Now here's the rub. Arsenal are being linked with Vydra and, if he is sold, the question arises, who gets the money? Presumably, not Watford.
I have to be very careful here because it seems that Watford Football Club are prepared to take a litigious approach should anything vaguely contentious be said, but some people are still puzzled by the seemingly inconsistent rules which allow Watford to field so many players signed on loan, because, if I understand it correctly, loan signings from abroad count in some peculiar way as transfers. But if they are transfers, does that mean Watford would pocket the dosh in the event of Vydra being sold? Not as I understand it because Udinese still 'own' the player.
Another question arises. I am categorically not suggesting that rules would be broken, but hypothetically, if a deal was agreed for Vydra, might it not be in the theoretical interests of Udinese and the Pozzos to instruct Zola not to risk the Czech goal machine in a dead rubber game after promotion has been secured or conceded to avoid the possibility of an injury wrecking the transfer?
And if that possibility, all be it simply a hypothetical possibility, exists, does this not bring in to question the wisdom of allowing clubs owned by the same family to effectively share their playing personnel? West Ham were famously fined £6m because, in theory, IKEA could instruct the club not to play Tevez. The third party clause was never activated but West Ham were still held to be in breach of the rules.
Now we all accept that Watford are not breaking the rules as they are written but many of us are honestly puzzled by what appears to be, in the words of Holloway, a "loophole". Watford are now occupying a promotion place and it seems very unlikely that this would be the case had the club been obliged to trade in the transfer market in the same way as other clubs without the multiple club ownership of the Pozzos.
Holloway called for the rules to be looked at and others have subsequently joined the band waggon, but you have to wonder why it took so long for concerns to be expressed. Maybe, if a challenge had been made earlier, the FA might have been forced to reflect on the fairness of a rule which, seemingly, advantages one club against others.
But then, maybe the appointment of Zola was a PR master stroke? How can you object when such a thoroughly decent guy is managing the club?
I reiterate that I am not suggesting that rules have been broken. However, sometimes rule changes have to happen to secure the proverbial "level playing field" that is so highly valued in sport.