The deal taking Sean Scannell to Huddersfield Town has been given somewhat of an explanation by Dougie Freedman and Steve Parish in this week’s edition of the South London Press.
It was a move that saw some heavy criticism aimed in the direction of the decision makers at the club, with Sean having played his way into the collective hearts of the Palace faithful since his graduation to the first team in 2007 but Freedman was quick to state that he will be replaced.
“I’ve known Sean since the age of 12 years of age – I’ve played alongside him and coached him – and he just feels he needs first-team football, which I can’t guarantee. It’s best for everybody that he has moved on. We felt the bid was a healthy one – hopefully the fans will see me strengthen the squad with that money during this transfer window.”
It’s fair to say that Scannell was never given the chance to prove himself as a fully fledged striker, playing the odd game there but never having a prolonged run at the head of the team. It was a role that countless fans, including myself, thought that he may really have been able to shine in given a little bit of faith from the numerous managers he played under but for whatever reason, that level of trust was never bestowed on him.
With everyone connected to the club well aware of the need for more goals next season, it’s hardly a surprise to hear us linked with the likes of Aaron Wilbraham and Ross McCormack this early in the summer, but as mentioned by Dougie above, the impending arrival of new front men would inevitably have pushed Sean further down the pecking order.
It’s a sentiment that is also echoed in the comments of Steve Parish, who was in a philosophical mood when discussing the transfer.
“The way we want to play next season means that Sean is not necessarily going to start and at the age of 21 he needs games. It is a fair deal all round. It enables us to do other things that we want to do. There aren’t too many clause payments on top but there is a sell-on. He played 140 games at Palace – so it’s not like we’ve just sold a youngster who has not had long here. Sometimes things can get a bit stale – maybe Sean needs to play in an environment that challenges him.”
I have to admit, I was gutted to hear about the transfer initially, Sean was after all, a part of the figurative furniture at Selhurst Park but the more I think about the move in all its varying aspects, the more sense it makes to me.
I don’t think it would be unfair to say that Scannell hasn’t quite progressed at the rate we were hoping after initially bursting onto the scene and with his transfer fee probably going a long way to easing the financial burden of a potential deal for McCormack, it does seem that we are taking all of the sentimentality out of our thinking and looking at the scenario from a purely footballing perspective.
Sean will always be thought of fondly in SE25 and I’m sure everyone wishes him well in his future endeavors but I can definitely see the “bigger picture” thinking from Freedman and Parish regarding the transfer.