Fuzzy logic

Last updated : 25 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The manager’s defence of Cort is understandable and to an extent justified - he did play well during his first season at St James’ Park and he was unlucky to pick up a succession of serious injuries - but to claim the club have made a profit on him takes some believing, not to mention some Enron-style accounting.

"The way Carl Cort has been portrayed is shameful. I bought Carl and I will stand up for my judgment on him. That boy has gone from one horrendous injury to another - and they've all been genuine,” Sir Bobby told the Sunday Mirror.

"Wolves are getting a very good player. Carl proved that when he first came here and he did very well.

"David Jones hasn't spoken to me once about Carl Cort. He has kept his own counsel. But he has a great deal of faith in him - he is buying Carl Cort to stay in the Premiership.

"We paid £7m for him and he has been here four years. Divide the four years into the £7m and that amount is written off each year - it's like car depreciation.

"Over a five-year contract his value is written off by around £1.5m a year. So over the four years £6m is written off and, if we bank £2m for him, we have made a profit.

"At the end of next season he could walk for nothing. He is a free agent and the bulk of his value has already gone.”

Whenever a club pays a lot of money for a young player it’s a gamble, and with Cort that gamble didn’t pay-off, because of circumstances beyond the control of both manager and player.

Every club does transfer deals that work out badly, so surely it is time to just stop the sniping at and defending of Cort and forget about him, concentrating instead on the players who have the task of taking the club forward.