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      06.01.2009 14:10
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      Pompeys loss is Tottenham's gain!

      Times are changing fast down on the south coast for poor old Portsmouth, Mr Redknapp departed earlier in the season and has left a job which looks too big for Tony Adams in all honesty and not to help matters a number of their best players appear to be on the way out too. Lassana Diarra went to Real Madrid a couple of weeks back and Jermain Defoe appears to be the next one to leave. Defoe only arrived a year ago in the January transfer window in a deal which saw him replace the departing Benjani who went to Manchester City and he has made a real impact at Portsmouth in the short space of time that he has been there scoring 17 goals in 36 games, a fantastic return. The most upsetting thing of all about Defoe leaving is that he is due to return to the club which he left 12 months ago where he was deemed surplus to requirements, not anymore it seems after they sold Berbatov and Keane in the summer, they being Tottenham of course. The only positive thing about this for Pompey is that they stand to make a tidy profit from the transfer, add that to the money they reaped from the Diarra transfer and they have a sizeable transfer kitty, but will anybody want to move to a club in freefall? I think not unfortunately.

      Personally, I think the proposed transfer of Jermain Defoe back to Tottenham shows what an absolute mess football is in at the moment. When Portsmouth purchased Defoe last year they paid Spurs £7,500,000 for him, today Tottenham have had an offer excepted by Portsmouth believed to be in the region of £15,000,000, now if that isn't crazy I don't know what is; he's the same player which left the club last year after all, he can't have changed that much can he.

      I'm sure that if the transfer does go through that Defoe will flourish at Tottenham and score a hat full of goals, but I do feel for Pompey, unless they have an upturn in fortune and mange to sign some players they're going to be deep in a relegation dogfight and lets face it, things don't look good for them at the moment do they!

      Thanks for reading, feel free to comment.

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        03.10.2006 15:38
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        Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple....Johan Cruyff

        Bungs, tapping up, dodgy transfers initiated by dodgy agents in order to line their own pockets and any manager greedy enough to help them. For a long time it had seemed too controversial a topic to tackle in football, better it be swept under the carpet rather than face ignominy in the nations favourite sport. The football authorities have woken up and attempted to confront the problem head on. It is a problem they know exists, they fear it is widespread but hope it is limited to a few ‘bad apples’ that can be aptly rooted out and reputation restored. However optimistic this view may be the F.A certainly have a tough time on their hand. Firm action is now demanded by vested parties in football, the fans and the media.

        The current furore was aroused by the recent Panorama expose of transfer bungs and tapping up players which it alleged was rife in football. Although the programme delivered less than it promised their was sufficient evidence to make everyone sit up and take note. In particular the managers have become incredibly defensive and at the same time appearing open to resolve the problem. That is not too surprising, in an age in which the media has the power to effectively ruin the career of a manager, the ones which have no wrong doing against their name will be hoping they do not become falsely indicted. This may or may not be the case for Sam Allayrdce, who central to the Panorama programme and was alleged to have taken bungs indirectly by three agents questioned. He of course, along with the agents have denied the accusations. This has of course had a ripple effect on to other senior and some less so senior managers. All of whom know that similar difficulties could befall upon them, the reaction has been mixed and approach likewise. Some have attempted to dodge the issue, speaking little or nothing about it hoping their reputation does not become tarred with such skulduggery or conversely because of their guilt. There some managers who have spoken out openly to crack down on the issue, interesting they are mostly the newer faces to management.

        Leading the case to expose such heinous acts in football has been Luton manager Mike Newell. It was his comments back in January that set the ball rolling in the bungs cases.

        “I will do that, absolutely no problem. I have no fear…. I have no problem substantiating what I have said - and I have no problem digging people out .… I can back up everything I have said, and I can sleep well at night”

        Asked whether he had himself been offered a bung his response was a simple but striking “Of course I have, I wouldn't even entertain the idea - never”. Although many newspapers reported the admission in glowing terms, there was much scepticism that this was another sensationalist story fabricated by the press and coming from a lower league and low profiled manager the issue was taken as seriously as it should have. At this stage there was little to suggest of widespread bungs paid to football agents, but these claims were widely dismissed by the Football Agents Association as “without foundation”.

        While the issue was less in the spotlight the F.A. decided to set up an inquiry led by Lord Stevens to tackle this issue. At the time it began, few were expecting anything drastic and it was widely believed that this was just simple procedure conducted by the F.A. to silence the critics on their soft approach to bungs. The fact that the bung arguments have steadily grown over the last 7 months has meant that the issue has become the number one talking point amongst the cricketing fraternity.

        At the press conference released by Lord Stevens implicated in particular 39 transfers involving Premiership clubs over a period of 2 years. At this time there have been much speculation but no specific information has been garnered over which transfers are in question. However it has been revealed that there are 8 unnamed Premiership clubs which will be looked at with further scrutiny. The following two months will be very interesting and even more so if it happens to be a top club in question.

        How likely is bungs, in my point of view? Well the stand taken by some managers and some notable agents seems to suggest at least there are some managers and agents who are involved in bungs. In the already pressurised world of football managers, the managers themselves are unlikely to increase the pressure on them by making accusations in which they unlikely to gain benefit. The panorama programme did seem to back up the accusations made by Newell, yet it failed to show at least hard evidence on any wrong doing. There were many that were talking and suggesting it, but the problem with this kind of evidence is that it can be easily dismissed as ‘only joking’ as has subsequently been done by all involved. One also has to question the motives of Panorama in light of this important issue. Many of times recently that have scripted their programmes to show wrong doings in the relevant subject that have been investigating only for their to be no real credible evidence given. This has been a regular occurrence amongst recent shows and the programme doesn’t have as much credibility as it previously did.

        There is certainly history that shows bungs have gone on in the past and I would be amazed if this was restricted to a few certain individuals. Sir Alan Sugar prompted the first F.A investigation back in 1993 when he left the role of chairman at Tottenham Hotspur when he alleged that corruption was widespread. In 1995, the FA found that George Graham took more than £425,000 in illegal payments from a Norwegian agent to sign Pal Lyderson and John Jensen, which ended his Arsenal managing career. However this does seem to be just token a gesture to show that issues of this sort are being dealt with. There have been progressively more tighter rules regarding agent fees, with all fees now having to be paid by the F.A. Even this can be sidestepped by the agents/managers involved., it seems a very difficult job for the F.A. to police and they will no doubt be in the firing line no matter what results the Lord Stevens investigation produces.

        Ideally all football fans would like a thorough expose of all in the wrong in the transfer bungs issue and measures put in place so that such practices can not go on. Realistically this will be difficult as football is no different to any other highly paid industry, in that many people want a cut of the money. It is difficult for football itself to regulate itself in such a way, and there will need to be changes in the way transfers work in order to prevent such practises in the future. However the concern always remains of the usual sweep under the carpet approach to investigations such as this. What happens if several top managers are implicated in this affair. Are the F.A. likely to take the bold approach and deal justly with these managers. It is pretty reminiscent of recent affairs in Italian football, where match fixing was found amongst top clubs. At first the measures taken by the Italian football authorties was a very tough approach and resulted in three clubs being demoted a division and titles being stripped of Juventus. In reflection the punishment was lessened, nevertheless it seems to have done much damage to the short term future of Italian football. Firstly the national game has lost of reputation within the country and overseas, the league itself doesn’t seem to be as strong and the grandeur of Italian football certainly has taken a knock. Given this, would the F.A. take a similar approach should many of the top clubs be implicated, no doubt the financial impact would be pretty severe for the short term.

        There doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of this transfer bungs issue, the F.A. seemed to be caught between a rock and a hard place, although they were just much responsible for getting there. The important thing will be to take actions which help football as much as possible in the long run. Football fans may not be too concerned at the technical aspects of all football transfer or contract for that matter, however they will want to be confident that the players which represent their team are the best players available to the club and there on merit and not because the manager earned a profit on the transfer. Much will depend on Lord Stevens investigation, If nothing is found then accusations of a cover up will be widespread. If there are a few individuals all of who are not highly powered within the game, then the F.A. may have the chance to set an example and bury this issue with a heavy punishment and making it clear that football doesn’t tolerate corrupt managers/agents, yet given their past record with all things controversial, one can guess the F.A will take the most face saving action. The real issue will come if any top managers are implicated in the Lord Stevens investigation. Will The F.A. have the fortitude to implement just as harsh a punishment, I won’t hold my breath.

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          29.07.2002 07:37
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          In Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United have signed one of the most promising centre backs in Europe. Following an exceptional world cup, his reputation has grown as a potentially world class centre half. He is one of a new generation of English centre backs who combine aggression and competitiveness with genuine footballing ability. The combination of pace, size, strength and an impeccable reading of the game, make him one of the most natural talented defenders in the game. Since moving to Leeds he has developed his concentration and general football awareness that undermined his reputation at West Ham, and developed as a leader and an organiser at the back. The chance to play alongside Laurent Blanc will further develop the defensive ability of a man viewed as the best English centre back since Booby Moore. The deal satisfied the immediate interests of both clubs. Leeds United needed to clear some of the £77m debt they have accumulated, and the sale of Rio should keep the bailiffs away from Elland Road for the conceivable future. Presumably, the club may also be able to keep Bowyer and Dacourt, and Venables will have some money with which to rebuild his squad. Manchester United needed a defender after Irwin and Johnson opted to leave the club over the summer. However, the view that the defence is weak, and is the reason why Manchester United failed to reclaim the Premiership title is inaccurate. In 5 of the 6 home defeats United failed to score. It was the failure to score goals in key games that cost United the title. The criticism of the individuals in the defence was inaccurate for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is inevitable that a team who look to be aggressive, and get midfielders and often defenders to support the strikers in attack will concede goals. A defensive team like Liverpool, who play a flat back four with four defensive midfielders holding deep, and often one striker dropping back and hit on the counter, will inevitably conc
          ede less goals. Secondly, due to a number of factors the defence was ever changing, with 15 different pairings in the centre of defence over the season. Solid defending is based on playing well as an organised unit, and a team who constantly have to change at the back due to injuries will concede more goals than team like Liverpool, Leeds and Chelsea who managed a settled defence. Thirdly, when looking to criticise a good side, it is much easier to criticise the defenders than the forwards. Even the best strikers make many mistakes in a game, but when a defender or goalkeeper makes a mistake it will regularly lead to a goal. People always like to criticise successful sides and Manchester United, similar to Real Madrid and Brazil, are criticised for weak defending because people can’t find any other way of putting them down. The transfer for Rio has shown how modern transfer negotiations are subject to intense media speculation. Changes to the transfer system mean that players can simply walk way from a club at the end of their contracts, forcing clubs to sell players near the end of contracts for less than they are worth so they at least get some money for the players. Proposed, new changes to the transfer system mean that players would only have to honour their contracts for 2-3 years and then would be free to walk away to any club they chose. However, the claim by some that Leeds had to sell Rio because he wanted to leave is inaccurate. Leeds always intended to sell Rio long before the media began reporting his transfer, realising that a substantial offer would have to be accepted considering the current financial situation. A Plc Like Leeds United will always have to sell players when heavily in debt. The unique way Leeds borrowed the money which took them into European football is costing the club now they can no longer sustain the investment they have made. Leeds will have to replace their captain and organiser at the b
          ack before the new season begins. Woodgate has showed promise, but lacks the leadership or stature to replace Rio. Radebe has to prove his fitness, and the club demand a higher level of performance than when he was last a regular in the side. Matteo would make a good captain to replace Rio, but lacks his composure and natural ability. How much Venables will see of the £30m depends on further departures from Elland Road. The collapse of the Bowyer transfer may mean most of the Rio cash will be used to pay of debt, leaving the manager with little funds to bring in a new defender. Stam and Ayala have been suggested as replacements, but with a month until the start of the season, Leeds will have to move quickly. However, the sale of Ferdinand can only be seen as a backward step for Leeds. Failure to qualify for the Champions League made the transfer budget and wage structure unsustainable, and the club’s most consistent performer was sold due to failing if his team mates. Personally, Manchester United paid over the odds for Ferdinand. They have a vastly talented defender who, at 23, can be a fixture at the centre of the defence for the next decade. However, the transfer fee is far above the price tag of more established defenders. Rio’s trophy cabinet is as limited as Alan Shearer’s personality. He had an exceptional world cup, but has yet to prove himself a consistent performer. Players like Hofland, Thuram and Ayala would have been better value, likely to cost half of the £30m paid for Ferdinand. Having said that, Fergie may have signed the player who will bring the Premiership crown back to Old Trafford. Blanc and Ferdinand are the most naturally gifted centre back pairing in the league with the combination of pace and experience. With Gary Neville and Silvestre at fullback, and the ever improving Brown and O’Shea on the bench, United have a defence individually as good as any in the Premiership. It remains to be s
          een that, unlike last year, the defence play well as an organised unit, and eradicate the individual mistakes that proved costly last season. Having lost Irwin and Johnson, United had to strengthen the defence, and Rio should be seen as an investment for the club. The fee is large, but Rio can play at least 10 years at the highest level, and less than £3m a year for a defender who could become one of the best in the world could be good business. Arguably though, the signing goes against what has taken the club to where it is today. Young talent has always been preferred to expensive imports, and the singing of Ferdinand will restrict the progress of Wes Brown and John O’Shea. One person who came out of the whole affair with no credit is Peter Risdale. He acted as if he brought Ferdinand to Leeds out of pure generosity, and that Rio therefore had an obligation to remain at Leeds. Rio more than repaid the debt he owed Leeds, captaining the team, playing the best football of his career, and not collecting a single booking in 18 months. The truth is Risdale has to deflect the fan’s anger away from the club after selling their best player to their most hated revivals. Long before Ferdinand’s agent handed in Rio’s transfer request, the decision had been made by the board to sell him if a suitable offer came in, and O’Leary’s departure was largely over this decision by the board. By claiming Rio let the club down by failing to honour his contract, Risdale sought to remove any of the anger that may have been directed towards him. He lied to the fans when he said that no bid had been received for Rio, and he lied when he said Rio wasn’t up for sale. The truth is Risdale always intended to sell Rio as a way of removing some of the debt he had allowed the club to get into. After the effect Eric Cantona had when he crossed the Pennines in ’92, Risdale is worried the sale of Rio may have a simil
          ar effect, had has lied and deceived as a way of exonerating himself of any backlash from the Leeds United supporters. Rio Ferdiand is a quality addition to what is still a young Manchester United side. Fergussson has not only ensured that during his finally years in charge he has every chance to build on the record that has made him the most successful manager in the history of British football, but that the team will continue to be a dominant force in English and European football for years to come. Terry Venables has to find a replacement for Rio soon, and hope that he doesn’t need time to settle in at Leeds. The departure of Rio has clearly angered Leeds fans, and a failure to replace him will be unacceptable. The most documented transfer saga of the summer, largely due to the inactivity of a large number of clubs, it seems that the English centre back on one side of the Pennines will have more effect than the £30m on the other.

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            19.07.2002 17:26
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            Oh Rio my son what are you playing at? Even if you despise football the ongoing media coverage means that most of you will know that Rio Ferdinand, the England hero is on the verge of a transfer from Leeds United to their hated rivals Manchester United. Rio Ferdinand comes across as a rather simple kind of chap but he is undoubtedly one of the biggest prospects in English football. Not so long ago he was a West Ham hero, masterfully marshalling a very poor defence. A season ago he was snapped up by Leeds United where he has emerged as a fans favourite and is the heart and soul of the LUFC defence. Today he is a Leeds player, tomorrow (or within the next few days) he will be a Manchester United player. It’s not surprising that Manchester United want him. There defence has looked anything but assured in the last few seasons and they desperately need some quality at the back. He has been an absolute colossus in the Leeds defence and his recent performances in the World Cup have only added to his prowess. He does all the usual defending type stuff but looks completely happy on the ball too. However bad his goal celebrations are, he is a world class player and United want him and are expected to pay a whopping £30million for him. Why then is Peter Ridsdale (Leeds chairman) trying to hold onto him when his club is £70 million in debt – because he’s promised himself to Leeds? Because he is such a superb player? I think not! Mr Ridsdale is holding out for a few more pennies, and he’ll probably them. I can only see Leeds United benefiting from this transfer. Of course I think that if a player joins a club and signs a contract with a club he should stay there for that time but Rio has displayed his unwillingness to play for Leeds United. Leeds will be selling a player who is not 100% committed to Leeds United. If a Norwich player acted like this then I’d be glad to see the back of him. No matter
            how good a player is he is not the team or the club. Fans don’t want to be paying their cash to see a player who isn’t as committed as themselves. There are allsorts of loyalty issues that could be discussed but Rio is in the process of making his bed and he’ll have to lie in it. He states that he loves Leeds United yet he’s prepared to move way – I guess the saying Money talks is poignant. No longer is Rio the likeable simpleton who’s making his dreams come true in the world football but he’s the typical money grabbing footballer. Ridsdale should hold out as long s he can, get as much as he can, but in the end make a bit of cash on the bugger.

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              15.07.2002 22:45
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              Right first things first. I think he is undoubtedly one of the best midfielders in Europe at this moment in time. Look at his performances over the past couple of seasons and that will prove this point. Also how many midfielders in England are there that have the ability to sneak into the penalty area and get as many goals as he does? The answer to that is very few. So now to the point of his imminent signing to liverpool fc. I do hope very much that we manage to pull off this transfer because quite frankly we desperately need him. It's all well having Michael Owen getting the majority of goals, but then when he goes on a barren spell who do we have? The answer is Big Emile (but let's be honest he has not got the instinctive finish that we need). So if we can get him it will probably signal the end of "Vladi" Smicer's time on the right hand side of midfield. And i for one will be extremely happy to see him leave because he most certainly has not lived up to the expectations that were placed on him once we got him. He rarely attempts to tackle, can't header, and also his finishing is a joke! Therefore with Bowyer running riot on the right I think we could finally have found the balance in midfield that we have been searching for for a long time. And guess what Mr Houllier has decided - no mr Bowyer for liverpool because he doesn't have the right attitude. So much for me writing this op!

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                30.06.2002 02:29
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                After the end of this boring World Cup edition in Japan and South Korea, some important and shocking transfers are ready to be made. Arsenal, recent premiership dominator and Juventus, recent Serie A winner are going to set some interesting exchanges. Wenger would like Arsenal to engage David Trezeguet and Liliam Thuram from Juventus Turin, while the italian team is very interested in acquiring Henry and Vieira. Four great players from France, who is the best one? Henry and Trezeguet are attacking players, and as usual attacking players are the most famous and the most appreciated. Thuram and Vieira won the World Cup in '98 and the European in 2000. I think that players like Vieira are decisive for the organisation of a team. That's the reason because I think Vieira is the most important player of Arsenal. I think it would be terrible for them if he would leave London.

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                  18.01.2002 18:02
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                  THIS is my profile on the best buys that ever hit the Premiership. GOALKEEPER Peter Boleslaw Schmeichel was born at Gladsaxe, Denmark on 18th November 1963.Manchester United signed Schmeichel in August 1991 for a bargain transfer fee of only £500,000 after he had already played for his country on 45 occasions.For a big man Schmeichel had unbelievable agility. His distribution of the ball to launch counter attacks and create goal-scoring opportunities for his team mate was outstanding. DEFENDER LEFT Christian Ziege After complaining about the lack of opportunities at Liverpool it soon became clear he would have to move on for the third consecutive summer. This time it was Tottenham Hotspur who would come in for the player - signing him for £4m in July 2001.Scored a hat-trick against Northern Ireland in Euro 2000 qualifying - he always looks to get forward when the chance presents itself - but will be keen to put Germany's performances at the Finals behind him DEFENDER CENTRE GARY PALLISTER Gary Pallister was born in Ramsgate on 30th June 1965.In August 1989 and he was on his way to Old Trafford for a then record fee for a defender of £2.3 million.He won four Premier League Championship medals in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1997, three FA Cup winner's medals in 1990, 1994 and 1996, a League Cup winners medal in 1992 and a European Cup Winners winners' medal in 1991. He made a total of 438 appearances for DEFENDER CENTRE RIO FERDINAND In November 2000 Rio became the world's most expensive defender after his transfer from West Ham United to Leeds United for a mere 18 million pounds.This man can be a legend. DEFENDER RIGHT Laureano Mayer (Lauren) Cameroon international Lauren has a wide range of skills and can offer both tough tacklin
                  g and excellent creative play. He was named Player of the Tournament as Cameroon won the African Nations' Cup in 2000 and he went on to win an Olympic gold medal when his country beat Spain in a dramatic Olympic final in Sydney in September 2001. Joined Arsenal from Spanish side Real Mallorca in May 2000 for £7million - also had spells at Levente and Seville. MIDFIELD LEFT Fredrik Ljungberg Swedish international who joined Arsenal in 1998 and made the best possible start, notching up a debut goal against Manchester United after just five minutes in a Gunners shirt. (And given that the shirt in question - No.8 - had just been relinquished by the idolised Ian Wright, it was important to get the fans on his side). Made 139 appearances for Halmstad BK before moving to the Premiership for £3million. A fast and tricky wide-man who can sometimes be let down by his finishing, but his industry is rarely in question. As committed to the cause as any player wearing the red and white. MIDFIELD CENTRE ROY KEANE The Football Writers and the Professional Footballers Association's Player of the Year for the 1999-2000 is United's natural successor to Bryan Robson. A player that can do it all, with simplicity and determination the key to his game, in Keane United have one of the world's best midfielders. In the 1993 close season United paid a then record fee of £3.75 million. His ball winning skills, drive, determination and late runs into the box to score vital goals have made him an irreplaceable figure in the team's midfield, and Alex Ferguson made him club captain on Eric Cantona's retirement from professional football in 1997. MIDFIELD RIGHT GUSTAVO POYET Enjoyed an injury-free season in 1999-2000 after missing large patches of both the 1997-8 and 1999-2000 season and scored some vital goals
                  in Chelsea's push for honours, including a brace in the FA Cup semi-final However, failed to impress new Blues boss Claudio Ranieri and in June 2001 moved across London to join Tottenham Hotspur. STRIKER ERIC CANTONA Eric Cantona was born in Marseille, France on 24th May 1966. During his early career in France he played for Auxerre, Bordeaux, Marseille, Montpellier and Nimes. He was an instant success at Leeds where he was idolized by the supporters and it was a total shock when Alex Ferguson was able to sign Cantona for £1.2 million in November 1992. It was to prove one of the biggest bargains of the nineties. STRIKER Craig Bellamy With Coventry's relegation to the Premiership it was clear that the Sky Blues were eager to off-load the striker from their wage bill. Before long it was Newcastle United who came in buy Bellamy for £6m - a £500,000 loss for Coventry.As for his confidence, that is perfectly illustrated by his 'the new Juninho claim', but it is based on a brilliant talent - after all, if you are capable of slaloming past defenders, drawing keepers and finishing from any angle, why should you keep quiet about it. STRIKER Ruud Van Nistelrooy United for a British record fee of £19m in April 2001. The transfer initially fell flat in the summer of 2000 when Van Nistelrooy broke down in training just days before he was due to finalise an £18.5m move to Old Trafford. The striker returned to action in March 2001 and was immediately back among the goals, scoring twice to help PSV into the Dutch Cup final. But United were forced to pay PSV £19m for the player's services as Sir Alex Ferguson desperately tried to make United a force in the Champions League once again. what do you think about that

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                    29.11.2001 04:21
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                    Leeds are the big brave boys in today's transfer market. Whilst Peter Ridsdale might be an attention-seeking so and so, there can be no doubt about his faith in David "they're oinly boyys" O'Leary. When everyone else was dithering over transfers he wrote a cheque out for £18m for Rio Ferdinand, who has since developed as much as every England fan hoped. I personally thought the £11M spent on Robbie Keane was good value. The guy has bags of talent and never stops trying. However, spending the same amount and getting someone of Robbie Fowler's class is absolutely fantastic business. Forget those stupid drug rumours put around by jealous toffee eating scallies. And don't worry about his apparent rift with Phil "Concorde" Thompson - such a rift is compulsory with the Liverpool caretaker. What kind of a quality individual gives an opposing player a tirade of abuse just for being on the end of a two-footed challenge?? No, Robbie is pure class. Every time I see him play he's Liverpool's best player (not bad considering they've got Gerrard, Owen, Hyypia and Litmanen. I can only assume that Robbie has made it perfectly clear that he won't sign a new contract and that Liverpool have taken the money now, rather than seeing him leave for nothing like Steve McManaman. Hopefully Robbie will get a regular starting place in Leeds, and then he can demonstrate his quality and get himself in the England team. I have no doubt that a fully fit and confident Fowler would be a big plus for the Three Lions. Assuming Robbie plays every week for Leeds - who will he play with?? O'Leary has tended to stick with Flat-Face Viduka this season; swapping around Keane and Smith as his partner. My sources from the terraces of Elland Road think though, that Viduka's time is up, and that if one of the Euro-giants stumps up enough cash, then he'll be on his way. He
                    too seems reluctant to sign an extension, and that may tempt the Whites to get rid. Fowler is a good enough target man to replace Viduka. He also has pace, skill, and fantastic finishing. Him and Keane up front; scary!! A bargain at £11m without a doubt. He'll certainly be getting in to my Fantasy XI.

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                      19.10.2001 04:27
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                      Manchester United are probably the most famous football club in the world, infact when I went on holiday last year, most people that I met there, thought that Manchester united were infact the only English football team!! They are also probably one of the only football clubs, that have managed to be both loved and hated at the same time by millions of people, Your either with them or against them!! I personally think their great, I’m not a major football fan, but I do think that they have massive potential, they have the players, they have the global support, they have the "brand image" and they have the manager (well at the moment anyway) But even if Alex Ferguson leaves, I don’t think that this will affect there performance. The only problem they may have, can sometime be looked at as a good thing, and this is that they have so many quality players!!! You see because they have so many top top quality players, they cant play them all at the same time, this may make certain players angry, they may think that there not being played, because they aren’t very good, because at there previous club, they were probably there star player, and now that there at Manchester united, the hole team are star players!! So they could get angry and leave the club. There is also a chance, that when Alex Ferguson leaves that some of his players will leave with him.

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                        17.09.2001 17:03
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                        I have to say, Player prices in football have become ridiculous. My father used to tell of players in his day playing for fun and money was a secondary consideration. Today football has become another corporate sponsored tool with which money comes first and the fans and players come second. Right now, players are revolting over TV money. Dont you think they get enough money as it is. My husband, also a dooyoo member, likes to go and watch his team play. In order to keep up with the other teams, they have to spend heavily and sell their youngsters to keep the club afloat. I do fee that fans are being forced into subsidising huge wage bills by increasing ticket prices and more expensive replica kits. Add onto this the price of Sky Sports so he can watch the football and we are down some £500-£1,000 a year. That money could be better used by putting it towards the house or other things that we need. I dont begrudge him his football. Im not saying we cant afford it but im sure a lot of families cannot. I blame the players wages for this. If we were not paying Veron, David Beckham, Van Nistleroy and the other Manchester players so much money, then more of us would be able to buy that new Sofa or save for our new car. The wages are scanadlous as are the transfer figures. How can anyone justify paying someone £50,000 a week to kick a football around the pitch for 90 minutes? If you think about it, these people are being paid £600 a minute to rin around the pitch. £10 a second. That is criminal. Companies do not even make that much money. I say bring the prices down and cap their wages.

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                          02.08.2001 20:14
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                          Last month, French International Zinedine Zidane was transferred from Juventus to Real Madrid for a world record fee of £48 million. In the same month, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon moved to Juve for £32 million, and the Italian giants also signed Pavel Nedved for £25 million. Those are just some examples of the sort of money being branded about this summer, fees which have caused experts to brand the transfer system as crazy. Clubs are breaking their transfer records right, left and centre and it would appear that they are going beyond their means. True, some are and we are seeing an increase in the number of teams in liquidation or administration. Even big teams like Fiorentina, Marseille and Toulouse have become involved in financial difficulties. But that does not mean clubs like Barcelona, Manchester United or Inter Milan should not be splashing huge transfer fees. The increase in money being paid in transfers is largely due to a large increase in money brought into the game by sponsorship and television. This is constantly increasing and the clubs are throwing it at big name players in a bid to buy success. There's nothing wrong with that as long as they are living within their means. The financial benefits of having a good team are obvious. Getting into the Champions League brings in huge sums of money, so clubs gamble that by buying the best, they'll bring the money back in. Top players like Hidetoshi Nakata, David Beckham and Alessandro Del Piero also bring in huge amounts of revenue in advertising so the clubs can afford to pay big transfer fees to get them. Also, in many cases the clubs can recoup the money by selling the player on. Take the case of Christian Vieri who moved between Athletico Madrid, Lazio and Inter in sucessive seasons for similar transfer fees. Therefore, Lazio effectively got a season out of him for nothing. There is a downside to all of this though. The big clubs get stronger
                          and the others try to catch them. They pay too much and they have to then sell of their best players for knock-down prices just to survive. Many fail to recover. Clubs have to think things through before splashing the cash. And what happens if a player gets injured? Zidane could damage ligaments on his debut. That would be £48 million down the drain. The football transfer market has gone crazy and it will continue to grow. Clubs are gambling on success, and inevitably, some will work and some won't. The first £100 million player is not far away - neither is the first big name club to go down the drain.

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                            02.08.2001 05:21

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                            Every Sunday I like most footy fans buy a couple of papers, bring them home, sit down turn to the back pages and read two things. 1. Match report, if there is one. 2. Transfer talk. I'm always keen to see if my team Man City are linked with anyone (anyone decent). More often I read about how some other club are trying to sign our best players. Now I know this is a fact of football, but I feel that often some clubs unsettle players who are quite happy to stay. These clubs do this to appease their fans, it makes them look forward thinking and busy in the transfer market, even though I suspect often they are not interested at all in the player. The player suddenly thinks that other clubs want them, so they want more money and before long they are on the transfer list after a bust up with their manager. I feel however the club to suffer most by this is Everton. The way that Barmby went last season, and the Ball & Jeffers sagas this season, I feel sorry for Walter smith and the fans. I think in all three cases the players have been unsettled and manipulated into leaving a club they all owed some loyalty to. The recent press coverage of Agents and dodgy dealings adds more substance to my view, they obviosly gain when their client, makes a big money move, and therefore they can't be trusted to give totally sound career advice, can they?

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                            14.07.2001 18:47
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                            Transfers for my club, West Ham united, used to be it's bread and butter. Never one for finding fivers stuffed down the back of a couch, this club's notorious tight-fistedness has often been it's downfall. Labelled regularly as a selling club, West Ham have fought to maintain a position jockeying alongside the big boys in the premiership with a budget that would make George Graham howl with laughter. They had to rely on a talented player getting them through a season, then selling him in order to raise cash to survive another year. A sad state of affairs. Thankfully they experienced a bit of a purple patch in the money market with the appointment of Harry Redknapp as Manager. A surprisingly successful bargain hunter and risk taker, Harry managed to wheel and deal his way through the transfer scenes until he took the club into the black, being one of only three managers who provided a profit for the board. True, it had to be gained by the massively disruptive sale of Rio Ferdinand to Leeds <spit> United, but Harry was put in a no win situation with that one. Sell Rio and be hated by the fans, or don't sell him and be slagged off for missing the financial opportunity when the bottom was predicted to fall out of the transfer prices. The next issue to rise from that was the buying of average players with the huge sum he'd been given (although I personally think Dailly and Song still have potential). His astonishment at being told that there wasn't any money left from Rio's transfer for him to spend on the next season, plus the alleged rumour that the board wanted to sell Lampard, sent his career into a downward spiral and he leaves the post he'd held for 8 years. Transfer issues will always play the part in the future of any club, whether they be good or bad. Some of these issues however, are instigated by a force beyond the control of the footballing world. And that is the gutter press. Ever since Harry left, the media has paraded a set of stories about the futures of Joe Cole, Paolo Di Canio, and Michael Carrick with relentless monotony. It came to a superbly surreal head last week with the announcement that Sir Alex Ferguson was looking to buy Di Canio with Dwight Yorke as part of a swap deal. Hello? Have I just wandered into fluffybrainland?? How stupid do they think we are??? They can't even be bothered to trump up the garbage with any sort of credence now, it's just slinging stories together that have been drummed up in some Canary Wharf drinking hole. Not only is this all a complete waste of time, it's also destructive to the teams themselves. They've hustled Paolo stories to the point whereby it could have resulted in him getting kicked out of the club. The comments that he made about the board's inability to act like a professional set up were released AFTER they had given the Manager's job to Glenn Roeder, whereas Paolo had actually been talking about the board taking an unholy amount of time in filling the vacancy, a week BEFORE Roeder was appointed. What used to be harmless speculation has been turned into another tool to have a dig at football clubs by the press. Transfer issues have become overly prominent because the business of football is exactly that nowadays. The players are commodities who burn brightly for a reasonably short space in time (unless you're Stuart Pearce), and who can be shunted around for extortinate and obscene amounts of money. Zidane IS an excellent player, but £48 million is blasting off into the twilight zone as far as I'm concerned. Especially as it's the public who are going to have to pay for it with merchandise support and ticket prices. Oh yes. The transfer market is alive and kicking, and will probably evolve into a seven headed beast that could ruin the game if it's not careful.

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                              14.07.2001 17:40
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                              I am a football fan, I support Leyton Orient. I've been following them now since the early 70's. I accept the fact that we will never be able to compete with the likes of Manchester United, and although I'm sure their genuine fans, the one's who go and watch them and not the one's who live in London and have never seen them play, will be pleased with their latest signings, but lets be honest about it. The transfer system has gone wild, it's ridiculous. How is a player worth the millions they are being transfered for? I honestly believe it's killing the game. Espec for teams in the lower leagues. Most are just about managing to survive. Football isn't the same as it was. Also the players, are just pure greedy. Once when a player, played for a team, he was loyal. Let's take Sol Campbell for instance. Ok good luck to him, if Arsenal are willing to pay him that kind of wage, but it's crazy. I can see it only becoming worse, and in years to come. I don't think we'll have any of the smaller teams in the league, they just won't be able to compete. It's sad really the way football is going. Once it used to be a sport, unfortantly those days are gone. I guess it had to happen sooner or later.

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                                14.07.2001 17:04
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                                I have been a spurs fan for a long time now and i am wishing for a little more success then just the Worthington cup. When hearing Glenn Hoddle named as the new spurs boss after George Grahams exit, i was delighted. I believe he is a great manager and will hopefully fill the trohpy cabinet at White Hart Lane. But is there more to do at the Lane? I believe there is a lot to do, as our number one player (Sol Campbell) has left to rivals Arsenal and i have seen on certain football websites that Steven Carr is questioning his future at Spurs. With Campbell gone and Carr questioning his future, Spurs need to bring in new life and not just those average players. We need quality and i think you spurs fan will agree with me. Last season we only managed to sign three well known players. Sergei Rebrov for £11 million from Dinamo Kiev, who which we haven't seen his best abilities but can produce magic (spurs vs west ham f.a cup quarter finals). Neil sullivan our new number one keeper, signed on a free transfer from London rivals Wimbledon. Again from Wimbledon for £5 million, Ben thatcher, a left back and in my mind what a waste of money. Hes spent more time off the pitch then on it. In total that is £16 million for three millions, an improvement in recent years before, but no real improvement in the overall league standings. After the close of the season we have again so far made three new signings but have seen the exit of one of spurs all time greats. But also seen the return of a spurs all time greats, Teddy Sheringham. He is a phenominal striker with one of the best tactical knowledge of the game and at the age of 35 managed to be named PFA player of the year. Spurs also signed another vetaran, Gus Poyet from Chelsea. A great midfielder that has an eye for goal, a great goalscorer and lust for the game. And one more player that i am not familiar with but i have heard he is a good defender, Goran bunjevcevic. I am happy with these sig
                                ning as i believe Hoddle is bringing us forward. But in the back of my head i still know we need more players, there has been speculation that spurs are on the verge of signing German International Left wing back, Cristian Ziege, but money disputes between himself and Liverpool may prevent a move to the North London side. I have also heard rumours of Rebrov's Ukrane strike partner, Andrei Shevchenko is interested in playing with Rebrov at club level, this would mean a move to Spurs. My personal opinion is thta we have no chance, as we are no way big enough and it is probably just newspaper talk. Do you think Spurs need more quality player? and what positions? Are we UEFA standards? If you have other views on spurs and transfer news please leave a comment because i am very interested in reading them.

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                                Discussion surrounding football transfers in general.