Maloney transfer to Hull City near

The Fire's top target this past winter, the center piece of an offseason rebuilding program, lasted less than one full season with the club. Shaun Maloney has been transferred to Hull City after only 14 regular season appearances in which he produced a meager 3 goals and 2 assists.

Frank Yallop told the Daily Herald after training on Thursday that Maloney was headed back to the UK for "family reasons". He also inferred that the transfer fee paid by Hull will recoup the Fire's original investment in fee paid to Wigan to bring Maloney to Chicago last January.

Although the Fire have yet to confirm that a deal has been completed, Hull City manager Steve Bruce told the Daily Mail that a deal could be wrapped up by Monday. "Shaun will hopefully be on a plane this evening and hopefully we can get it done. I've always been an admirer of his ability. He wants to come back and make sure he gives himself a better chance to play for Scotland," said Bruce. A league source tells Fire Confidential that the move being completed is "just a matter of time."

Whether it's for familial issues or national team placement, Maloney has wanted out for at least a month but the Fire didn't have time to find a replacement before the summer window closed and wanted to keep a full squad available for US Open Cup competition. Teammates were well aware of his desire to leave and it may not have played a part in the USOC loss to Philadelphia but it certainly didn't help a locker room that has become fragmented and disillusioned during the course of a difficult season.

Now the Fire will have at least one Designated Player spot open this winter and could have more if they can find a taker for Kennedy Igboananike. It seems that recently acquired Gilberto, who has another year left on his original MLS deal, is the more likely to return despite not having played in one regular season match yet. David Accam has been the most productive of the latest round of club DP acquisitions but his penchant for injury has made him less than a resounding success. Nevertheless, should they decide to completely start over again, Accam has drawn interest from Euro clubs despite his alarming injury rate.

Igboananike's difficulties and now Maloney's departure are the latest in a long line of DP flops since Cuauhtemoc Blanco left the club following the 2009 season. Failed attempts at signing Jermaine Jones and Didier Drogba haven't helped public perception but there is no denying that the Fire can't afford another botched window this coming January. With fan unrest building the club is coming to a crossroads. Continuing to choose the wrong path with numerous important decisions to be made over the next few months will drive more supporters even further away.

Nothing illustrates the Fire's failure in the DP market than numbers in black and white.

Stats compiled by @jefecrandall

Stats compiled by @jefecrandall

Filed under: 2015 Regular Season

Tags: Chicago Fire


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  • Unrelated to the main point of this article (but in line with the last few paragraphs): I am very much looking forward to seeing whether or not the planned protests are successful this coming weekend ("success" is difficult to measure, but here means in my opinion level of press generated and notice given rather than actual change at this point).

    There have long been rumblings and, if anyone has ever been sucked into the depths of that site which is known lovingly as BS, everyone knows it. However, it's usually a bunch of gab and not much actual action, despite ample opportunities and potential flash points. There's been a bit of the appearance of angry internet dwellers who grumble in the stands, but stand and cheer all the same. This weekend the atmosphere seems right for something different, something noticeable. Or perhaps not. We'll see.

    Whether you agree with the protests or not, it should be interesting.

  • Im not sure I can come up with an reason to move Accam. Sure Injury rate hasn't been ideal. But he has been the most impactful signing in recent memory. I get the notion to "start over" but you already have a "hit rate" signing in house. No need to send him off just to take another chance. He is young and seems to be a good person with determination. Smartest thing they can do is build around him and Harry.

  • In reply to KChance:

    I completely agree with this. Accam is a gem and Harry has all the potential to be a future star.

    However, I have no faith in Yallop. I know it's not good to change head coaches every other year but that's not enough a reason to keep Yallop.

  • Looking at that list, I think Rios was a quality signing and performed well. I'm not sure why he went away but he represented Uruguay in the World Cup this summer.

  • In reply to Doug:

    IIRC his transfer fee was 1.5m-2.5m and team couldnt justify the fee for his holding mid postion. I tend to agreed that when they spend that much it needs to be for a proven attcking player.

    That being said, what I wouldnt give for a proven defender/d-mid right now.

  • In reply to KChance:

    Pretty much. His salary for the following year was $1.5 mill and they didn't want to use a DP budget spot on a player who was essentially a role player.

  • I've been watching this sad, sad story for the past several months and it is definitely time for an "I told you so"! When Maloney was first chosen I did some very basic research and discovered as did others that Maloney had a serious "homesickness" problem-- and that was just moving within Great Britain!!! Didn't Yallop and friends take any note of that? I'm sorry but that level of stupidity is inexcusable! It doesn't require a great soccer brain, just some basic common sense. Good-by Frank.

  • I am not convinced that Iggy should be moved. Restructuring his contract would be the better solution in my mind. He has skills. he has had to learn how to play in a league that has extremely physical CBs. I have seen some good signs of life in his game. Also, the man works hard. He does not take shots he should not take and he makes (or tries to make) passes he should. In other words, he is a good player. Just not a DP difference maker type. I would give him an incentive laden contract (if those are allowed) where he can get bonus bucks for goals, minutes, games player or whatever other metric that seems appropriate so that he will need to have an impact to be paid at the level he is now. Anyway, Maloney leaving is not a big deal as long as Ship is utilized the correct way.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    I'm kind of the same mind with Iggy. I'd like to see how things go until the end of the year. Maybe the dropping the cursed "DP" tag takes some pressure off his back and he can truly expand.

    Along those lines, if we cut Magee's pay, would he finally stop getting benched with injuries?

    As far as Yallop goes, that "insider" snipped sealed the deal with me. I think he'd be a great drinking buddy, but I've given up on him as a coach. My one undying concern with showing him the door is that our beloved leader brings in someone just as bad or worse. If that happened, I would be driven yet further away from this club I've come to love so much.

    As far as the protest goes, there's lots of empty gasoline cans lying around, that's for sure. I just hope a cohesive message is made that carries beyond just Saturday. The entire fan base needs to say "enough" to this rot.

  • In reply to BrianC.:

    To clarify, "gasoline cans" in the metaphorical sense.

    The picture over the 290 overpass is priceless.

  • What would it take to convince Chris Armas to move back to Chicago to take over the Fire? He would start with incredible history and connection to the Fire. He left for New York to be closer to his family. Maybe Andrew could pay for his entire extended family to move to Chicago with promise that he will fly them home every other weekend.

  • In reply to Krasov:

    He's working for Jesse Marsch in New York so he's got a good gig going now.

  • I'm sure I sound like a broken record but I don't want Frank Yallop to make one more club decision. He has done nothing to better the club. He came into this season with 3 DP's and all of his guys. After the 2nd game, Iggy was already not good enough. After getting off to a messer able start, he blamed the injuries to Magee and Nyarko as the reasons why. He didn't mention that he signed a piece of glass in Accam, who has played well, and Maloney who is not better than Shipp. He never addressed the defense and it destroyed this season. The second he is relieved of his duties, we will be a better team.

    Going into this past off season we needed a forward, cbs, left back, right back, a center mid, and a defensive mid. Going into this off season we still need a forward, cb's, right back, and a center mid. Thankfully we found Polster and Jones.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    "The second he is relieved of his duties, we will be a better team."

    I would hold that thought until you see who Andy brings back from his next Dollar General head coach shopping trip.

  • In reply to Arklow:

    We cant get worse than where we are right now.

  • In reply to Rubberbandman189:

    Chivas won 4 games and RSL won 5 in 2005; NE won 5 games in 2011; Toronto won 5 games in 2012; DC won 3 games in 2013.

    We can get worse. Or, put more directly, AH can definitely hire a worse coach. Why should he invest in a higher-salaried coach or strive for better results on the field when his current strategy is so financially successful?

    His investment in the club has been a stunning success in terms of the appreciation in value of the team. It's not our job to think about that, but neither is it his job to think about fans in a climate where MLS is growing and raking in larger and larger franchise fees.

    Think of the allocation money he'll get from winding up in last place! Seriously, if you think of the Fire as an investment, he's making out like a bandit, writing off the losses on his taxes while the team's value continues to appreciate.

    New coach? More wins? Whatever.

  • In reply to Modibo:

    I fully understand the AH side of things. He has to be just laughing in California. We hate him as we continue to buy season, or game, tickets and merchandise. We go to games, lose, and then complain about it the next day after we have already spent the money. The team is horrendous but we still try and support them.

    BUT, he has spent money this season. I thought I saw that the Fire have the 6th highest salary in the league. Maloney was making 1.5. Accam at 700k, Iggy at 900k. Magee at 440k. Those arent really the salaries for someone that is willing to settle for last place and not invest any money in the club. It really sucks for us because he was willing to invest money into the club this off season and look what it has produced! You can't blame him if he holds off on the big signings for a while because NONE of the "big" signings pay off.

    He cant possibly bring Yallop back to this club next season. He has failed in every transfer window he has been the manger of and the team is clearly the worst in the league.

  • Wow, that is a sad, sad list... So counting his non-DP minutes, Iggy is our second most successful DP?!? Insane. Kind of shocked some of those losers got so many games (i.e. MacDonald, Anangono) And probably our two most talented players since Blanco, Rios and (non-DP) Grazzini, stayed for less than a season...

    I don't know where you got the stats Guillermo, but how far from the typical team are we? Is this record similar to other non-LA/NYC teams? Or are we off-the-charts terrible at picking DPs?

    (Should be noted, though, that a good DP on a crap team will still not look that good.)

  • In reply to manyou07:

    The stats were compiled by Fire stat guru Jeff Crandall.

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