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Friday Kickoff: Dempsey out for opener, Van Persie signs for four years & more

Dempsey (Getty Images)

On the eve of the 2012-13 Premier League season, Clint Dempsey remains in club limbo. 

Fulham manager Martin announced that Dempsey, the club's leading scorer last season, will not be part of Fulham's matchday roster for Saturday's season opener against Norwich City while also confirming that Dempsey wants to leave Craven Cottage.

That Dempsey won't be part of the club's season opener is not all that surprising considering that he was left out of the first-team's preseason trip to Switzerland and was training with the club's youth teams to try and stay fit. He is entering the final year of his contract with Fulham, which run the risk of losing him for nothing if they do not meet his wishes to be transferred. The summer transfer window closes in two weeks.

"Clint was not involved over the last four weeks so he is not going to be in the squad," Jol said, according to Sky Sports. "He is not committed to the club. He wants to leave. I would like to keep him, but I think it's impossible. It's a sad and an almost embarrassing situation."

The latest development is the first instance at which Fulham have appeared open to selling Dempsey. They had previously claimed that they have no intentions of selling their top attacking asset and that they had not received any official offers for him in the transfer market.

Here are a few more stories to kick off your Friday:


After moving to Manchester United from Arsenal on a £24 million transfer, reigning Premier League golden boot winner Robin Van Persie signed a four-year deal with the club, that paves the way for him to accompany the Red Devils for their season opener and play against Tim Howard and Everton on Monday.

The deal ensures Van Persie's place at Old Trafford until 2016, as he and Wayne Rooney, whose 27 league goals were second-most to Van Persie's 30 last season, will have plenty of time to acclimate with one another and comprise — on paper — one of the most lethal forward partnerships in the world. 

With Van Persie's departure, Arsenal named Belgian centerback Thomas Vermaelen its new captain, replacing the leadership void left by the departed Dutch striker.


Rio Ferdinand's racially insensitive comments on Twitter have cost him a pretty pound.

The FA fined the Manchester United centerback £45,000 for his remarks made in July after an independent commission found that "the comment was improper and brought the game into disrepute. In addition, the Commission found that the breach included a reference to ethnic origin, colour or race."

Ferdinand used the term "choc ice" in a tweet to Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, a slang term meaning that he was black on the outside and white on the inside, after Cole testified on behalf of John Terry in his defense case against Ferdinand's brother, QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.


After turning down Tottenham because of a disagreement over weekly wages, Uruguayan midfielder and Olympian Gaston Ramirez appears headed to Southampton.

The newly promoted Premier League side reportedly spent a club-record £11.8 million to sign the 21-year-old Ramirez away from Bologna, where he was a former teammate of Montreal Impact striker Marco Di Vaio. Last season, Ramirez scored eight goals in 33 matches.


What's your take on the latest involving Dempsey? Do you see the Rooney-Van Persie partnership working for Manchester United? What do you make of the FA's punishment for Ferdinand? Do you think Southampton will be strong enough to stay up in the Premier League after this season?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Let’s be honest, Wenger had no idea “Danny Karbassiyoon” was American.

    Hell, Americans had no idea Danny Karbassiyoon was American.


  2. Speaking of staring contests, I’ve had this idea for a tifo for sometime now….something like the stand-off scene from Good the Bad and the Ugly. Clint’s eyes (scary as hell) the good, John Terrys eyes (the bad for sure + he is Chelsea) and Luis Suarez as the Ugly, pretty self explainatory with that, but if Clint transfers to Liverpool then my whole idea is rubbish.

  3. Gillette and Hicks were terrible owners. Nothing can be said to defend them, and nothing can be done to deflect their responsiblity.

    They were terrible owners for Liverpool, terrible owners of the Texas Rangers and terrible owners of the Montreal Canadians.

  4. In Jol’s interview he said Liverpool never made a “firm” offer. To me that implies some type of offer otherwise why would he have to qualify it that way.

    This is getting messy but now that I think of it, most of the time Fulham looses a player it gets messy. Bullard, Zamora, Saha, and especially Mark Hughes.

  5. As a Fulham supporter and an American….he can leave right after we squeeze every last penny out of him. We can do without the drama. The sun doesn’t rise and set on Clint Dempsey’s backside. He’s good and we will be a lesser team for a while without him, but him leaving doesn’t mean relegation and we have some kids in the pipeline who are looking good for the coming years. COYW.

  6. i support the deuce in whatever he does. he has earned the right to pursue his dreams. but… if he’s refusing to play in the opener (and not being set aside by Jol) I think he’s making a tactical error. Fabregas & Nasri continued to play up and until their transfers came through. I don’t think NFL hold outs play so well over there…Just play and if noone bids, move on after your contract is up in the year. Refusing to play gives Fulham less leverage, and likley reduces any transfer bids.

  7. The difference is that there is usually offers for those other players. In this case, we don’t have any evidence that any team has made an offer for Clint. Jol explicitly stated that Liverpool never put anything on the table, so Clint is trying to get a transfer, but as of now, no one wants him.

  8. No, he stated that Clint isn’t going to play, and that seems to be the players decision. Fulham has repeatedly said they want him to stay, so the this just indicates that any refusal to play is coming from Dempsey, but you can make up and believe whatever you want.

  9. Do your thing Clint.

    After being thrown down the pecking order each and every time a new manager was brought it, I ain’t mad at cha’.

    There’s no loyalty in sports and certainly very little was shown to you.

    If you want to leave, play the cards you’re dealt. Making yourself a nuisance prior to the transfer deadline is a part of those cards.

    Haters will hate but this is a fairly simple and common move by players in Europe.

  10. Sky is reporting that Fulham are fining Dempsey for not playing. If that is true, then it means Clint is refusing to play, not that Fulham is benching him.

  11. No, Fulham paid MLS 4 millon for Dempsey which is around 2 million pounds.

    But I agree that they may lose out on transfer money.

  12. I don’t think Clint has ever said “I will not play for Fulham.” Liverpool has made overtures (but no offer), and so Cint is practicing on his own.

    Clint has said he wants to leave. If I am Jol, I work on my team with players who are going to stay. It is Jol’s decision not to play (or practice) Clint. I bet (maybe hope) if he is asked, Clint would say, yes I will play for Fulham this year.

  13. well the transfer market and Sir Alex Ferguson disagree with you; but I guess you know more about football than people who manage premier league clubs

  14. I hope all the people who are siding with Dempsey also sided with Fabrigas, Nasri, Adabyeur (however that’s spelled), Rooney, and Tevez when they had spats with their clubs. Dempsey’s just playing the game behind the game, as he should, but he isn’t a victim here.

    Also, his price will always be lowere in the final year of a contract, especially at his age.

  15. Are you sure? Was it a free transfer? If yes, then Dempsey’s transfer fee now, no matter how high, is going to be pure unadulterated 100% profit for Jol and Fulham. And if Jol and Fulham, already angry at Clint for not signing the extension, have been inflating his tansfer fee all summer and in so doing holding up the deal to Liverpool, I can darn well understand why Dempsey is not happy with them. So stupid of Jol and Fulham, with the transfer fee dropping by the minute, especially after Jol’s mean-spirited comments today.

  16. Some of the ‘supporters’ twice burned American flags to protest the previous owners. Now, I’m a free-speech loving liberal, and I used to be a bit radical, but burning any nation’s flag because your team is losing is just offensive and annoying.

    Also, they keep whining about some fatal stadium accident from two decades ago, refusing to play on the anniversary. Move on people; since the ‘Hillsboro disaster’ millions of people have died in much worse situations.

    However, I like the new ownership, and I really like Rodgers, and I shouldn’t judge the team based on the stupidest supporters, and they’ve got Mark Pelosi in the youth team, so I’m willing to like Liverpool if Dempsey goes there.

  17. Recall that Clint has gone through this before with his MLS contract. It is not exactly the same, but similar.

    He refused to renegotiate or sign a new contract with the MLS who he felt had renegged on prior promises to transfer him abroad. When his contract ran out, he went to Fulham ona free transfer.

    If Fulham wants transfer $$$ from Clint, they had better get going. Otherwise, our stubborn Texan will sit on the bench all year, collect his paycheck and move at the end of the season.

  18. I found a more complete news article about Martin Jol’s press conference today than the story linked above and Jol really splashed gasoline on the fire. This is one flippant quote from Jol, who appears to be trying to publicly humiliate Dempsey:

    “Clint told me he wants to go to a Champions League club. I’m not sure if Liverpool is in the Champions League but if you look at the size of Liverpool, it’s like a Champions League club. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but for us it’s a sad situation and embarrassing.”

    Jol is shooting himself in the foot with loud stupid comments like this, will no doubt shave a few million off Dempsey’s transfer fee. Quite frankly, Jol sounds like a complete jerk who is now angry that Liverpool did not bite at the inflated transfer fee he demanded earlier this summer, hard for me to understand how some of you are defending his treatment of Dempsey.

    Martin Jol furious with Liverpool over failure to bid for Clint Dempsey


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