Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Crazy Day. Crazy Prices. The World Has Gone Mad.

Who could have predicted what a crazy day the final day of the transfer window would turn out to be? Over £130 million of transfers were completed taking the total spend in this window to over £215,500,000 by Premier League clubs.

The day started quietly, but by the 11 o clock close of business the British transfer record had been smashed, not once, but twice. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the day's dealings is that hey did not involve either of the Manchester clubs or Arsenal. Less surprisingly, the biggest spenders of the day were Chelsea. They completed two big money signings. David Luiz signed for £21 million plus Nemanja Matic from Benfica, before the signing of Fernando Torres was finally completed for £50 million.

The other big spenders were Liverpool, swooping from nowhere to secure the signature of Andy Carroll from Newcastle United for £35 million plus add ons. Initially it looked like their approaches would be to no avail, until the Geordie striker handed in a transfer request. Despite having turned down two offers for Carroll, Newcastle reluctantly agreed to the move following the player's transfer request. As well as Carroll, Liverpool also finalised the signing of Luis Suarez from Ajax for around £23 million.

Add to all of this the day's other signings - Aston Villa (Bradley), Birmingham (Martins), Blackburn (Formica, Rochina), Blackpool (Beattie, Reid), Bolton (Sturridge), Everton (Vellios), Liverpool (Thomas), Newcastle (Ireland), West Ham (McCallum) and Wolves (Basso) - and it all adds up to an extremely busy day in the English transfer market. This does not include bids that were turned down, including £12 million from Newcastle for Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia and around £6 million from Tottenham for Blackpool's Charlie Adams. Crazy times.

There is still the possibilty that other last minute transfers may yet come to light, as happened with Rubinho and Berbatov in September 2008. However, even with the deals that we know about so far, people are asking whether any footballer can be worth these sums of money.

The simple answer to that is that today they were worth that much. The value of anything, or anyone, is the amount that somebody else is willing to pay. And today there were clubs willing to pay these heady amounts. You could just as easily ask whether a one bedroom house in London is worth over £1 million. If somebody wants it badly enough to pay that then yes it is.

Whether those players turn out to be good value for money, then only time will tell. The purchase of any footballer is a risk. Injury, loss of form or failing to adapt to a new environment are all factors that determine how well any transfer works out. What is certain is that all of the players moving clubs today have the ability and potential to be very good investments. The financial rewards for success at football far outweigh the sums paid today. Achieving that success is often harder than simply putting pen to paper though.

Predicting the days winners and losers in football terms is not an easy task. Initial reflections suggest that Liverpool may have done the best business. They have replaced an unsettled and out of form player with two quality strikers, and done so without a large nett spend. Whether these signings will be enough to help Liverpool make up ground and qualify for the lucrative Champions League remains to be seen. Chelsea have laid out an awful lot of money. If these new faces help them consolidate their place in the top four of the premier league and secure a champions league place then arguably they will have proved their worth. If they help Chelsea put a run together that sees them challenging for the title then there will be no question that they were good signings.

The big losers appear to be Newcastle. They have lost their main goalscorer without any obvious replacement. Much will depend on how the players left at St James' Park rise to the challenge of keeping the club in the Premier League. If they are still among the elite come May then it may prove that they have pulled off a shrewd piece of business as they will be in a strong position to strengthen their squad in the summer. That is, of course, if owner Mike Ashley re-invests all of the money received in transfers.

In non-footballing terms, the big winners are easy to identify. The agents who take a cut of the transfer fees, and the players who have seen a huge rise in wages and signing-on fees will be laughing all the way to the bank. They may well need to reflect on these windfalls as others question previous public commitments of loyalty to the clubs they left.

As for the fans? Well the fans of clubs who see an improvement in form will be happy. Those who see a downturn in fortunes will be left wondering what could have been. I guess that is the way it has always been, and always will be. There will be a new round of transfer dealings in the summer. Season ticket sales and shirt sales will help fund more moves. Fans of every club will be praying that those funds are spent wisely.

No comments:

Post a Comment

© Copyright

All posts on this blog are the property of Its Not Life Or Death. Anyone wishing to reproduce the posts or articles should first seek permission and must accredit all work to Its Not Life Or Death.