I'll quote the first paragraph of Michael Walker's piece in The Guardian today in full. And I'm not about to name names. But it is utterly crucial to an understanding of where we all are right now.
As for the player concerned, I can think of someone that fits the bill.
Anyway, Walker's opener reads:
“It will be dismissed as anecdotal but within English football, and specifically among agents, the following story is circulating and generating huge excitement. A player from a third-tier club who moved recently to a Championship club – one not so long ago in the Premiership – has seen his basic ?1,500-a-week salary increase not five times, nor 10, but 15 times. The player's agent did not demand this sum; it was the club's opening gambit…
For those who wish further clarification, the “third tier” of English football is League One. Contains clubs like Yeovil, Leeds United and Crewe.
Moved recently to a club in the Championship “one not so long ago in the Premiership”.
Well, that must mean Sheffield United, Watford or Charlton Athletic.
Seen a basic salary of ?1,500 per week increase by “15 times”; that would make it ?22,500 a week. For an ex-League One player playing in the Championship next season.
If you haven't got who – in every likelihood Walker is talking about – then you should have, basically.
The same story – albeit with a figure nearer 12 times his basic salary – has been doing the rounds this way for the last few weeks. For obvious reasons when you think about it.
But it is a fascinating and a compelling insight into way this summer's Championship transfer market is working right now.
Because the killer line is the one at the end; that the lad's wage packet was not down to the agent throwing his weight around, but the club slapping such a huge wad on the table from the very outset. 'It was the club's opening gambit…'
That's what should send a shivver down the spine as the Canaries look to jostle their way through the Championship crowd to securing the signature of a Sharp, a Cureton or an Eastwood.
That someone out there, one of their number has already sat the bar that high wages-wise; that they weren't forced into it, had no agent twisting their arm, but there's the offer… Bang. Job done.
Walker's piece thereafter, inevitably, almost then wanders off on a Premiership tangent and describes how the Lucas Neill effect and the Australian's reported ?72,000 a week deal at Upton Park has skewed the top flight wages market horribly out of sync as the likes of Nigel Reo-Coker and Co now set themselves a bench-mark to aim for.
Back down in the once real world of the Championship, it is the ripples of that first deal that are of more concern.
Because if that's now the 'going rate' for a League One player moving to the Championship, every upwardly mobile League One player worth his salt will be looking to get in on the act.
And if they don't 'get' it, their agents certainly will. Work your numbers and watch how early Christmas has come this summer.
Let's say our man is still on a mere ten per cent and let's – purely for argument's sake – suggest that as part of that bumper package a four-year deal came in tow, then 52 weeks at roughly ?20,000 a week times four years, I'm on for ten per cent…
That's a ?400,000 pay day. Result. Loadsamoney…
Now if I represent either Mr Sharp, Mr Eastwood and, indeed, Mr Cureton and the word on the street is that that's the kind of result I can expect from hauling my boy to the top end of the Championship, then too right am I getting him to slap in a transfer request.
Noses into the trough, boys; noses into the trough…
Jamie might be upset at the 'lack of ambition' as shown by the Colchester United board, but his agent will be doing cartwheels somewhere that that kind of money is now sluicing its way through to the Championship.
Why? Because with ?60 million a season now on offer back upstairs in the top flight, the three relegated clubs aren't going to hang around for too long. And if that's what it takes to get a guaranteed goal-scorer back on board, that's what you'll pay.
Just do it.
It is a similar mind-set that is now going to be floating around Wolves courtesy of Steve Morgan's arrival with his ?30 million in tow. Do it. Get him. Pay it and let's get out of here.
It will be the same if Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen ever pops up at St Mary's; he's not going to be mucking around, giving it the 'Let's see how it goes for a season or two, George…'
No, if they're doing 20, we'll do 30…
For those who don't have ?10 million in parachute payments; don't have talk of a ?17 million Darren Bent deal floating around the place – and that will be to West Ham, of course – these are all scary, scary numbers.
They are blowing people out of the water.
Norwich's financial landscape has, of course, changed of late. They, too, now have someone off the Sunday Times Rich List floating about the boardroom.
But to expect the Turners to be playing at that kind of level that early into their fledgling Carrow Road lives is asking an awful, awful lot.
But – and this may yet have to be the bottom line – unless you can pull enough of Cureton's emotional heart-strings to entice him back to Norfolk, then without the kind of inward investment that the likes of the Central Trust duo could, potentially, bring to the Norfolk club then you're done this summer in the transfer market. You're moosed; you're knackered; you're shafted.
You can make your ?2 million bids here, your ?1.5 million enquiries there, but once you get to wages and personal terms with the player and his agent all you can do is sit back and watch as the ?20,000-a-week crew have their fill and, feeding frenzy over, then see what crumbs they've left under their table.
That's the reality. Right now.