September 06, 2013

What’s it got to do with football?


KT POOLIE on the Transfer Window


It’s stupid season again, only now it eats into the real season. I’m talking about the strange, media-loving, bore-fest that is the football transfer window. An artificial time period during which all clubs must ditch their current partner for their latest love, like some FA sanctioned wife-swap.

Twelve interminable weeks from June to August turn into a frenetic auction run by pimps masquerading as ‘agents’, who profit from the pressure on hapless managers as each angst-ridden day in the window passes. You can almost hear them, whispering into the ears of the increasingly dishevelled and baggy-eyed unfortunate as his head hits the pillow.

“It’s time to break-up the partnership. Everyone told you it would end in failure. Separate from them. You’ve given 9 months lavish attention and it’s left your newly-painted trophy room barren. Best thing to do is pass the word round discreetly, and trade-in.”
"We can tell everyone it’s the one you were really trying for last year, before you settled for second, third, or tenth best."
“The beauty-parade has been announced and, with double your investment, my dating agency contacts and the stamina and nerve to last until deadline day, the ideal partner is available. We can tell everyone it’s the one you were really trying for last year, before you settled for second, third, or tenth best.”

“Remember to play it cool. Don’t go gushing to the local or national press about your latest love. Think of it as a poker game type of courtship, full of bluff and double-bluff, with 19 other eligible bachelors eyeing up the same talent. Your rivals are in disarray. Especially the suave Frenchman, il fait attention à son argent, the old skinflint. And the new man in charge of the champions – he seems intent on bringing in his old lovers. Even the Special One seems intent on chasing a red devil. The time’s right for you. It’s rich pickings. Go on. Do it.”

Meanwhile, back in the world of the ordinary fan, the whole window depicts scenes from the Rake’s Progress where money is wasted on luxurious living, prostitution and gambling. The madness of it all is clear. Emulating the banking crisis, the risks to organisations, shareholders, employees and the public are huge and obvious to all but those too engrossed in the nonsense to see it. Yet we love it. Newspapers thrive on every story or press conference; whole websites are dedicated to gossip; twitter feeds and Facebook comments are misinterpreted as FACT.

We know it’s crazy and it will end in disaster. But the real problem is it’s infectious. I keep checking for Pools’ rumours. It’s like a bloody addiction. I can’t stop. I need help.