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Paul Merson signs (July 2003)

Reaction to the biggest events in Walsall FC's recent history. This section also houses the tributes paid to Jolysaddler.
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Paul Merson signs (July 2003)

Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:40 am

By The Kingfisher ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:37 am:

It has been reported in the daily sport that We may be signing Paul Merson!!
He has aparently said to Colin Lee "pay me what you can"

By Dean Allen ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:44 am:

I've just heard that too on SAGA FM. Amazing !!

By DMB_100 ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:46 am:

This is from the Independent!!
Cant see him coming to us, he could still get a much bigger club with a huge sallary still. If he did bloody hell what a signing!!!!

Merson tells Walsall: make me an offer
By Alan Nixon
08 July 2003

Walsall hope to pull off a sensational move for Paul Merson in the biggest signing in the club's history. The midfielder is leaving Portsmouth to move back to his Birmingham home and has told Walsall to "offer me what you can" to their amazement.

The former England international, who still has a year left on his current contract, has been looking to leave Pompey, despite their promotion to the Premiership, after having more trouble with his old gambling addiction and he contacted the Saddlers about the idea.

Walsall were stunned when they were approached and thought they could not afford the 35-year-old.

Portsmouth are interested in signing a former favourite in Tottenham's Darren Anderton as Merson's replacement. "I've spoken to people at Tottenham, I've declared my interest," the Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp said. "There's an opportunity, a chance it could happen."

If Anderton did make his way to Portsmouth he would be reunited with his old Spurs colleague, Teddy Sheringham.

By bescottier ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:52 am:

And from the Guardian:

Walsall have emerged as the surprise front runners to become the latest and probably last club of Paul Merson's colourful career.
The former Arsenal and England forward is understood to have opened negotiations with the unfashionable First Division side with a view to joining them from Portsmouth, after his current manager Harry Redknapp yesterday predicted that his current player of the season might leave the south coast.

The 35-year-old, whose young family still lives in the Midlands, is understood to be unsettled and has been negotiating with one other Midlands club in addition to Walsall. Despite having a year of his contract to run at Fratton Park, he has been told that he is free to leave 12 months after he arrived on a free transfer from Aston Villa.

"He has spoken to several clubs and he's got to decide where he wants to go," Redknapp told Sky Sports yesterday. "Portsmouth Football Club will forever be indebted to Paul Merson."

He had a major influence in them gaining promotion to the Premiership but the arrival of his former England team-mate Teddy Sheringham from Spurs cast doubt on his future at the club.

Merson would suit the style Colin Lee would like to bring to the Saddlers. The sticking point appears to be the economics of any deal: Walsall have made a profit in each of the past 11 seasons and would not abandon their prudent husbandry to accommodate any player.

Indeed, Lee is under orders to trim the wage bill by £1m, which is not far off the salary Merson is paid by Portsmouth. The key appears to be whether Portsmouth will be willing to settle Merson's contract, a payout which would allow him to fall into line with Walsall's wage structure.

By salop saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 08:57 am:

It was Vinny Samways who put the suggestion to Merson and Lee back when we played Pompey last season. Merson acknowledges he still has problems and doesn't want the constant media hype of Premiership football. He lives half an hour from Bescot and the whole thing makes sence. As an aside, Junior is due to have talks tomorrow.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:20 am:

According to Sky, he's the Wolves mystery signing today.

By cat3 ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:26 am:

His experience and tactics are vital to us, it would be an excellent signing if we can get him in!

By MR D DOFFER ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:26 am:

doffer here

would be fantastic, yes wolves are in the frame but does merson really want the premiership anymore?
We can only hope and pray that according to Junior - Jesus is a walsall fan??

By hullsaddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:32 am:

Would be tremendous.Bit of a shock when reading Guardian sports pages.I usually scan bottom bits of articles for possible mention of us & there it was as a banner headline at the top of the page.
Think the bit about getting Pompey to pay off his contract will be the crucial bit.

By Neil Ravenscroft ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:35 am:

He's not the Wolves siging, thats Nigerian international Isaac Okoronkwo, so Sky cocked that up!

By salop saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:45 am:

Good point about his contract Hull, but having Pompey as my 'second team' I know the general feeling is they owe him a great debt of gratitude. The contract thing won't be a stumbling block.

By J ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:50 am:

If this is true its fantastic but somehow i cant see merson wanting to come to us.

By machew ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:51 am:

I can't quite believe this. Paul Merson, a real genuine quality player, offering to come and play for us. This must be a wind up. Although I pray it isn't...

By Stu ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 09:57 am:

I refuse to believe this. It must be the biggest wind up in the world...

This is the stuff of dreams, but therre surely isn't a chance in hell we'll get Paul Merson.

By The Kingfisher ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:02 am:

Sky Sports news says were the favourites. he had talks with us n albion. he aint goin to wolves as they just signed the nigerian player. albion turned him down. So it looks like its us. Wages won't matter because he told colin lee "offer me what you can"

By salop saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:02 am:

If he does come I'll give him a share in my racehorse. That'll cure his gambling problem and no doubt.

By J ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:03 am:

I suppose i could be true that he has told us to make him an offer but there's bound to be a club that can make a bigger offer than us.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:04 am:

Oddly, when I heard on the radio that he was contemplating a return to 'one of 2 Midlands clubs' I thought it could be us or, more probably, The Baggies.
Hr does not want the attention of The Premiership, so Div 1 makes sense, though I'd be amazed if it was us.

By I WANT PAUL ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:04 am:




By bangsection ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:09 am:

If you read between the lines it's clear that he wants to play another season for a club in the Midlands so that he can have the stability and support of his family out of the Premiership spotlight. Albion have turned down the chance to sign him which leaves just us in the frame. The worry is that this alerts other local Div 1 clubs like Forest and Sjoke. Still, I don't think we should be so pessimistic - if Merson really has told Lee 'pay me what you can' then the size of the club/wage packet is clearly not uppermost in his mind. Mind you, he'll have to fight for his favoured position behind the front two. Steve Corica's not going to give it up lightly!

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:10 am:

What the hell is SAGA FM? A radio staion for geriatrics.....is Geoff the top DJ? [sorry Geoff, old habits die hard].

By Calmore Midgets ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:11 am:

we are the midgets of Caldmore and we will also be his sex slaves. he can start up a private brothel or harem and we will do even the most depraved things like to lick his feet and eat toe cheese. WE WANT YOU PAUL!!!! TAKE US NOW. TAKE US!!!PLEASE

By Caldmore Midgets ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:13 am:

by the way some of youse lot are sooooooooo dull! its unbelievable. you see when you are 2ft tall you have to make the most of life so we suggest that you shrink and therefore develop a sense of humor.

By Stu ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:19 am:

He is also talking with Derby... Or so the Bournemouth fan at work tells me.

By The Kingfisher ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:20 am:

I feel tha tthis thread is slightly goin off the point that we are signin PAUL GOD DAMN MERSON! theres aparently a press conference at 10:30 explaining all...

By salop saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:21 am:

J...I WANT PAUL...Calmore Midgets...Caldmore Midgets.

Why do you feel the need to post under so many names? Do you feel ingored?

By salop saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:22 am:

or ignored even.

By Cockerney Saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:42 am:

Read yesterday that Merson would be leaving Pompey and was talking to two Midlands clubs. Something flickered in my brain, but I just stamped it out. But then read what CL said about being talks with two new strikers – both of which, he said, would make us a terrific side going forward. Then I started thinking about Merson again (in a non-sexual way).
He showed last year he's still a fine player at this level and I think he would enjoy his football at Bescot.
If it's all true, could be another top bit of business by the club!

By Stu ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:56 am:

Where is this 10.30 Press Conference you were on about Kingfisher?

I'm getting impatient now, the thought of knowing we were in the driving seat but had the deal hi-jacked by Derby, Forest, or god forbid, Joke City would be gut wrenching.

If we did sign Merson, its what else he would do for us that would make the difference. He'd put 500-1000 on the gate and any players we're currently talking to would no doubt suddenly find us a much more attractive proposition. Plus, imagine how it would benefit Bishop, Hawley, Fryatt, Stanley, Taylor et al to see this bloke train and train with him.

By The Kingfisher ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 10:58 am:

Stu..? do u have a season ticket i nthe purple stand upper tier? & do you know Steve Rushton?

By Cockerney Saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:04 am:

Oh, just one more thing. What would happen to Corica if Merson came?

By Geordiesaddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:10 am:

he would be a good quality squad player in a squad of about 17.

By Stu ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:13 am:

Kingfisher, I did last season (in the lower tier this season) and nope to Steve Rushton (not by name anyway)

By J ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:22 am:

salop, same address's because same network. Caldmore midgets is a strange person. why would one person post under so many different names? the conversation would be a bit thin!

i still cant picture us signing paul merson.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:25 am:

Perhaps we are signing Paul Marston?

By Cockerney Saddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:32 am:

That's a fair comment Geordie – Corica is the same sort of player but not quite in Merson's league. I wouldn't be surprised if there's something in this... so many different papers have reported this, this morning. Fingers crossed!

By J ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:38 am:

It does seem to be going beyond an idle rumour. im starting to doubt my own pessimism!

whats happening with this press conference?

By we want paul ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 11:38 am:

does anyone know of any way in which i can cointact paul to beg him...........

iv had many a nites out drinkin and a few 'cokes'

By ucow ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:21 pm:

acording to my contat in the club its a straight fight between us and the albion and the albion have turned down the chance to sign him!

By The Kingfisher ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:25 pm:

There seems to be a barren spell of information bein given out at this time. Is it possible that the deal is goin down right now??? Maybe the talks are going ahead. I just wanna know something!?!?!? We might all be getting out hopes up for nothing here. The official site hasn't even said anything about bein interested with merson. We need information!

By Doktor ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:28 pm:

This is amazing news - hope it happens. He played great last season - just see him feeding the ball to jorge and junior!

By leedssaddler ( on Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - 12:29 pm:

Stu - agree with you about the increased gates to contribute to the higher wage bill.

We're also more likely to get picked by Sky more often than present. How much would that be worth to us?

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