Stephen Hunt

Last updated : 20 June 2003 By
Hunt: Would appear to be on the verge of linking up with ex-manager, Steve Coppell
Unsettled Stephen Hunt is, as revealed in a Rumour Mill story on this site seven days ago, 80% certain to join his former manager, Steve Coppell at the Withdean Stadium, according to a report in Wednesday's edition of The Brighton Evening Argus.

The one stumbling block to the proposed move would appear to be Brentford's reluctance to let the Republic of Ireland Under-21 winger leave Griffin Park on a free transfer.

Hunt is only 21-years-old and under current Bosman rules, the Bees are entitled to demand a transfer fee for the player. This has aggrieved Hunt to such an extent that he has felt the need to speak out harshly against his present club in the local Brighton paper.

Hunt is quoted as saying:

"I am 80 per cent certain to go to Brighton. I have given Steve my word I will go there once compensation is sorted out.

"I have told the Brentford manager (Wally Downes) I won't be going back.

"I am putting my case to the Brentford board as to why they should let me go for free but I don't think they will listen.

"Based on what Brentford have paid me for the last two years they should let me go for nothing.

"They want it to go to a tribunal and I have seen a figure of £150,000 mentioned but I don't know where that has come from.

"It is unrealistic. I imagine they will come to an agreement for about £10,000."

Hunt went on:

"Walsall have shown interest and it has got a lot stronger since Monday,"

"Division One football would favour them but Steve Coppell favours Brighton.

"He was at Crystal Palace when I was there and then he revitalised my career when he took me to Brentford.

"I live just past East Grinstead at Caterham, so it would suit me to go to Brighton rather than the West Midlands, and I don't think personal terms will be a problem."

Whilst it is certainly true that Hunt was consistent last season, appearing in 42 league games, scoring seven times, is the player not acutely aware of the current financial position of his present employers, and does he feel no sense of loyalty to the club that offered him an extended opportunity at first team level?

Surely Brentford are entitled to put their case forward at a tribunal and request, in these days of inflated transfer fees, a reasonable amount of compensation for a player who has admittedly, now matured into a competent Nationwide Second Division performer.

What is your reaction to the comments Hunt has made?

Is he right in asking Brentford to release him for next to nothing, or should he have graciously accepted that the club are entitled to try and cash in, especially after helping develop him into the player he is today?

You can air your views on the Bee Hive Message board by clicking here.

Nb. The editor of the Bee Hive would like to make it clear that these are the views of The Bee Hive, and not necessarily those of BrentfordFC.