Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough fumes at a Portsmouth player’s agent after sealing a dramatic 11th-hour switch to Wigan Athletic.
The Stags manager was raging with the agent of skipper Tom Naylor, named Jake Speight, for orchestrating an late move to the Latics for the Blues captain.
Naylor’s three-year stay at Fratton Park came to a close a few days ago after he failed to agree new terms, after being offered a one-year deal.
The League Two side put a three-year agreement on the table for the 29-year-old and he was having a medical with the Stags, when League One outfit Wigan coming in at the last minute with a better financial offer over the same period.
That led to Naylor linking up with Leam Richardson at the DW Stadium and Clough couldn’t help but express his frustration at what had just unfolded.
He told Mansfield Town’s Twitter account (3:00 on the video): ‘It’s frustrating to say the least and disappointing.
‘Tom actually came in for his medical and it was at the stage where everything was agreed.
‘Unbeknown to Tom or anyone else his agent was still negotiating with another club behind everybody’s back – even when everything was agreed.
‘It’s about different standards of behaviour.
‘When we thought Tom might be available, we knew he was out of contract and his personal circumstances gave us a chance.
‘His agent is an ex-Stags player as well, so hopefully he’ll be keen on coming here.
‘We were very surprised. One of the first conversations with (CEO) David (Sharpe) had with him (the agent), one of the first things he said was he didn’t want him coming here, which was surprising from the agent.
‘Actually, that was the second thing he said, the first thing he asked how much he was getting out of the deal.
‘It was very disappointing. It’s not that it happens, it’s how it happens and the behaviour.’
🗣️ Transfer update from the boss. pic.twitter.com/Wnj1II6KES
— Mansfield Town FC (@mansfieldtownfc) June 11, 2021
Clough believes Naylor was left embarrassed by the sequence of events and how they unfolded, and feels what took place reflects badly on agents in the football industry.
He said: ‘In sharp contrast, we dealt with (striker) Danny Johnson’s two agents. They were disappointed when we told them what happens because it reflects badly on them.
‘The vast majority of agents we deal with are good and honourable.
‘They have a principle that once you agree a deal there’s no going back.
‘It reflects badly on the whole business.
‘I feel sorry for Tom because he was happy, medical and all of a sudden he’s presented with a bigger financial offer at the last minute.
‘He phoned and explained and was a little bit embarrassed about it.
‘You can understand though, because he’s got a baby on the way and he’s nearly 30 years’ old and has to make difficult decisions.
‘But as far as we were concerned the deal was done.’
Meanwhile, Tom Naylor explains the reasons for leaving Portsmouth to join Wigan Atheltic.
The 29-year-old said on Twitter: “Unfortunately, my three years at Portsmouth have come to an end.
“I’ve loved every minute playing for this great club and wouldn’t want to leave without saying thank you to the fans, my teammates and all the staff I have worked with.
“They’ve always welcomed me with open arms and during my time at Pompey, I’ve made some great friends on and off the pitch.
“Being made captain was an absolute honour. To walk the lads out every week – especially at Fratton Park – will stay with me forever.
“Although I am leaving for a new adventure with my family, I’m leaving with the sadness that such an amazing club aren’t where they deserve to be.
“I would like to wish the players and club all the best for the future! PUP!”
— Tom Naylor (@tomnaylor_7) June 12, 2021
Fans reacted as the Mansfield boss fumes at Portsmouth player’s agent after the dramatic 11th-hour switch…
@chrisw4421: Tom would haven been a great signing for league 2 but I was not convinced he was what we needed at centre half and would have been a very expensive option. Strikers win games invest that kind of wage in another striker and look elsewhere for a centre half
@hxrrymtfc: Tom Naylor what a wanker
@MartinS48385240: Obviously if speight is his agent he’s not bothered about the welfare of the player or his circumstances just another money man and that’s what’s wrong with football arsehole
@iamjasondexter: Naylor could’ve said no. Can’t blame him, he has a very short career. Would any of us turn down more money and a better job?
@ShaunReid19: Player agent jake speight. Wanker. Don’t want Tom if he’s just after the money. 👋👋
@MarkEng81412342: Jake Speight is such an endearing character. Doesn’t say much for Tom Naylor and his honour though.
@BenStokes2: Jake Speight what a prick
@youngjby: Jake speight always was a little slimy cunt weren’t he
@Ben_Mattin1: Agents just after 💰 as per
@MTFCMusings: Lots to digest here : – Naylor had completed medical but agent was negotiations behind his back and got a last minute deal with Wigan. Better financially, confirmed Naylor was due to be highest paid player and being signed as a centre back. No love lost with agent #MTFC #Stags
@NealBishop11: Final decision is always with the player, can’t only blame the agent.
@derektruswell49: Speight’s a snake in the grass , how can a player have him as an agent
@JaywithMTFC: Fuck agents