As yet another game passed by without an Albion goal this weekend, a figure was sent our way. Despite recent Tony Bloom protestations about it being Gus Poyet’s fault, nobody can deny that CMS has cost £119k per goal. This fact (and of course we haven’t checked it) was supplemented with another - that that figure is 83 times more than the cost of Bobby Zamora’s goals.
Now, this isn’t a fool proof way of analysing Albion striking performances of yesteryear. I mean, it doesn’t factor in that Bobby was really very reasonably priced due to the other attacking options available to Ian Holloway at Brizzle Rivers at the time. It also doesn’t factor in player wages because, quite frankly, football clubs don’t want you to know what players are actually paid (nor transfers really these days, ‘undisclosed’ has become a byword for ‘mind your own business’). Clubs especially don't want you to know how much has been wasted on the goalscorers who don’t even score.
So what of the other Albion forwards? Well, as I have done no research for this apart from being part of an inventively titled Albion WhatsApp group (you know who you are, Fitz Gandalf’s BantCartel), I’m relying on others and who they bothered to look up and do the maths on. We all very well know what a bargain Gary Hart was but his goals per pound ration was ridiculously good. In fact, each one of his goals was cheaper than a match ticket at Falmer - just £23.26.
Leon Knight's goals cost £3,125 apiece, but then it's much easier to score penalties, and that amount of money per goal may be decent - but was it worth dealing with his attitude? Looking further back, Jason Peake supposedly cost £120k for his only goal, so at least CMS isn't quite that bad.
Craig Maskell was £1,818 per goal, but those were in much leaner times for the football club. Maskell's would have been well worth the money we ended up saving by not being relegated to the Conference in 1997. One wise member of the group suggested that Maskell’s goals would have become far cheaper had they ‘moved the goal into the car park’. Ashley Barnes’ goals cost £2,040 a piece and he has scored eight times since his move to Burnley (for £400k) so even his current goals per pound cost of £50k a pop is a bargain compared with CMS. But then, nobody was sniffing around CMS in the January before his Albion contract expired.
Someone made the point about Mr Barnes that we also got £400k back to make his goals cheaper, but then you could apply that logic to Zamora, and then the whole goals per pounds race would be over. Or would it? Leo Ulloa looks expensive on the face of it – £76,923 per goal. But then his sale price would have blown Bobby Z out of the water, maybe, if I could be bothered to do the maths. Plus can you really use this logic when that headed moment Ulloa delivered at Nottingham Forest last season was priceless? Glenn Murray’s goal tally cost £9,433 each, though that will never tell you quite how many times he had to get offside to pick up 53 club goals – his offside to goals ration was probably around 9:1.
So there we have it. Yes, perhaps we can’t score many goals at the moment. But then, Gary Hart aside, goals have never really been that cheap. And you could fill in a comment at the bottom telling me how cheap the goals were from every player who turned up at the Goldstone / Priestfield / Withers / Falmer on a free. And basically, none of it matters if you don’t account for wages. So, hopefully we’ll score tonight - then someone else’s goals might just get cheaper.