The latest on Geoff Cameron’s move to Stoke City
Newspapers in England are reporting that Geoff Cameron and Stoke City have cleared the first hurdle in their would-be marriage, the transfer price.
Cameron, the Houston Dynamo and U.S. international center back, will be sold for $2.5 million. While club officials say that is only the first of three hurdles, it really is the biggest, representing a significant breakthrough in this weeks-old saga.
Cameron and Stoke City must now agree on a salary, and Cameron must be granted a UK work permit.
The salary negotiations are unlikely to be problematic. Cameron makes about $250,000 with the Dynamo; an English Premier League salary will surely represent a raise, so that presumably will not present a significant sticking point.
The acquisition of a UK work permit was once tricky for American players attempting to catch on in England. And the actual standards still look fairly restrictive. For a team like the United States (that is, a country ranked in the top 70 in the world), a player qualifies who has participated in 75 percent of competitive internationals over a two-year period. Cameron would not qualify for that standard.
There are, however, other provisions for demonstrating international proficiency.
I’ll check around this morning, but I believe Bobby Convey may have been the last U.S. international to be denied a work permit in England – and that’s going all the way back to 2003.
This is from Stoke City chairman Peter Coates: