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The July Crazies

The July Crazies

You may remember back in January I wrote an article regarding the air of downright lunacy that had become apparent in the January transfer window. Well, after a very slow start to the summer bazaar, it seems the heat is getting to the heads of one or two. Kevin Keegan is still at Newcastle and Lassana Diarra has not demanded a transfer, which I think you will agree is pretty strange indeed. But now the silence has broken and the verbal diarrhoea is beginning to flow. Of course Sepp Blatter felt dutibound to get the ball rolling some three weeks ago with his "slavery" remarks. Others have been a little cumbersome in following his lead, but little by little the shite is trickling down the drain. Late last week we were treated to Real Madrid president Roman Calderon`s erstwhile assertion that, "We cannot talk about footballers who aren`t ours." This extraordinary claim does not really require deconstruction, but with the laziest of glances, one can dig out the following from Real defender Pepe,

'It's normal he wants to come. If he comes to Madrid he'll be welcomed by everyone. The directors, players and fans welcome you here - Cristiano won't have a problem. He has said many times that he likes Madrid. He knows the great history of Madrid and the club that it is.'

Not enough? Well, how about this from vice captain Guti? "Real Madrid needs good players and Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player you can bring in right now. We would be delighted to have him. He wouldn't upset the good atmosphere, and anyway people tell me he's a great person and a good team player. Everyone works to earn as much as they can get and if he's one of the best players in the world he should earn more.'

Jesus. Next it`ll be the club captain coming out and….what`s that you say? Raul said what? "Any club would like to have Ronaldo. He's one of the best, one of the most tricky players in the world of football. I think the good atmosphere would continue regardless of who comes in or what they earn. That unity can't be broken." Way for Madrid to demonstrate their class and keep their counsel Mr. Calderon.

Of course, when one is discussing abject stupidity in transfer dealings, how could you leave out the club who willfully paid £16.5m for Darren Bent? Daniel Levy has expressed his outrage at the sale of Robbie Keane to Liverpool, guilting the shame faced Scousers into a donation to charity. Now I know giving Tottenham £20m is a generous gesture indeed, but to openly refer to them as a charity is a bit below the belt is it not? Of course the donation appears to have let the ever industrious Football Association off the hook as the Spuds have dropped their pants and accepted the bribe. Phew, the oafs at Soho Square nearly had some work to do. Incidentally, I wonder if Liverpool`s donation matched the £300,000 fine issued to Chelsea for tapping up Ashley Cole? Hmmmm. Perhaps Mr. Levy had an attack of conscience when he remembered just how it was he acquired the services of Juande Ramos? Or perhaps he chanced to recall the occasion that Martin Jol was the last person in the country to learn of his sacking? Or perhaps an eagle eyed press officer furnished him with the following quote from Damien Commoli following Ramos` appointment, 'Results matter and how you get results matters. One of the reasons Juande is here is because he gets results with style. That's how you get respect. I don't agree about [the board's] bad behaviour and a lack of respect [for the Sevilla board].' Oh.

Martin O`Neill has also spent much of the summer on his soapbox, vehemently decrying Liverpool`s gall in going to the press to conduct their pursuit of Gareth Barry. We know this because he`s been to the press to complain about it 538 times. Transfer negotiations should be kept between involved clubs he`s told assembled hacks more times than Jodie Marsh has slipped a nip. A shame Mr. O`Neill wasn`t so taciturn with transfer negotiations when he revealed that Pat Rice had been in touch to monitor the Barry situation. Oh dear. When talking of talking of downright stupidity in the arena of football, it is difficult to omit the odious Peter Kenyon. He of "Chelsea will break even by 2010" fame articulated the following wisdom,

'Other teams in England should be knocking on our door; teams like Tottenham, Newcastle, Villa, Everton. It's more about them getting their houses in order rather than us coming down to their level.'

Interesting stuff there. Chelsea are of course the absolute epitome of sound running of a football club, as revealed by the following facts. Chelsea currently owe £736,000,000 to creditors. £578,000,000 of which is owed to Roman Abramovich. Chelsea`s losses were around £75,800,000 last year, based on a turnover of £190.5m. So according to current accounts, if Abramovich were to ever demand his investment back, which he is perfectly entitled to do, they would have eighteen months to pay the sum lest they go under. Yes Peter, I am sure the chasing pack will be only too pleased to operate under that sapient business model, I am sure they are grateful for your sage advice. It seems the current heat wave has gotten to the heads of some. But there again, looking at the starring cast of this article, with the exception of O`Neill, most just seem to be right on form.LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Tuesday July 29 2008
Time: 2:14PM


Some people involved in football - notably those you name - would make those in 'professions' like used car sales, estate agency and tabloid journalism cringe in embarrassment. The stench of hypocrisy is overwhelming. So much for Levy's principles - we now know they can be bought - not that there was ever much doubt about it.
29/07/2008 14:49:00
Great article. The whole thing is such a farce. I do want to say something in praise of Robbie Keane, however. Yes, that's from a gooner. Unlike greedy cretins like Cronaldo, Ade, Lampard and maybe Barry (he at least gave 10 years to his club), Keane actually went thru the formal procedure of requesting a transfer, foregoing his loyalty bonus. By contrast, think of the kind of money Cronaldo lives on, listen to him talk about his "dream" to move to a glamorous big club like Real Madrid--and yet he is so greedy that he can't bear to forego his bonus--so he refuses to formally request a transfer. He prefers to put his club and MU fans thru a long summer of drawn-out speculation rather than take official action and tell his club up front that he wants to leave.
29/07/2008 15:54:00
Arsenal preaching on the virtues of honesty in football... I've seen it all now!
North Upper
29/07/2008 15:55:00
Arsenal preaching on the virtues of honesty in football? I'm afraid you're mistaken, that was Tim Stillman preaching on the virtues of honesty in football. But I'm sure Arsenal will be happy to accept a birbe, sorry, donation, by way of apology North Upper.
Little Dutch
29/07/2008 16:07:00
Will the spuddies and the soap dodgers that follow them ever learn? I fear not. i think that £20 million will go on Bentley, but they will have to sell Berbatv to recoup the £100 million they have spent in the last 2 seasons without CL football. Another sound financial plan in place I'm sure!
29/07/2008 16:26:00
Add to that Man Utd's near billion £ debt, Liverpool's inability to get the stadium started and it really does look like Arsenal are the crisis club, no money, no players no ....ahwell we may aswell go home now as Spurts are clearly going to grab that 4th spot ...........pah!
29/07/2008 17:30:00
Wow Chelsea paid 5m + Gallas + this 300k for Cashley. Can anyone fine Inter and Barca over Hleb then?
Lou the Gunneress
29/07/2008 17:56:00
Please for the love of god, don't use that picture to head up your articles again LD... it's the first image that appears on logging in to VA, and I can barely look at that loathsome, nauseating, cack-handed, self-congratulating moron.
29/07/2008 19:18:00
Not sure who's more nauseating, Levy or Kenyon.
29/07/2008 20:11:00
Levy, pure fact that he is a cock and a spud!
29/07/2008 21:10:00
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