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Whitecaps betrayed Davies at the last minute but Bayern made it right

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While trading on the Davies’ inspirational backstory, the Vancouver Whitecaps scooped money the family needed.

San Jose Earthquakes v Vancouver Whitecaps FC Photo by Christopher Morris - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

While Davies’ amazing life story is well known, the details of how he signed with Bayern are coming out in bits and pieces. This is thanks to the fact that his agent, Nick Househ, a long-time family friend, is not a traditional agent and speaks very freely about the details of the process, much more than most agents are willing to do. His latest interview with The Province reveals new information about Phonzie’s journey, and some of it does not reflect well on his former team the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS.

While Davies was not on Bayern’s radar in the beginning, Househ retained UK agent Neil Sang to help represent Davies overseas. Neil had previously placed the unfortunate Dale Jennings with Bayern and had a very good opinion of how the club handled young players. Teams such as Manchester United, Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona, and Stuttgart all expressed interest in Davies.

After he reached out to the club, Bayern expressed interest in signing Davies and then went silent. Knowing how good a club Bayern was and their size on the world scene, the silence preyed on Househ’s mind. He said:

“He reached out to (Bayern); they connected and he told me they were interested. (But) after a couple of months, that communication between him and Bayern Munich broke down. I asked him a couple of times a day ‘what’s going on with Bayern Munich?’ He said, ‘Yeah, they stopped contacting me back.’

“The next thing we know, Bayern Munich has put in an offer to buy Alphonso.”

But when it came down to the final negotiations, the Whitecaps got greedy and almost threw a wrench into the works.

Bayern had negotiated a transfer fee of €11.3 million with the Whitecaps, and only the final personal terms needed to be worked out with Davies. By the rules of the MLS CBA, 10% of the transfer fee of any player being transferred outside the league is to be given to the player. At the final negotiation session in Vancouver, with all parties present, the Whitecaps refused to complete the deal unless Davies agreed to waive his part of the fee. The negotiations broke down and the session ended for the day.

The next day Hasan Salihamidžić and head of recruitment Marco Neppe returned having put together a new package with increased payments that would make Davies whole for the amount that the Whitecaps were effectively extorting from him.

To this day, Househ still harbours bad feelings for the Whitecaps and warm feelings for Bayern on account of how everyone conducted themselves in the negotiations. He recalled,

“It’s unfortunate, because the club shows Phonzie a lot of love publicly and on social-media — which is great — but when it came to showing him some real love for all the hard work he did, they fell short,” he said. “It was disappointing when Alphonso was asked to waive the 10 per cent that he was entitled to or the Bayern deal wouldn’t have happened. The Bayern guys, you’re dealing with people who know the ins (and outs). Dealing with them was completely … day and night between them and the Whitecaps.”

Davies has quickly become one of the hottest young players in world football, and he is continuously being approached by agents seeking to represent him and promising to get him more and connect him to the biggest clubs in the world. But Davies is showing his character by sticking with his family friend and mentor, and Househ’s comments show he knows exactly where Bayern is in the pecking order of world football:

“They tell you that they have connections to the biggest clubs in the world and they could help you more. It’s so funny,” said Huoseh. “I mean, Bayern Munich is one of the most successful clubs in the world, one of the biggest and wealthiest. Where do they think they’re gonna take you? To the moon?”