What does a football club do when a player refuses to play for them?
West Ham currently face this dilemma after their £125,000 per week French international, Dimitri Payet did just that.
Fans understandably react with fury to a player holding their club to ransom, but cool heads and realistic appraisals are required in the boardroom to ensure that a sensible solution is found.
Ultimately this is a business matter and although there are potential legal issues involved for a breach of contract, the only way to ever fix a situation like this is by negotiation and realism.
Put simply, at Payet’s level, the London club have a very valuable asset who is now only of value if they can get money for him. It seems beyond doubt that there are suitors, who have probably tapped him up, an everyday occurrence in football and one which is impossible to stop.
His mind is now elsewhere, so his club have to deal with the matter in a mature and realistic way, despite the fact that they probably feel like letting him train with the youth team for a few weeks, and make several long coach trips to reserve fixtures in the furthest parts of England to cool his jets.
That won’t happen.
Instead, various expressions of disappointment and tough talking will be aired by the manager and the board, while fevered talks with interested parties an agents swing into action, as West Ham attempt to cash in on their reluctant asset.
A player at Dagenham or at Forfar doesn’t have the same clout, but for top talent in demand, and with the transfer window open, it is an opportune and smart move by the player and his representatives to force the club’s hand.
He holds all the aces and the Hammers can only attempt to get the best deal possible in a difficult situation.