Everyone’s Talking About: Football Transfer Fees

24 01 2011

While many of my posts have a sporting theme, it’s not often that I feel the need to voice my opinion on specific topics. But this week, the topic of transfer fees in football has got me suitably worked up to the point that I’ve decided to put pen to paper (electronically speaking).

Charlie Adam: Only when the price is right.

So what exactly has got me, and everyone else in the football world talking? Well it all started about a week ago when Darren Bent completed his move from 6th placed Sunderland to relegation threatened Aston Villa, in a move that could be worth £24m. Cue an out cry of “£24m for Darren Bent? The world’s gone mad”, and “The money in football is ridiculous” rants from the red-top newspaper contingent.

Then no sooner had the ink dried on Bent’s mammoth Villa contract, the attention had turned to Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam – with interest from several Premier League outfits including troubled Liverpool. According to reports, Liverpool had a bid of £4m for the Scot turned down by the Bloomfield Road club – and this was the straw that broke the camels back (or my resolve in this case). £4m for a player upon whom Blackpool’s hopes of remaining in the top flight rest. £4 million!? What are King Kenny and co. playing at? I want some of what they’re smoking in their board meetings.

But before I go off on a pointless rant, let me digress. I believe the key term to remember throughout any transfer saga is context and I’ll start with Darren Bent. Is he worth £24 million? If Aston Villa stay in the Premier League then yes. If Villa had made the same bid last year when they were flying high and pushing for Europe then it may have looked a bit extreme, but in their current predicament they need goals – and fast. So as much of a shock as this is going to be to your Sun reading football fan, the world hasn’t gone mad. All we’re seeing is a worried Chairman realising he needs to take action before it’s too late.

And now we move on to Mr Charlie Adam. If we’re continuing the theme of context then the Blackpool midfielder is surely worth a fee close to that paid for Darren Bent, or the least Liverpool could do is put a one in front of that £4 million. You see, if Blackpool stay in the Premier League then they’re set to reap financial rewards to the tune of £40 million – so if by selling Charlie Adam they’re putting that financial reward in jeopardy then surely Liverpool (or any other club for that matter) would have to pay them handsomely for the privilege.

While Darren Bent may prove to be a snip at £24m if he can propel Villa up the league, in this writers opinion Ian Holloway is perfectly within his rights to play hardball. So Chairman of the Premier League, I urge you to take a step back and consider whether your next bid fits within the context of the two clubs involved, and the situation at hand. Villa (through the acquisition of Bent) and Sunderland (financially) will both benefit from the events of this week. Only time will tell if Blackpool will be duly compensated for the potential loss of their prize asset – whether Adam expresses his desire to leave or not.

Yours sincerly,

A football fan who finally put his rant down into blog form.


Everyone’s Talking About: Mario Balotelli’s Hat

21 12 2010

After delving into football’s latest fashion fix with my recent post on snoods, it seems Man City’s playing staff have served up another gem. Before last night’s Premier league clash with Everton, City’s Italian bad boy Mario Balotelli arrived wearing a very questionable piece of head gear (see below). Whatever you think about snoods, this is one football related fashion accessory that definitely isn’t going to catch on.

Everyone’s Talking About: Snoods

14 12 2010

It’s not often that catwalk models and Carlos Tevez would have anything in common, but with the rise of a certain fashion accessory Carlos and his fellow professional footballers are very much – if not contriversially – en trend.

While as a fashion accessory I think they have real credibility, as a football accessory I’m struggling to see the point in the snood. In all my years of playing the beautiful game I’ve never once suffered from a cold neck – hands yes – but never a cold neck. Needless to say I’m not the only one with an opinion on the subject, with Mr Roy Keane expressing his distaste in his normal poetic manor earlier this week.

“Don’t get me started. I don’t know how they do it. It’s very strange. Gloves, scarves, I think somebody came on a few weeks ago for [Manchester] City who had a hat on. I don’t know how they do it and focus on the game, it’s weird. That’s the way the game’s gone.”

So it’s a no from me and Keano as far as football goes (despite most of the Arsenal players trying to convince us otherwise) but in style terms the snood is on fine form. I’ve picked out these five fan favourites for ‘Snood Of The Month’…

Run Fat Boy, Run!

14 09 2010

Athletes, masters of their trade, and (for the most part) professional – that’s the perceptions we’re fed about the modern footballer. It’s “all about diet and preparation these days” the pundits keep telling us. Well, as always there are a few exceptions to the rule, and that exception goes by the name of Benni McCarthy.

The South Africa and West Ham forward was this week fined £80,000 (or two weeks wages) for not meeting the deadlines of his weight loss programme set by his club. For a man who trains every day, imagine the amount of cake you’d have to eat to keep up that kind of weight gain – well played Benni, well played son.

Is this the best goal celebration ever?

3 08 2010

Last season when Jimmy Bullard mocked then Hull City manager Phil Brown in his goal celebration against Man City, many hailed it the best goal celebration of all time. But this celebration from the game between Stjarnan and Fylkir in the Icelandic league (the winning goal in extra time no less) takes Jimmy’s effort and smashes it out of the park. Gentlemen, the bar has been raised.

View From The Football League

9 05 2010

This is the view from the (uncovered) away end at Brighton’s Withdean Stadium from where I paid £20 to watch (or rather squinted to see) Brighton & Hove Albion V Yeovil Town on a drizzly Saturday afternoon.
The worst away view in the country? Definitely. Is the football league and its fans brilliant? Without doubt.

England Footballer Plays Away From Home

7 03 2010

Back when I was a wee lad running round the fields of the West Country, long before I discovered girls, music and how to appreciate fine cider, I lived and breathed football. To this day it’s one of my true passions, but it’s not often I get to mention my first love in the same breath as more ‘cultured’ pastimes like fashion and music. That was until February when the most unlikely of occasions, an England kit launch, changed all that.

While we all watched John Terry and Ashley Cole’s personal and professional lives unravel before our eyes, kit manufacturers Umbro were busy making a bloody good job of promoting the new England away kit for the upcoming World Cup. In previous years the first public glimpse of the new kit has been at a press conference, modelled by an uncomfortable looking group of players. But this year Umbro gave the debut honours to Kasabian, an English rock band playing ‘away from home’ in Paris, with front man Tom Meighan returning to the stage for the encore wearing the new ‘66 inspired England away strip.

Meighan (who’s Irish decent we‘ll try to ignore) told nme.com. “They said they wanted to take it away from the footballers for once and do something up to date. They wanted to combine with rock n roll. They’re two powerful things… I’m honoured to wear it.”

Two powerful things indeed, and as fashion makes that three, I say hats of to Umbro for giving us a shirt that’s genuinely wearable and something outside of the ‘WAG culture’ actually worth talking about.

The new England shirt is available now from all good sports stores (and some rubbish ones as well) and will be worn this summer by World Cup winner’s England. Well, we can all dream.