Tis the Season to be Silly
We’re in the middle of the silly season, when real people take a break from soccer and clubs spend record amounts of cash moving players around in the eternal rebuilding process. But “silly” doesn’t quite describe this particular close season. Witless, fatuous and senseless spring to mind when we take a look at recent moves in the transfer market. It’s hard for ordinary folk to understand for example, Arsenal turning down 21 million pounds sterling from Lazio for Nickolas Anelka. This makes Michael Jordan’s salary look like peanuts and Anelka is only 20 years old. It’s also 42 times what they paid for him just two years ago. Will Mark Messier now be offered 10 million a year by the Vancouver Canucks to play ice hockey part-time?
It’s the silly season all right. Now Anelka is good, of that I’m certain. But how many mature 20-year-old billionaires do you know? And for a couple of million more, you have permission to talk to world number one Ronaldo and company. The new world record transfer fee recorded last week sees Christian Vieri go to Inter Milan for 31 million pounds. Is it more than coincidence that this money goes into Lazio’s bank? Perhaps Arsenal are waiting to see just whom can they sign first. And so the money will go around Europe with the usual bankers and lawyers cuts here and there.
Mixed up in all of this are the rumours and innuendo surrounding all the players who are “not for sale,” such as German Dietmar Hamann at Newcastle “not” going to Arsenal; England under-21 skipper Frank Lampard “not” going from West Ham to Aston Villa; George Boateng “not” leaving Coventry; Argentinian Ariel Ortega “not” signing for Sunderland; and so on until the silly season comes to a close and the real deal begins again. Roll on the real deal.