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A Head in the Right Place
Written by NormEmerges on Monday, 14th Sep 2020 09:29

A nice victory against Wigan, well played the Town, and you achieved it without what many consider our best player. For the second match in a row, Flynn Downes was left out because “his head wasn’t in the right place”.

I can understand that he’s ambitious, he’s doubtless had his agent whispering encouragement to earn a move – the agent will earn a nice fee for that, he’s got no interest in Ipswich Town – and of course would like to play for a Premier League club. But let’s take a closer look at where he is now, not where he might be.

I don’t know what he earns at Ipswich. The average wage of a League One player is £1,300 a week (that’s £67,600 per annum), and as a prize asset Downes is presumably on much more than that. Now the national average wage is £585 per week, or around £30,420 a year. So Flynn Downes is earning well over twice the national average wage. Not bad for a 21 year old.

I was lucky enough in my career to reach the heights of an average League One salary. The difference is that in my case it took me more than 20 years of hard work to get there. If I had gone to my boss and said, a rival firm is interested in employing me, will you release me from my fixed-term contract, I know what short answer I’d have got.

If I had then said, I don’t feel like working today, my head’s not in the right place, how do you think my boss would have reacted? Of course, son, take as much time as you want, come back when you are ready?

He’s currently working for an employer who has invested a considerable amount of time and money in developing his talents to the point where they interest a Premier League club. Whilst he is still our player he should consider he needs to repay some of that commitment. Wherever his head is, his heart should still be with Ipswich.

Flynn Downes is under contract to Ipswich Town. Being in dispute with them does not free you from your contractual obligations. It’s about time that he knuckled down and behaved with a bit more professionalism. He’ll get his move in due course; in the meantime, behave like a man not a spoilt boy.

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ElephantintheRoom added 10:32 - Sep 14
You have conveniently left out that little more than a year ago Downes was deemed so unready that he wasn't deemed fit to play for the most spectacularly inept relegation team for some time - and was loaned out to Luton, where he promptly excelled. It's a short career and he has missed out on 50+ games at Town because of the daft way the club serially abuses the loan system and stunts the development of their own players. In the very moment they face losing Downes after effectively one season they double down on the same repetitive, self-harming mistakes by announcing plans to loan out the next two off the production line. Of course Downes wants to go. He wants to better himself - and play for someone who might just believe in him. The morals and scruples of his stance is another matter - BUT he is working for a manager who has repeatedly 'stabbed his employer' in the back which is ultimately owned, allegedly, by an offshore tax avoider as an 'investment'. Any criticism on that count is somewhat Boris Johnson-like in its hypocrisy.

hadleighboyblue added 10:35 - Sep 14
How do you know It's not Lambert that's making the decision not to play Downes.

Good man management would be to have a supportive word with Downes and point out that it's in his interest to play and if he did play , I have no doubt he would give 100% - if clubs are looking at him , a good performance would help both Downes and ITFC .

Leaving him out is helping no one .

Skip73 added 21:49 - Sep 14
Overrated player, we'll see just how overrated when he leaves.

jayessess added 17:42 - Sep 15
If you wanted to change employer, Norm, you had complete legal freedom to do so with or without your boss' permission. Sorry to break it to you so late in your working life.

Len_Brennan added 07:18 - Sep 17
If a rival firm came looking to poach you from your current employer, presumably offering a higher salary thus prompting your awkward conversation requesting to be released from your fixed term contract, would they also be likely to pay your employer a substantial transfer fee, somewhere in the region of £4m?
For all our feelings of self worth, we have to recognise that football is a very different market place to whatever industries most of us work in, where disproportionate riches are available at what is the early, modestly rewarded, stage of most careers & rather than looking at maybe 40 years, those careers can be over in less than 10.
Player power is strong and agents know that no club wants to see a talented asset's value decline by millions as he runs out a contract or enters into a long drawn out dispute, particularly when that value could rise sharply & sell on clauses could be secured. Unfortunate, but a very tricky reality, especially in uncertain times.


ChrisFelix added 09:53 - Sep 18
Surely its the greed at the top of the soccer pyramid which drives this. Clubs such as Palace can afford to sign Downs & pay very attractive wages. If it doesn't work for them then the gamble is compensated by the millions the club receive from the likes of Sky.
Whilst this happens the majority of the football league clubs survive on scraps & support of their local communities.
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