move north, and that by moving to Charlton he has done nothing wrong, and from watching the press conference of Sky Sports news when he left Palace, it was Jordan who said Dowie was leaving for geographical reasons, not Iain Dowie.

However, as far as Simon Jordan is concerned, he was told by his former employee that he wanted to leave to be with his family in the north, not because he wanted to join Charlton.

On this occasion I cannot say one way or another whether or not Dowie is in the right or wrong, as I was not there when Dowie and Jordan agreed to part company therefore I cannot offer a fair and accurate opinion, what I can offer is a suggestion as to how situations like this can be avoided.

The first and probably main rule is that players can only sign contracts for a maximum of twelve months, meaning when they don`t hang around collecting dust for too long.

At the end of their one to twelve months, their club has two options. 1) Offer them a new one-year deal or 2) Allow them to speak to other clubs regarding a one-year deal there.

Now, if a player is left in the inconvenient position of having no one wanting him, his current club has two further options: 1) To continue paying his weekly wage on a non-contractual basis until someone takes him off their hands or

2) Release him, without compensation to shift him from their wage bill.
This should also apply to managers, backroom staff, tea-ladies etc, etc. Now, the main benefits of this are that clubs will not need to spend huge sums on players, meaning there will be less Luca Vialli and Leeds situations arising.

The advantage for players is that they will not have to spend long at one club, e.g. if they join a club in the Champions League, who by the end of the season have been relegated, they won`t have to stick around.

Thus the footballing world would be a better place, if only FIFA had me as president.