Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Transfer Deadline Day – Is Everyone Wasting Their Money

As the dust from the last minute money wasting exercise that is transfer deadline day in the English Premier League settles, the big question really is, has everyone just wasted a huge pile of money.

Premier League clubs spent between then over £120m in transfer fees in the January window.  Three clubs, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City and Chelsea actually managed to make a profit.  Wigan, West Ham, Norwich City and Fulham did most of their trading through free transfers and swap deals, although there are not many Leeds United fans happy at the swap deal with Norwich that took Luciano Becchio away and brought the Championship side Steve Morrison in return.

The big spenders were 7th placed Liverpool who splashed out £20.5m for Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Inter’s Phillipe Coutinho, and bottom of the table Queen’s Park Rangers who have spent a similar sum including £12.5m on the French/Congolese defender Christopher Samba.

If Samba proves to be the bastion that prevents the other 19 teams from scoring, and that is a big if, then perhaps QPR can muster enough goals from Cisse, Taarabt and Zamora to get themselves off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone.  QPR though are 4 points adrift of defensively hapless Aston Villa and 7 points away from even the shadow of safety.  With 13 matches to go, it is a massive gamble, and probably a huge waste of money at QPR to spend so much on a defender, or maybe they are just hoping he will play well in the Championship next season.

Will Liverpool win the Premiership after their outlay ? No.  Will Newcastle make it into a top 5 slot and quality for European competition after spending £18m in a series of raids on clubs across the Channel ? No they won’t.  Despite the money spent fans of these teams will only have yet more seasons of mid-table mediocrity to look forward to.

balotelli (Photo credit: segnaleorario)
The other largest potential waste of money is everyone’s best loved, fireworks on the bathroom, toys in the attic striker.  AC Milan have proved themselves braver than most by spending £22m on Manchester City’s problem wunderkind.  Poor Mario has been seen sporting a t-shirt that reads “Why always me?” as if to say he is innocent of the charges of falling out with team-mates and physically confronting his manager Roberto Mancini, which in itself is odd as Mancini appears to be one of the few people who actually like Balotelli. Throwing darts at people for a ‘prank’ , wearing a snood during games, not paying attention to his manager’s instructions and falling over when being tackled in a comedy Monty Pythonesque fashion have all become part of the Balotelli mystique.

The biggest waste of money then ? Mario scored twice on his return to Italy as AC Milan narrowly beat Udinese, perhaps now that he is back at home Balotelli can live up to his reputation of being a great footballer rather than a slapstick buffoon.

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