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FOR­GET the head­line £4m fig­ure that Southamp­ton handed QPR for Char­lie Austin. The Saints paid at least dou­ble that amount.

Had Austin sat tight and waited for his con­tract to ex­pire this sum­mer, the striker would have en­joyed his choice of clubs and com­manded a mon­ster sign­ing-on fee. As Ian Hol­loway said this week, that £4m should be in Austin’s pocket.

Far more likely, then, that Saints sweet­ened the deal by split­ting the fee be­tween player and club.

Many play­ers would have sat it out, happy to leave their club out of pocket and their in­ter­na­tional prospects in the bal­ance for the sake of an ex­tra mil­lion in the bank.

‘Chaz’ en­sured he got his due, but also that Rangers weren’t shafted. It is typ­i­cal of the sense, hu­mil­ity and good grace with which he has al­ways rep­re­sented the club.

Char­lie Austin

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