The threat of having your players’ head turned by an offer bigger Premier League club is fact of life for every club outside who regularly finish outside the top four.
Until Arsenal paid for the Emirates Stadium, even they found themselves regularly raided for talent, so smaller clubs’ hopes of thwarting raids from richer parties were almost nil.
That was until Crystal Palace, emboldened by successive mid-table finishes and an incursion on the top half last term, patented a new anti-theft device.
As ever was the case, necessity was the mother of invention.
In this particular instance the necessity was thwarting perennial Selhurst Park star snatchers Tottenham Hotspur in their attempts to prise the Eagles’ irrepressible showboater Yannick Bolasie away from south-east London.
Bolasie had shown signs of being wooed by the Lilywhites’ advances, starring at least one tweet linking him to a transfer to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
The Eagles’ response was to employ a tactic surprisingly seldom-used in such situations – the imposition of a comically high asking price.
Spurs were welcome to take the Democratic Republic of Congo international, but only in return for £25m.
Days earlier Bayern Munich had signed Champions League finalist and poster-boy for box-to-box midfield dynamism Arturo Vidal for £26m plus add-ons according to the BBC.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, their ploy was so successful in sending Daniel Levy and friends back to the north of the capital that it has come back to bite them.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so perhaps the Selhurst Park negotiators should be pleased they have been shot with their own gun by Swansea City.
Palace enquiries as to the availability of Swans centre-half Ashley Williams were met with none other than a £25m valuation.
A new byword for “come back next season you bullies” is born.