At the risk of being accused of more football bashing (in literal terms I’m too old – and chicken- to be in a ‘firm’) I wanted to pontificate (sort of like taking the dogma for a walk) on the transfer market rumours.
Every single day there are ‘exclusives’ in the press and online about which players each of the top premiership clubs are chasing. This is not confined to the tabloids either – in between having a go at poor (although not financially, obviously) Maria Miller and her awful grasp of household budgeting, the broadsheets also join in the transfer merry go round rumours.
‘City plotting huge investment in Suarez’ is one story – plus they are ‘close to signing’ two Porto players for £41 million. Hazard may be off to PSG, Chelsea to get Cavani, Liverpool are ahead in the chase for Coentrao, Arsenal are beating off Real Madrid and Barca for someone else we’ve never heard of (and can’t spell) and are also about to sign the ‘Iranian Messi’.
Oh yeah and PSG are moving for Oscar whilst Zenit are raiding Spurs for Vertonghen.
Wow – big stuff eh? And all those stories are in the last 24 hours.
If I was to make a notebook on all the speculation since the close of the January transfer window I’d be responsible for destroying half a rain forest (well a few trees anyway).
If even 10% of the rumours turned out to be true and the ‘moves’ were made, even Roman might run a bit short of funds.
Pretty good time to be a pro footballer I imagine – as soon as these rumours get into print it must be a bit of an opportunity to re-negotiate your contract so that the Wag indoors can buy a few more stupidly over-priced handbags. Someone has even suggested that perhaps one or two agents may actually be having a ‘word in the ear’ of football reporters about who’s after their meal ticket – surely not!
Still, it all makes for good fun and games when the next window opens (and more than a few clubs feel the draught of increasingly inflated prices).
Before those of us more interested in rugby get too smug however, we should maybe worry just a tad about all the money that is starting to flow into our coffers from the new TV deals.
French clubs in particular, and those in the Premiership to a lesser extent, are suddenly going to be awash with more funds – not like football admittedly – but enough to make us take pause I think.
There are already a lot of foreign players in Europe – in particular in France where there is even more cash and no salary cap – do you think maybe more planes from the Southern hemisphere will be carrying some big names (and bodies) up North?
The career of a pro rugby player is getting shorter – and not all can become pundits and reporters after they retire – they need to make hay now. Expect to hear more antipodean accents in Europe and it won’t just be the older players from NZ and Australia seeking to build a pension – and who can blame them?
Money in Australasia is far less plentiful for Union – in particular Australia, where it is second to league and Aussie Rules.
Is this good for us? (and by that, being parochial, I mean England). It is somewhat debatable to be honest – we need English players in the Premiership obviously – but if clubs like Leicester, Saints, Bath and Saracens can attract uncapped prospects, then the residency rules come into play a lot.
Do I want to win the World Cup again? Note to self – stop asking stupid questions.
But, to be frank, I’d prefer it if the team had Lancashire or south coast accents – I’d put up with brummie, west country or even bloody cockney.
Having said that, I am more than happy if the blokes who know more about Dunedin, Brisbane, Durban and Apia than Northampton are the ones wearing white shirts on the podium.