Sidibe Stays – For Now

Friday, 8 February 2002, 0:01
1 min read

It all seemed straight forward. Our reliable sources said as soon as Akinbiyi was sold “Mama will replace him – £400,000” so we checked them with a couple more of our friends and yes it seemed to match up. And, as usual, we weren’t afraid to print what we believed to be the news so ahead we went with the story.

Colin Addison dismissed the story as ‘rumour, rumour, rumour’ but that didn’t make us bat an eyelid, as it’s not unusual for the news to break before the club is aware of it but what made me think ‘is this right’ is Leicester saying that the money from Akinbiyi’s sale would not be available for team strengthening.

So, yet again in search of the truth, we got the story spade out and thought that we’d do some more digging and see what we came up with. And this is what we have for you.

Leicester City struck a deal to take Mamady Sidibe to Filbert Street. One hundred percent fact. However, Leicester City struck this deal with our departed chairman Tony Petty prior to the Christmas break. We have no reason to believe that Colin Addison knew anything about this, it was a deal brokered and agreed by Tony Petty. That much should not be a surprise to us, Petty was hardly one for consulting his manager for playing matters now was he?

So why didn’t the deal go through if it was agreed? Well, it seems that it hit a stumbling block. Or, at least Mama did. His injury at Boxing Day killed/postponed the deal and Mama stayed on the books at Swansea City.

Clearly now what has happened is wrong information being fed into our sources. The classic case of 2+2 making 5 and giving news that wasn’t as accurate as you or I would like. Mama got himself fit, Leicester sold Akinbiyi and it was decided by the originator that the deal would be revived. But of course, there was a different stumbling block this time. Tony Petty is back in Australia and it wasn’t to be as simple as that to revive.

Now I look and say do I have egg on my face over this story? And the answer is yes, but only to a degree. The deal was agreed, but it was agreed by a previous owner of the football club. It does appear that the deal is now a dead duck and that Mamady will not be heading to Leicester City unless they are prepared to enter new negotiations with the club. There are still other alleged interested parties, namely West Bromwich Albion and Nottingham Forest, but as I am sure the club will confirm they have had no firm bid for the player to date from either of these two parties.

We expect some news on the Sidibe front within the course of the next week, whether that involves an immediate departure or not remains to be seen.

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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