This one is for you Dave – Just as you remember it!
So Manchester United are to lodge a £40m bid for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.
You don’t say.
I don’t believe it.
Is it true?
I don’t think so!
This story which appeared in the Daily Mail over the weekend is why so many people lose faith in good sports journalism. OK, fine, if you plaster this story all over your back page the chances are you will sell a few more papers. But come on! Who are you trying to kid?
Lets think about this for a second. If this transfer was to go through then two certain American businessmen would be living in protective custody for the rest of their lives. If the Glazers had to bring in a security firm to protect their Florida home for simply buying Manchester United, then God knows what would happen to Mr Hicks and Mr Gillett if they were to sell El Nino to their most hated of rivals. The East Lancs Road would resemble a scene from ‘The Warriors’, with less face paint and more Kappa tracksuits.
I urge anyone who reads stories of possible transfers this Summer to take with a pinch of salt any quote which is credited to a ‘club source’ or an ‘insider’.
You cannot be naive enough to think that some of these ‘sources’ are not simply fabricated to add a legitimacy to the story, no matter how spurious. But, it does make you wonder that who the ‘insider’ really is and how much their testimony would add any weight to an article if you knew who they were.
What about Big Derek who comes round once every three months to check the smoke alarms at Carrington?
Or Joyce in the tea room with the twitch and the club foot? Who’ll tell anyone anything for £50 because she’s collecting the full range of ‘Princess Diana Memorial Plates’ from QVC. Because “One day they’ll be worth something.”
I’m sure they will Joyce. But here is the issue. It is the time of the year when your average British male is left with a void in his life which will not be filled until the first kick of the Community (its Charity, we all know it, but such is life) Shield in August.
You start to hear your girlfriend coming out with quips such as “What shall we do on Saturday?” without a hint of sarcasm , you haven’t heard this for nine months and its scares you to death, I know.
So the only alternative is to immerse yourself in the inner workings of the transfer market. You need it, its like methadone to a heroin addict.
It means you can walk around IKEA on a Saturday afternoon with ‘er indoors and tolerate it. Because as soon as you get to the check-out with a deck chair under one arm and a parasol under the other, you notice another addict in the aisle next to you, clearly a shell of his former self, and you can say:
“Looks like Ronaldo’s off then” and he’ll reply with “Good, I can’t stand the diving ponce. Looks like City are after Drogba” and you say “I dunno, he’s getting on a bit, they’d be better off with Tevez, I can’t believe Fergie’s not gonna keep him.”
And so it continues every week until your one true love returns to you. This is why we are happy to digest this claptrap that we read on the back pages over the hot months, because there is no alternative.
Don’t worry though. Only eight more trips to IKEA.