Ludicrous transfer fees can not go on, insists Norwich City midfielder Steven Naismith
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Steven Naismith is adamant spiralling transfer fees have got out of hand as the deadline day carnage reaches the end game.
The Norwich City midfielder flew out with the Scotland squad - including new club mate Grant Hanley - earlier on Thursday ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.
Naismith believes the price inflation in the English market has now reached ‘unsustainable’ levels.
“Some of the fees being paid in England this summer are ludicrous. It’s unsustainable,” he said. “I remember asking where this would end when Manchester United signed Angel Di Maria for almost £60m three years ago. Is it going to turn out like basketball and baseball, with guys signing contracts worth hundreds of millions? When I was young, I was fortunate to have strong friends and family round me. I stayed at home until I was 25.
“Now children in England are bouncing into full-time football at 16 and earning thousands of pounds a week. It’s so easy for them to go off track and make huge mistakes. There’s not enough help in terms of what to deal with. One minute they are at school, then the next they are making more than their mums and dads. It’s hard to get your head round it.”
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Naismith, writing in a column for BBC Sport, was touted with a deadline day move to Sunderland in a previous window, and has first-hand experience of the last minute dash when he swapped Kilmarnock for Rangers in 2007.
“I signed with just seconds to go,” he said. “I still remember it clearly. It was a Friday and I didn’t think I’d be involved in training but then I had my boots on. When training finished, I thought the gaffer was going to pull me over for a chat, but nothing. Then the squad list went up and I was on it. I was starting to think, ‘Hold on what’s happening here? I should be getting whisked off for a medical.’ I spoke to my agent and I was getting texts telling me to keep my phone on.
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“The night dragged on. I turned off the TV at 22:15pm and was just getting ready for bed when my agent called and told me to meet him at Ibrox and then we’d go to Murray Park. I jumped in the car and drove as fast as I could from my flat in Stewarton. I was checking my phone when I was doing my medical and it was 23:30pm and I still hadn’t signed anything. No one else was rushing. It was 23:51pm when we were walking upstairs to the office.
It turned out to be one of the most memorable nights of my career. A dream come true.”