IT is at times like these when having a chairman as stubborn as Karl Oyston really pays off.
Doubtless Charlie Adam and his agent wouldn’t agree – and who can blame them – but for the supporters, there is no one like Oyston when it comes to driving a hard bargain.
Not many chairmen would have kept Adam, given the 25-year-old had handed in a transfer request and made it clear he wanted to join Liverpool. But Oyston refused to let that come into his thinking, and when Liverpool failed to offer the money he wanted, he was quite prepared to tell Adam he wasn’t going to let him go.
It’s harsh on Adam, who couldn’t have done any more for the Seasiders since arriving from Rangers 18 months ago.
In fact, scrap that – it is two years since he arrived on the Fylde.
First there was the blistering loan stay that helped Tony Parkes’ team stay in the Championship (how important was that?), before he embarked on a spectacular second spell at the club, which has included promotion at Wembley and leading the Seasiders to a healthy start to life in the Premier League.
Given all he has done for the club, Adam rightly felt he might have been allowed to depart – especially as Liverpool were one of the clubs Holloway promised his skipper he could go to.
Oyston, though, is the man who ultimately makes the decisions on who comes and who goes, and he considered staying in the top flight more important than the immediate future of one individual player.
The chairman has got the bug for the Premier League and the riches it brings. Having Adam in the team increases Pool’s chances of staying among the big boys, and Oyston felt getting another £40m next season was of greater significance than cashing £6m now.
He also knows Adam is a terrific footballer and his value won’t decrease between now and the summer, when – with Premier League status retained, hopefully – the Scot’s wish will be granted and he’ll be allowed to leave.
Ahead of tonight’s encounter with West Ham, Oyston reflected on the Adam saga and told The Gazette that, despite being on the phone from 8am to 11pm, he had enjoyed the deadline day antics.
“Was it stressful? No. Stress is if you live in a high-rise and you’ve four kids and no food with which to feed them. That’s stress,” he said. “It was interesting. This job is fascinating and I’m really lucky to have a job that is so varied.
“There have been deals we have not been able to do for various reasons, deals that have just been beyond us, and a lot of deals we have walked away from for a variety of reasons ... so it has been an interesting window.
“Regards Charlie, I just felt it would have been a horrific shame for us to break up what we have here and affect the balance at all.
“We’ve got to give ourselves every chance.
“Charlie is a very good professional. He has done fantastic things here, and I think he will probably feel like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders in some ways, what with all the pressure and focus and attention and misinformation that has been flying around.”
Oyston was reportedly involved in some heated exchanges with Adam and his agent Kenny Moyes (brother of David) as deadline day reached its climax.
But he insists there is no problem between him and the player.
“Charlie has got a fantastic career in front of him and I don’t see the interest that there’s been in him this transfer window lessening,” the chairman stressed.
“It is up to Charlie now to play his way into people’s plans in the summer, which is a far better time to do business than now.
“We’ve done right for Blackpool Football Club. That is my job, and it is what I am here for – to do what I think is right for the club.
“Will Charlie now move on in the summer? I’m not going to pre-judge what happens in the future. That is a matter for then and not now.
“We can only deal with what is in front of us and it wouldn’t have been the right decision to weaken the squad.
“We actually wanted to strengthen the squad, which is what we did by the introduction of some very good players.”
As for the last-minute Spurs offer, which was to be paid in two instalments and involved loaning Adam back to Blackpool for the remainder of this season, Oyston said: “It was a very generous offer from Tottenham, but it was just too late for us to properly consider and I just felt we weren’t in a position to do it. But the fact they came in underlined we did the right thing not to accept the approach from Liverpool.”
No doubt it’s not the last we’ll hear of Adam-gate. But the bottom line is that the Scot is here until the end the season. He is a terrific player and it is in everyone’s interest if he gets his head down, continues to perform to the levels he has all year, and helps the team get results.
The ideal conclusion is Pool staying up and Adam getting his dream move in the summer. You never know, by then Manchester United might be prepared to bid for him.
That would be some move for the lad discarded by Rangers, and no one would deserve it more.