The transfer window closed at midnight and brought an end to undoubtedly the strangest and most frantic transfer window since they were introduced. In amongst all of the high-profile signings, undisclosed fees and season long loans, a club was even bought out with enough time to break the British transfer record. I sat with intrigue yesterday evening, flicking between various channels and Sky Sports News, and as the night wore on I found myself growing more disappointed by the whole thing.
First of all, before any WUMs post comments, I am a Liverpool fan. I'm not bitter about any signings made by other clubs and I'm not jealous about Man City being bought out. My comments are made from a football perspective. I'd like to think that after reading my article you will be able to see where I'm coming from.
As yesterday evening due to a close, and Liverpool had made their customary 'unknown' signing (Flora) and their customary 'seen it coming for weeks' signing (Riera), the news of Manchester Cityís new utterly bottomless pit of money came to light. Rumours spread about bids for just about every player in the world, the Berbatov saga took its painstakingly obvious conclusion and finally Man City got their 'world class big name' player in Robinho.
So what left me feeling so disappointed?
Well the age-old problem of 'club loyalty vs money' for a start. I don't believe that either Berbatov or Robinho have moved for anything other than money, plain and simple. Ramon Calderon summed it up perfectly after selling Robinho - his move is not for sporting reasons. He spent all summer saying he wanted to join Chelsea. Just my opinion but Berbatov is the same. He moved to a club where he may well win trophies, but the associated bonuses are also a big draw.
My problem is that with Man City now (possibly) the richest club in the world, the stakes have been raised that much higher again. They can now afford to buy anyone and pay them anything they want. Their funds are limitless (potentially) and this, to me, suggests that you will see more big names joining them and no doubt using the phrase "I wanted to join the exciting times and changes happening at Man City". You can see it now - just like Liverpool only ever seem to buy players who are 'lifelong Liverpool fans'.
If City can now pay in excess of 20, 25, even 30 million on any player then where does that leave everyone else? As much as it pains me to say, Man Utd have at least built some of their fortune from continued success and therefore, with the Glazers money, can buy big names for big prices. Liverpool can't do that and I accept that. But with City now able to do it, just like Chelsea before them, it now means that they could potentially buy the title. That to me seems shallow, itís unrewarding. City fans deep down know that Robinho doesn't care one bit about the club, he is there to line his pockets. Liverpool are part of the problem, they have been spending big too but cannot compete with Man Utd, Chelsea or now Man City.
Then the Berbatov affair. Reports suggest Tottenham never actually gave permission for Man Utd to speak to him; the player engineered the move himself. It seems like greed on both parts, Berbatov for the obvious financial gain, and Tottenham for holding out for an extra few million pounds. Gareth Barry tried to manipulate his own move too, only for Villa to win that battle.
Barry stayed at Villa, stripped of the captaincy and booed by a section of some fans, but he stayed. He stayed because the club would not bow to his demands. Barry respected the club and did not talk to Liverpool, unlike Berbatov who seems to have taken it upon himself to speak to Ferguson etc. Why? Money money money.
Another problem I have is with Ferguson and the Man Utd fans that sing his praises for his ability in the transfer market. Once again Man Utd have splashed the cash on a player that they could have had years before for a much smaller price. If Ferguson is so good with his transfers then how come he missed signing Berbatov when Leverkusen put him up for sale? Baffling. Tough I know for some people to accept this is not a Liverpool - Man Utd hatred thing but I assure you - it's not. The big spenders, now including Man City, are seemingly not bothered about scouting for players anymore and will simply wait to buy them at any price once they have shown they have quality. That again is very shallow, it disappoints me.
In conclusion I can only say that yesterday reminded me of one thing, the only other time when money of that nature is splashed around on players, the best players, and buying them for huge amounts because cost is no option: Football Manager (a computer game for the uneducated out there). The time has finally come when the Premier League has lost the plot. Let's be honest, if Hull really were bidding 7 million for Frazier Campbell then you know something somewhere has gone wrong. Too much money, too little loyalty.