Window only open for the rich

The Man In The Stands WHEN the transfer window first came into being in 2001, the authorities claimed it would benefit the smaller clubs. We should have smelt a rat then. Changes in the arrangement of football never benefit the smaller clubs, and they never will.

The Man In The Stands

WHEN the transfer window first came into being in 2001, the authorities claimed it would benefit the smaller clubs.

We should have smelt a rat then.

Changes in the arrangement of football never benefit the smaller clubs, and they never will.

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That's why camera technology has not been introduced to assist referees.

Because the big clubs know they get 99 per cent of decisions going their way and the last thing they want to do is change that.

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It's those decisions that can help win you titles…

Anyway, The Man digresses - back to the transfer window.

When it was unveiled it was supposed to prevent smaller clubs having their best players poached during a season.

FIFA said it was to provide a counter-balance to the cheque book, and allow sides who had worked hard to develop players to keep them for longer.

As it turns out, it has been an absolute disaster; one which has only served to enhance the gap between the rich and the poor.

While the big clubs can carry huge squads all year around, and immunise themselves against the impact of injuries, the smaller clubs - who necessarily have to run smaller squads - are left to fight it out in a frenzied transfer environment.

The January transfer window encapsulates the worst aspect of modern football: players at inflated prices.

If you don't believe it creates over-pricing, look no further than our sale of Chris Brown.

The fact some sucker was prepared to pay £400K for him says it all.

Ridiculous, totally ridiculous.

It is against this backdrop that The Man would urge patience with regard to what Glenn can do in this window.

Every struggling team and its dog is on the look out for new players; and a relegation scrap in East Anglia is not up everyone's street.

Even our “Premiership here we come” pals down the road are having trouble off-loading their ill-gotten loot.

It's only idiots such as QPR who have been able to make proper headway so far, and that's only because they can put an extra zero on wage packets.

Roeder is doing a great job in trying to rectify the wrongs he inherited from the previous regime.

And it's only after a full summer at the helm that he can truly be expected to call the squad his own.

Whoever we end up getting in, let's make sure we stick together and get behind the team. OTBC.


THE PROFFESSIONAL Footballers' Association has announced plans to erect a statue of Mrs Matthew Spring outside Kenilworth Road, in a bid to combat the growing influence of WAGs.

The PFA has become so concerned at the growing power of wives and girlfriends - and their potentially catastrophic impact - that it felt action had to be taken.

As well as commissioning a statue of Mrs Spring, the PFA will also be handing out leaflets explaining the tale of how Matthew Spring was persuaded to sign for the Hatters instead of Norwich “because his Mrs wanted to have the baby in Luton”.

Mr Spring is facing a future in League Two; and due to Luton's administration problems, the midfielder does not know if he is going to get paid from one week to the next.

It is hoped his tragic story will ward other footballers off taking too much notice of the old Bread Knife.

On a serious note, The Man really doesn't get this “the wife does not want to move” business.

Here's the deal: you get to marry a millionaire who will retire before he is 40. In exchange for that you might have to move house a couple of times.

Sounds like a fair bargain to me.

As for the Premiers League waster that turned us down last week, The Man does not know whether he is WAG-influenced or not.

All I know is that it's a lucky escape on our part.


ENGLAND boss Fabio Capello, pictured, was given a warm welcome to English football last weekend as he watched Reading versus Man U.

The Man U fans, for which this is surely the ultimate home fixture in geographic terms, spent much of the game chanting: “You can stick your ******* England up your arse”.

This was interspersed with cries of “Argentina”; which has far more venomous motivations than simply to herald Carlos Tevez.

Just to be clear, they used to sing it when they didn't have any Argentinean players.

But within reason, Man U fans can sing what they want, it is a free country.

However, when people say we have to support them next month when they take on Lyon in the Champions League - “because it's an English team and that” - the above chants are worth bearing in mind.

As for Reading, The Man notes they pulled a crowd smaller than ours last weekend for the visit of “the world's biggest club” (sic).

There was probably a big rugby game on nearby; or maybe Lewis Hamilton was doing a book-signing in Maidenhead WH Smith...

Whatever the reason, those plans to increase capacity to 38,000 look rather hasty now. Tin pot.


MANAGERS of The Big Four often complain about their players taking part in international friendlies.

And many is the time a player will be 'injured' for a mid-week England game, only to make a Lazarus-like comeback for his club side just days later.

The Man was therefore surprised to see Manchester United pop up for a match in Saudi Arabia last week with a full strength side.

I say I was surprised - actually not surprised at all - more exasperated by the hypocrisy of it all.

Clearly flying Wayne Rooney half way around the world for a meaningless game is not a problem, as long as it can benefit the already swelled coffers.

I'm sure there are a few Wales' fans who wish the same principle had applied to Ryan Giggs during his international days…

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