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Fulham blames Fire for McBride loan bid collapse

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson doesn't sound like a happy camper about the Cottagers' attempt to land Chicago Fire striker Brian McBride, and he is not alone.

Hodgson revealed on Friday that Fulham came very close to landing McBride on loan, confirming the report by the Chicago Tribune that trade talks did take place after some Fire officials initially denied it.

So who else isn't happy about the potential loan not happening? Sources tell SBI that McBride is not happy with how the Fire handled the situation. The real question is just who blocked the loan? According to sources, Javier Leon, managing director of Andell Sports Group (which manages the Fire for owner Andrew Hauptman), ultimately made the call.

What do you think of this situation? Should the Fire have let McBride go on loan for the rest of the EPL season, or was Chicago right to say no considering it would have meant missing four MLS games? Think the Beckham fiasco is evidence enough that this was a bad idea, or are you confident that McBride would never have pulled that type of stunt if he had been allowed to go to Fulham on loan? Think Hodgson is a little out of line for talking about the failed deal?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. @Posted by: CSD | February 06, 2009 at 01:11 PM

    if it was a loan he wouldn’t have made a single dime more, so…

    Good for the Fire for saying ‘no’

    The EPL doesn’t end until JUNE this year. He would miss Champions League group games and 3+ months of the season for what? To keep Fulham the mid-table stragglers they are?

    It’s not like McBride needs further development as a player.

    The deal was only positive for Fulham and only negative for Chicago. Good call pulling the plug.

  2. The Fire FO may well have not handled the loan persual in a manner befitting a world class organization, but in the end they made the correct decision.

    “It’s just four games” does not cut it for Chicago. McBride has said repeatedly that he came home, in part, to win hardware. The points race across the league is crucial to playoff seeding. After being eliminated by NE three staight years after 2nd games in Foxboro, the Fire shut ’em down but good with home field advantage in their series last fall. The conference championship game in Cbus was a tight match which could very well have been decided by who had home field advantage. The Fire will miss key players throughout this summer because of World Cup qualifiers throughout the summer. It is wholey in the Fire’s, and McBride’s, interest to hold all the players they can for all the games they can.

  3. I think that MLS is legitimized by any involvement in the Euro transfer windows. The market for footballers is one place that MLS can accelerate the development of the game here in the US. I can’t wait for MLS to regularly disappoint EPL, La Liga, and other UEFA club teams. That isn’t going to happen until we’ve been through years more of net sales and loan deals out of MLS.

    Next major milestone will be when a contract like Parkhurst’s is sold rather than running out so he can sign in Denmark. McBride was and still is a great player. I still think that the Revolution will get back to the cup faster than the Fire.

    Fire have every right to hold tightly to McBride. Relegation would have provided much more legitimate cover to and shame on Donovan and Beckham jumping L.A.’s sinking ship. Chicago are not in the same position as the Galaxy.

  4. Fulham is mad not because of not getting McBride, but for the way the Fire treating Fulham. New ownership of the Fire is awful – wish AEG was still the owner!

  5. I dont blame the Fire at all. I mean he needs to be in training camp and get more accompanied with the team. I know he was with us before last season, but I would just want him to say around for a full season. On that note though, if Mcbride were to leave for those 4 games I would be fine with it because Nyarko looks like he could step in and contribute a big amount.

  6. If Brian wanted to play in the EPL he should have stayed there. What is wrong with these people? You make a decision and a committment, you abide by them. Where is people’s integrity?

    Fulham should have paid him more $ and then maybe he would have stayed longer. Who knows? But the Fire have every right to say no- and Brian if you don’t like it- too bad. Fulham if you don’t like it too bad.

    This is a business not a charity event.

  7. I love this situation. Teams are asked to loan out their players to inferior teams in their own league or to an inferior league. Ergo, MLS is superior to the Serie A (Beckham, AC Milan), the Bundesliga (Donovan, Bayern Munich), and EPL (McBride, Fulham). Now if we could just get the world’s greatest league (Spain) to request a loan, we would surely be the best league in the world.

  8. I think that the Fire were in the right to deny the loan, they gave up a lot for McBride’s services and are short of experienced forwards. I can’t blame them for wanting to keep a veteran around for the preseason to not only gel with the team, but impart wisdom to some of the youngsters in camp.

    However, the story is that Fulham and McBride were upset at HOW the deal didn’t go down. Without any specifics we can only guess how the Fire front office screwed up again.

  9. timmyq- honestly, if you have such an issue with it, then you fork over the money to purchase the team from them… or at least find a knowledgeable footy Multi-Millionaire who’s willing to purchase the teams….

    until you can find them, im more then willing to allow the current owners continue to own the teams…. cuz without them, we wouldnt have a league…

  10. Of course McGod (as us Fulham fans STILL call him) would be upset over how it was handled.

    This is what happens when not-soccer people run soccer teams. Andell “Sports” Group is a conglomerate that owns Dick Clark Productions for crying out loud.

  11. “For any of you who would disagree with me and say he scored 5 goals and had a good year, your not looking hard enough. I watched every game and his goals were either really scrappy (aka goals that pause normally scores) or they were pointless goals adding on top of blow out wins. Hes like the sammy sosa of MLS. All his goals are insignificant to the game kind of like the hundreds of sosa solo home runs with no one on base! All im saying its a far cry from his performance in the EPL. Nothing worth the money he is getting.

    Posted by: Tim K | February 06, 2009 at 12:18 PM”

  12. ThaDeuce- funny you say he’d honor his contract, b/c he’s being contracted to play for the fire… the fire do no owe Fulham anything…

    jason- preseason and 4 games compared to EPL games?? well yes i would agree getting into form this would be an easy option, but theres more to the game then just “fitness”… the fire released Herron and Frankowski… Carr is injured… truly leaving us with Nyarko and Rolfe for front runners…. sorry, but we need BMB throughout the entire season, regardless of what you fan boys think….


    anyhow, as Ives pointed out, he’s not reporting that BMB wanted to go, he’s simply reporting that he’s unhappy with how it was handled… and Uptown posted that there is no problems…

  13. I agree with Deuce- I don’t think this would have been longer than a Spring deal if the Fire made that clear. With his age and given his personal interests, I don’t think Brian would have wanted more than that anyway.

    This is tough since I am fan of both clubs. Never know when your pals are gonna end up in a tiff eh? You’d think being an ocean apart would prevent one’s favorite two clubs from having at a go at each other….

  14. tim k- per your post about BMB only scoring meaningless goals…

    2 goals to tie clb in regular season 2-2
    1 goal against Hou in regular season loss
    1 goal against CLB in post season 2-1 loss

    which is truly meaningless??

  15. I’m with Roy, Fulham, and Brian on this one. Chicago effed up.
    They are definitely the villain here. Brian would have honored his contract. As a Fulham fan, I know Roy just wanted him until summer when he can sign someone permanently.

  16. I’ll say it again – my sources are saying Ives is getting taken for a ride by his “source.” McBride was not upset with anything the Fire organization did regarding Fulham’s desire to acquire McBride on loan. The Fire were direct and clear in dealing with Fulham, and the only ones upset are on the other side of the pond.

    My sources tell me the Fire were very clear in explaining their situation regarding a closing window to win a championship with Blanco and McBride and they could not risk McBride being injured as the team competes in MLS and Superliga.

    I suggest Ives re-contact his “source” because this story is absolute, 100%, grade A horseflop (for the overly sensitive souls on this board.)

    The only reason why the “source” is remaining anonymous is because he’s passing bogus information.

  17. I don’t blame Brian at all, he is pure class, he wouldn’t have pulled a Beckham.

    As for preseason, which is better preparation, MLS warm up matches or the EPL? So I don’t see how, barring injury, that he’d have been adversely affected.

    And 4 games is not that much.

    I understand why the Fire said no. But I hope Brian is ticked and requests a move. They didn’t have a problem loaning Blanco, but not McBride? What gives?

    Brian’s biggest mistake was going to Chicago, not Columbus. See what happens, Brian?

    P!ss on the Fire!

  18. Steve–I think you summed it up brilliantly.

    SDM—a compliment coming our way?!?! Wow. The world as we know it may end. 🙂

    The bottom line is that no matter what anyone on anyside of the equation thinks of the player or the clubs involved, it was simply not something that the Fire owed, or were obligated to. And as Steve pointed out, with what MCB had already gone through over the last year and a half (or so), it would behoove the Fire to deny the loan (regardless of money—take note here Becks/LA) so that the player could actually gel with his team, and be prepared for our league season–which is where the player is supposed to be and being payed to do. In fact, that’s why he turned down better money to stay in London, to come home and play for his home side.

    Timing was bad, duration of loan was bad, it made no sense from a Chicago (or league) perspective for us to acquiese to the wants of another club.

    Roy was just venting his frustration, and while it was a little unprofessional, it was his opinion, and he was asked about it. So be it. move on.

    I can understand MCB not liking how it was handled, as it makes him look a bit silly with the back and forth “squabling” that took place–although, if you watch the interview on FulhamTv, Roy even says that the Fire’s answer never changed, they (Fulham) just kept banging away at something they already had an answer for (an emphatic “NO”).

    In summary, loan=no, Fire season starts with MCB, and Fulham….jog on.

  19. This is a joke. As a Fire fan, I could give a Rat’s ass how Fulham feels about not getting one of our players. I also could care less regarding how it was handled, although if the Fire told them to F.. Off that would be sweet. This is just good business on the Fire’s part. What happens if he went to Fulham and got injured? You know like last season when he was out for most it @ Fulham? We’re screwed!!! That’s what happens. We owe them nothing. Fulham should have just let it go, Hogdson should have just moved on and kept his comments to himself. These guys showed no respect to the Fire or for the matter MLS by asking for one of our key players at such a late stage in the transfer window. If the shoe were on the other foot, I can assure you they would have treated us like a Leper and many of you knuckleheads would have agreed with them instead of the Fire.

    F…k!!! Fulham

  20. Ivesy, another gem of a find. The Fire acted like a bunch of babies. They need to man up and tell it like it is. I’m sick and tired of all this fighting that is occuring between clubs.

    All of these club execs are turning into Fergie, playing mind games all the time. Why not say “no, sorry, can’t have him” how hard is that??

    Fulham should have never let him go, he is a fantastic player, always 110%. They have enough options however, and realistically, they aren’t going to get a European spot. So I don’t know what else they are playing for, they certainly won’t get relegated unless there is a collapse.

    Hodgson has them on the right path, but these European clubs need to stop picking up and dropping players like they are a bunch of pimps.

    Just venting here…

  21. Not sure what schedule folks are looking at. Had McBride gone for the rest of the EPL season, he would of missed about 12 league games. Thats more than a third of the season, and thats too many games to miss. This all comes down to Hodgson not having enough respect for MLS, which is a common theme for many across the pond. Good for the Fire and the league for standing their ground.

  22. A) When deals don’t go through there are always hard feelings. See Ronaldo, Christiano – Real Madrid/Manchester United). So I’d expect Fulham to b*tch.

    B) McBride’s performance last year with the Fire may just have been slightly influenced by coming off a major injury, grinding a relegation struggle keeping Fulham up for two months, then running off to Beijing to play in 100 / 100 heat and humidity. So why would the Fire do that again with a 36 year old asset?

    C) Accountability – McBride signed a contract. Live up to the terms.

    D) Stand up for the league. MLS and its teams have a responsibility to the fans watching here in NA and the future of the league not to clubs in Europe because they’re in “bigger” leagues. So good for the Fire.

    Its the same with Beckham. If Milan really want him tehy should pay up. If they won’t, Becks has plenty of bucks to buy out his contract to make it worthwhile for the Galaxy. If neither of those happen then I’m fine with LA screwing him and bringin him back disgruntled and all (its not like their winning anything this year anyway) not get the England cap record and not playing in the World Cup.

    The loans are cop out deals. Lose em.


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