DEVINE GOES WEST
(Tuesday 17th December 2002)
Wanderers fans have been dealt the shock news that the Board of Directors have accepted a reported £80,000 bid from Exeter City for striking legend Sean Devine. The 30 year old originally joined Wycombe from Barnet in 1999 for £200,000 and has since scored 46 goals in 101 appearances. The move to Exeter will be subject to Devine agreeing terms and passing a medical.
The Club broke the news on Monday 16th December with a statement delivered by Manager Lawrie Sanchez on the Club's official website. Sanchez was quoted as saying "The situation is that when it gets to what I think is an agreeable figure, I put it forward to the Chairman and the Board and it's their decision at the end of the day. All clubs at this moment in time are tightening their belt and it's noticeable that you haven't seen many football league transfers this season. I can't name anybody who's moved for money this season so when somebody does offer you money, that's something you've got to consider."
The Club will point to the well documented collapse of ITV Digital Wanderers for the downturn in finances but matters have not been helped by a messy departure of an unwanted Chief Executive, an FA Cup First Round defeat to Brentford and heavy costs surrounding the setting-up of the ground share with London Wasps. Sanchez added "Any finances that can come in to make the current financial situation for the club easier has to be looked at in that light."
The shock move to accept a bid for Devine also comes just eight months after Sanchez was suggesting that the ex-Barnet man would be a key in Wycombe's plans for 2002/2003. He told the Bucks Free Press in April 2002 "I wouldn't bet against him scoring 20 goals next year. He's come in towards the end of the season after having two years out injured and it's been very difficult for him." Sanchez went on the praise the striker further "He knows where the goal is and if you see his finishing in training you will see that he's a natural finisher."
But this season Devine has been out of favour with the Wycombe boss and has started just 13 League games. However, Devine didn't do much for his cause when he picked up a three match ban for a red card during a reserve game.
The suggestion of a move to Third Division strugglers Exeter City may come as a surprise to many Wycombe fans but the West Country club have recently appointed a new Chairman and have been searching for a striker via a plea from their official website . The Grecians have ear marked money from a lucrative Third Round FA Cup tie with Chartlon Athletic for the purchase of a forward and with Devine not cup-tied due to his "mystery absence" from Wanderers clash Brentford, the move West could look quite inviting. Devine was due to meet Exeter officials on Monday evening to discuss terms.
Devine told the Bucks Free Press Midweek (Tuesday 17th December) "I don't want to go. I love it here, but if the club want to cash in on me I've got to accept that. If I'm not wanted here I've got to look after my family. I will talk to Exeter because players these days aren't in a position to barter. I will listen to what they say but I'm in no rush". Sanchez added "I can understand supporters being unhappy but they've got to understand the financial situation. We played Port Vale on Saturday and they are going into administration. The world of football has changed. It's the lad's decision. If he stays and gets on with it that's fine and if he goes we wish him all the best".
Watch the latest news on chairboys.co.uk for updates on the story
Transfers this season to Division 2 or 3 clubs
(stats from soccerbase.com)
Stuart Elliott - Motherwell to Hull City £230,000 11 July 2002
Clint Hill - Tranmere to Oldham £250,000 12 July 2002
Chris Barker - Barnsley to Cardiff £600,000 13 July 2002
Ben Burgess - Blackburn to Stockport £400,000 16 July 2002
Chris Killen - Man City to Oldham £200,000 30 July 2002
Colin Larkin - Wolves to Mansfield £125,000 31 July 2002
Sol Davis - Swindon to Luton £60,000 16 Aug 2002
Darren Kelly - Derry City to Carlisle £100,000 20 Aug 2002
Anthony Tonkin - Yeovil to Stockport £50,000 26 Sep 2002
Damien Delaney - Leicester City to Hull City £50,000 17 Oct 2002
Marc Joseph - Peterborough to Hull City £40,000 22 Nov 2002
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