Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday May 31 2007
The 1st June officially marks the opening of the English transfer summer season, and the question that begs to be answered is:
Are there any bargains to be had this summer?
Already Manchester United are reported to have spent over £50 million, the new T.V. money is certainly burning a hole in the pockets down at Old Trafford
The problem now facing English clubs is inflated prices, with the Premiership the richest league in the world is it any surprise when England`s top clubs come shopping that the price rises.
This is having a knock on effect down the leagues, West Brom`s Jason Koumas, although a very good player in the Championship, hardly in the mould of a Liam Brady or Steven Gerrard is priced at a Princely sum of £4 million.
When last in the Premiership Koumas failed miserably.
Another lower division player, Billy Sharpe of Scunthorpe, is attracting interest from Championship clubs; the biding is expected to start at £2.5 million for a player that`s never scored outside the bottom two divisions.
Premiership clubs such as Derby, Sunderland, Fulham and our very own Latics need to tread carefully this summer.
Rushing out and spending huge amounts of cash on overrated players can only spell one thing.
If a player signs for £4 million or so, then he can expect wages to match, with the news that the average Premiership wage will be a cool £1 million per year after this season then the extra cash is not going to last too long.
The sorry part of all this is that a lot of the English money will be going overseas, as previously mentioned Manchester United have spent £50 million paying clubs in Germany and Portugal for three very talented young players, but it`s money lost to the English game.
A better way to use some of the money would be to pass it on to the fans.
Wigan Athletic have led the way in this, believe it or not, dropping the cost of a season ticket by £120 is a great gesture.
The cost of Premiership football can now be had at the JJB for £250 a season, other clubs have followed suit, but some have not, some still treat their customers with contempt, making them pay ludicrous prices to watch a sport that once belonged to the working class.
There wont be many bargains this summer, but there will be tears and worries come next May.
Is it all spiralling out of control?
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Date:Thursday May 31 2007
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