It seems that the football transfer window, which shut twenty three hours ago is just an excuse for the bullies to flex their muscle. It’s a time when terms like ’Selling Club’ are applied to perceived weaklings and ‘Buying Club’ applied to the bullies ‘I like your player, I’m going to take him from you. or else.’
Arsenal tried a few weeks ago to ‘snatch’ (tabloid terminology) a top player from Liverpool. The subtext as I saw it, was that they were saying ‘ We have more money than you, we have a better stadium and more valuable real estate and we’re going to take what is currently yours. You were once great and now you’re faded’. The sentiment was perhaps not too far from the mark, but the tactic failed and backfired rather badly.
Manchester United, have today been chastised in the press for failing to buy all the players they allegedly wanted and are being written off (highly prematurely) as failures and no-hopers. All this because despite being champions who have kept their Premiership winning squad, they have not widely augmented. In fact MUFC did essentially bully another club into selling a valued player, but because they didn’t take Fellaini from a direct contender have not been seen to have been aggressive enough.
This in my opinion, is all wrong.
The values of the game haven been turned on their head. I don’t believe it’s the money per se, it’s the fact that football clubs are expected to roll the lucre into a kosh and smack their peers around the head with it until they relinquish what is precious.
This is a seasonal reminder of when as a six-year old I turned up school with a newly strung conker (horse chestnut) ready to do battle and another chap (Barry S – I still remember his name:( ) grabbed it from me, threw it to the floor and crushed it with his heel. Apparently this was quite legitimate. Legit it may have been, but it certainly wasn’t fair.
I don’t think top-level Football will ever be fair again. The bullying has gone too far and as I’ve written so many times, it’s a tribal thing that cannot be reversed. It will always be of great interest to me and a cause of misery/joy/relief forever. it will also remain tainted. Forever.