KT POOLIE gives his thoughts

It happens nowhere else, but it seems there is no halting the amounts of money football club owners and managers are prepared to throw around in football’s twice-yearly artificial spending-periods called the transfer market. 

Strangely, the first cut-off is the end of August, a couple of weeks after the season starts! This year the deadline was preceded by the first managerial casualty as Andy Thorn was stripped of his role at Coventry after failing to register a win in the first three games of the season. Yet, neither had they suffered a defeat.

I know nothing about Thorn, other than he was the man at the helm during last season’s relegation; he survived to build a team for the League One campaign; and was sacked just in time to leave an incoming manager unable to change the squad before the next contrived transfer window in January. Madness."he... was sacked just in time to leave an incoming manager unable to change the squad before the next contrived transfer window"

Players too are placed under pressure, which must partly explain the increasing use of agents to handle the often complex negotiations and deadlines. And it’s not just the Premier League mega-waged clowns who sometimes make the wrong move as the transfer clock counts down. I heard recently of a player move which went horribly wrong for one local team who wish to remain anonymous.

The club’s scouting system identifies an International star who, as he is unable to play in his war-torn Syria, receives a favourable offer from the giants of Northern League Division One.

A contract is swiftly drafted and signed to prevent anyone else snapping up the prodigious talent. Arriving too late to train fully, he finds himself on the bench at Bishop Auckland for the season opener. With a few minutes remaining the manager gives him his first run-out.

The ninth tier of English football has never seen anything like it! He is outstanding, beating players for fun, spraying inch-perfect balls to team-mates at will, tackling like a demon. To top a man-of-the-match performance, he scores a 7 minute hat-trick, two of which come in extra time.

The manager and nearly 50 fans are ecstatic. The cheers and back-slapping continue in the dressing room for almost a minute after the game. Desperate to share the joy with his family he dashes to the ‘phone box at the corner of the street, only to return 5 minutes later in floods of tears.

His manager is concerned, “What’s up lad? Did you tell them how well you played and about the debut hat-trick?”

“Yes, boss”, he replies, “it’s just that they’ve had a terrible day at home. My dad was mugged trying to find a job, my sister was attacked in the market, the family car was stolen from the street and the house was burnt down in a random attack.”

“What’s worse, they blame me for bringing them to Darlington in the first place!”