This is the final installment of our look at the three relegated Premier League teams. While Burnley was prudent with its books this year, the other two — Hull City and Portsmouth — are in deep financial trouble. Now the League is set to ratify a rule that would force teams to pay for players 12 months after the transfer window opens. That could bring more administration for those clubs who gamble their fortunes away.
Many punters think Hull’s relegation came a year too late. Phil Brown managed to save his team from the drop in 2009, after Newcastle and Middlesbrough both broke Northeastern hearts by losing on the last day of the season. Now some Hull players are openly blaming their plight on the departed manager’s infamous on-field, half-time rant.
But with a wage bill that was eighth in the league this season, this team was expected to do better. There are rumours of administration. And the Telegraph has reported the Tigers will slash 22 million pounds from their 38 million-pound payroll. The following players might be on the block, come the window.
Stephen Hunt: Even if Hull weren’t relegated, this Irish international would likely have ended up in another club. There were rumours Hull rejected bids for Hunt in January. Although this is his second relegation — he did the drop with Reading two years ago — it’s definitely not his fault (unless you count getting injured, resulting in Hull losing their best player by far). He runs, he led the team in scoring and he is a haaard man… just ask Petr Cech.
Andy Dawson: A left-back who helped the Tigers through three promotions, Dawson was a model of consistency on a team that was consistently bad. Although manager Iain Dowie doesn’t believe the player will bring in big cash for Hull, Dawson did a good job of marking wingers this season. He is also good at freekicks and is a bit of a pain in the ass, leading the team in yellow cards.
Jimmy Bullard: The painter-turned-footballer, Jimmy Bullard could be the hardest working man in England… when he plays. Bullard infamously damaged his knee after signing with Fulham, forcing him to the sidelines for 18 months. Then after signing with Hull in January 2009, he tore his ACL 37 minutes into his first game. Some point to his transfer fee of 5 million pounds as an example of Hull’s bad business. But Bullard is industrious and he’s capped for England so surely he can still find a home in the Prem.
Geovanni: This winger is a legend at his old club, Benfica. Geovanni should have been the pride of Blue Manchester as well, scoring a goal that knocked United out of the Champions League in 2006, and then scoring on his debut for City. But he fell out of favour with Mark Hughes and ended up in Hull, earning 25-thousand-quid-a week in the process. The rumours are that he is sick of England and could end up at Olympiakos. But one thing’s for sure: he’s gone, baby, gone.
Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink: A jersey maker’s nightmare, the veteran striker was signed last summer after he was released by Celtic. The Dutchman’s best days may be behind him, but the 6′ 3″ forward could serve as a Peter Crouch-type second target. Vennegoor has been linked with Wolverhampton since January and not just because he really, really likes the colour orange.