Another January transfer window, more urgent surgery needed to save the club from the trap door, more dereliction of duty from those who could make a difference.
We have been here before, quite a few times as it happens, but I really think that Mike Ashley has surpassed even his high standards of deceit and penny pinching this year.
Let’s break down the transfer window to see just how familiar the tune is…..
It began with the ongoing rumours of takeover, what that may or may not mean for investment and whether or not the club could actually sign or sell players whilst the books were being reviewed.
Obviously we now know that this was all rubbish now, Mike Ashley accused PCP of time wasting despite several offers being made, goalposts being moved and finally Mike deciding to go public with his refusal to reach a deal, using language more befitting of a mardy toddler than a billionaire businessman.
We also saw Mike Ashley decide it was a good idea to not tell the manager what the transfer budget was until the last week of the window, of course this was mainly because Mike was on holiday and had seemingly left his bulk buy mobile phones at home, also probably the reason it took him so long to let Mandy know that SHE was wasting HIS time, and in the process setting off every irony detector in the country.
The time wasting didn’t end there though, we still had time for two complete lowball bids for Nicolai Jorgensen, even though we knew his asking price, even though Mike doesn’t like having HIS time wasted…..and the irony detectors sounded loud and proud again.
Smoke and Mirrors
So after weeks of not knowing the transfer budget, and constantly leaving messages on Mike’s answer phone, it seems that finally Rafa had his “green light” to sign players, a phrase that became this transfer windows equivalent of “over the line”.
Quick rumours were throw out to the press, like ham bones to starving dogs, regarding breaking the transfer record, a mystery £20m striker and up to four additions coming through the door and over the line.
Of course we now know this was all complete rubbish. We messed about with Jorgensen, we failed to loan the perennially injured Daniel Sturridge and finally we did manage to loan the currently injured Islam Slimani for a grand total of……well, probably not as much as we made by loaning out six of our own players. Which brings us nicely on to……
With the dust settling we can now clearly see that good old Mike has done the impossible again. He has taken the most meagrely funded club in the Premier League (that’s net spend Clarko) and actually turned a profit……maybe.
You see, as the deals were all loans we won’t know how much the outlay against income was until the accounts for this period become available, but as we have loaned out six players who include at least two rumoured to be paid £50k+ a week, it would seem foolhardy to think that Mike hasn’t at least drawn level in terms of expenditure and wage reduction plus loan fees.
In short, we’ve been done again, and it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
The Kevin Keegan quote held up proudly by fans last night could not be more apt for this moment in the club’s history, and hats off to them for doing that, it should really get under the owner’s skin and ruin his bacon cob this morning.
More of the same from the fans is required, more of the same from Ashley is what we got.