No sooner had I “promoted” Sheffield United last week than a transfer elsewhere in League One had this column
standing bolt upright. No, it is not about to buckle, but there may have been some weakening of the knees in other quarters.
League One clubs are not supposed to sign Championship strikers on upwards of £10,000 a week. Especially if their name is Leyton Orient.
But that is precisely what happened when ex-Blades forward Darius Henderson left Nottingham Forest for Brisbane Road. The fact that he now links up with a former United coach in Russell Slade - heavily touted for the Lane before the successful move for Nigel Clough - adds another twist.
Henderson is the most eye-catching of half-a-dozen signings made by Slade since Italian Francesco Becchetti bought the club from Barry Hearn. “It feels like I’ve gone from shopping in Primark to Harrods,” Slade told his outgoing boss.
The once £2m striker’s three-year Orient deal - after he’d negotiated his release from a similar length contract at Forest - is actually thought to be
worth a staggering £12,000 a week. That’s way beyond any League One wage ceiling - including United’s - without necessarily challenging the view that Clough has the best-stocked squad in the division.
Pre-Henderson, many might have rated Orient’s shock promotion charge of last season, only ended by Rotherham at Wembley,
as a one-off. Not now and I’d have them challenging again.
Unless (and this is a caveat with any new foreign owner) Mr. Becchetti does something stupid.
Like changing his coach. Like throwing up the pieces of the jigsaw if they don’t fit together in the first few games.