FA Cup: Sort it out West Brom!
Apparently the very fact that only one Premier League team remains in the FA Cup this season shows the romance of the tournament.
Not if your name so happens to be Luke Steele.
The former Manchester United trainee goalkeeper joined West Bromwich Albion in 2006 in a deal that saw former Baggies keeper Thomas Kuszczak moving in the opposite direction. A succession of loans saw Steele bounced backwards and forwards between his parent club and Coventry City until an emergency loan move to Barnsley gave him the opportunity to become a legend in his own right.
It is no coincidence that Steele’s move to Barnsley came at the same time that the Yorkshire club fired its way past Liverpool and Chelsea, into an FA Cup Semi-Final, one of the first to be held at the brand new Wembley Stadium.
However for the poor lad, whose heroics have seen him thwart the likes of Drogba, Lampard, Torres and Crouch, his Wembley dream may be over as West Brom look to haggle over the finances of the deal.
Steele’s emergency loan has come to an end and the keeper was expected back at the Albion on Monday as a deal to extend his loan broke down. Despite the fact that it was expected that Luke would go on to join Barnsley on a permanent basis, West Brom are now looking for Barnsley to pay the whole of the goalkeepers wages, rather than making a token contribution.
The money men of football are ruining one of their employee’s chances of a Wembley dream come true.
Luke himself was obviously despondent as he told the official Barnsley club website:
“Unless both clubs can reach an agreement I'm going to be watching Barnsley's semi-final day out at Wembley on TV. It should have been a really simple deal to carry on my loan until the end of the season.
“But the deal is getting complicated and I am running the risk of missing out on the biggest day of my professional career.”
Despite the potential financial loss, and the altering of loan regulations to possibly allow Steele to face his parent club, Vital West Brom calls for the romance of the FA Cup to be restored in allowing a young player who has achieved so much this season, the reward that he fully deserves.
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