Kinda think that title needs a couple of exclamation marks to be truly taken seriously…
Anyway, I’ve been writing recently about departing players (not all completed/published as yet…), Jon Main in particular, and reminiscing about legends of days gone by, and its sad but true that the majority of these players who shone so bright went on to be discarded by the Dons. Either that or got old, crap and retired.When the news about Keds came out, the first person I thought of was… Dean Holdsworth. Thats right, fat arsed, baseball capped Deano of the Franchise. While even mentioning him in the same breath as Keds seems mighty unfair on the man who is still the current Dons skipper, the bolt from the blue nature of the transfer request rings a bell. Plus we all remember how the Holdsworth story ended… no one wanted to match the valuation, he ended up asking to come off the list before being shipped out to Bolton.
The fact is, Keds might have expressed his desire to leave the Dons, and the club might have agreed to listen to offers, but the chances are this isn’t going to come to a quick conclusion. Firstly, someone needs to come up with a bid that at least matches the Dons valuation. And its worth bearing in mind what that valuation might be, it won’t bear any resemblance to his actual value. Unless there really are dozens of clubs willing to wave their chequebooks around, the question that TB and Erik may have to ask themselves now is how much are they willing to effectively pay to keep what could be an unhappy Kedwell at the club next season.
Don’t get me wrong, Kedwell is a pro, he won’t sulk off, especially when he knows if he is required to pull on a Dons shirt next season, a series of poor performances will scare off prospective employers… But even if he is forced to serve out his contract, things have changed. Six weeks ago Kedwell was on record committing his future to then-Conference Dons, now all of a sudden despite leading the side into League Two, he feels the need to move on. Whats changed? Certainly his circumstances at his current club have only improved, and he seemed set to captain the club into the Football League. Even if he does jog out at Crawley (in a Dons shirt…), he certainly won’t be leading the lads out unless some form of grovelling apology is issued. Even that wouldn’t heal the rift he has created, especially as far as his relationship with us supporters is concerned.
So if he has to leave, who does he go to? My first and instinctive thought was Crawley, they would easily triple what he was earning last season, they can afford the fee, the fat fraudster himself is a fan… but do they really want him? What of Gillingham? I pooh-poohed their chances of signing him a few weeks ago based partly on my reluctance to believe they were willing to pay a fee for him, but if the Dons are looking to get shot of a player who isn’t committed to the cause, and Gillingham find themselves the only club willing to stump up cash, the fee the club are willing to accept might not be the high-five figure sum we are currently picturing.
Keds has had a couple of great seasons for the Dons in the Conference, but separate yourself for a second… he’s getting on, has never played in the Football League before. Kedwells chances of getting away aren’t exactly helped by the fact there are so many players out there looking for a contract next season. Yes, his stock will always be high as a proven goalscorer (albeit not in the FL…), but just how many clubs out there are willing to pay a fee for anyone in the current climate?
The bonus from a Dons perspective is with the power lying with clubs, there are plenty of names out there. Losing Kedwell isn’t the disaster we might currently think it is. It’s a major headache, yes. But we can and should come back stronger from it. If Danny Kedwell doesn’t want to play for AFC Wimbledon anymore, then as far as I’m concerned he can go. Still, the next few weeks of speculation are bound to be interesting, as to where Kedwell is going to go and who is coming in to replace him…