Once we found out that D.C. United had acquired on-loan striker Conor Doyle, the final question was to how much the transfer fee was. According to rumors (and John Harkes), the initial transfer fee that was written into Doyle's loan agreement was around $300,000. However, a change in management at Derby County FC, Doyle's home club, occurred after his loan began: Nigel Clough had been fired and former England manager Steve McClaren had been brought in. There was hope that the transfer fee could be lowered, since McClaren had never seen Doyle play and may have wanted to go in a different direction.
According to a local Derby paper, D.C. United got better than just a reduced fee for Doyle: they got the striker on a free transfer. Regardless of where you came down on the various debates on how much United should pay for Doyle based on his production, I think that we can all agree that bringing him to Washington permanently was a no-brainer in the absence of a transfer fee. Despite having the most allocation money in perhaps the history of the league, squeezing every last penny out of it is important; at least in this one case, the team succeeded.
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