Everyone wades through raw sewage and expects to smell of roses.
No one cares about casual dishonesty, instinctive disloyalty and naked greed.
It’s football, they tell you. It’s business as usual. Get over yourself.
Well, sorry, it’s not that simple.
Sometimes, you are obliged to recalibrate, look at things with renewed clarity.
I hope you forgive the indulgence, but having spent much of the last fortnight talking to those whose lives were reshaped by the Hillsborough disaster, I’m seeing football through different eyes.
Everything changes when a stranger shares the enduring horror of having a boy die in their arms at a football match.
It forces you to reconsider what is important, and what is so much froth and nonsense.
The last few days before the transfer window closes are always frantic.
Strokes are pulled, promises are broken. Everyone lies. Unprincipled, undignified behaviour is the norm.
This year, it is worse than ever. It is a cattle market, contaminated by mad cow disease
Player power is rampant.
Luka Modric plays for Tottenham by appointment and still resents picking up £50,000 a week for making cameo appearances at the training ground.
Craig Bellamy will consider playing football for a living, if Manchester City pay up his £95,000 a week contract. Joey Barton accepts £12million over four years from QPR and behaves as if he is being treated like a plantation slave.
Don’t waste your sympathy on the clubs, by the way. They treat players like a slab of sirloin, if it suits.
They’ve turned evasion into an art form and apparently think nothing of inventing an injury to cover a conscientious objector’s blushes.
It’s amazing how many in-demand players pick up calf strains or low-level hamstring tweaks.
Tapping-up is no longer a secret vice. It’s a stage show in which leading characters perform behind an increasingly threadbare veil.
Players know who wants them, how much they will be paid and where they will be housed.
They’re on the mobile to prospective team-mates, to check on the manager, the dressing room gossip and the social life.
Their agents calculate their percentage and keep up the pressure on chairmen who tend to suffer from little-man syndrome.
It’s all about the art of the deal.
Ever wondered why Samuel Eto’o – one of the pre-eminent goalscorers of his generation – is playing for Anzhi Makhachkala in the Southern reaches of Dagestan?
A few numbers to digest. He will be earning:
- £1,458,333 per month
- £364,583 per week
- £52,083 per day
- £2,170 per hour
- £36.16 per minute
- 60p per second.
All after tax. Not bad work, if you can get it. It’s the sort that would appeal to investors in a commodity like Carlos Tevez, who seems to be at City under sufferance.
Very little shocks, these days. Everyone carried on as normal when Newcastle United were reported to FIFA by French club Sochaux.
Malian striker Modibo Maiga, the supposed object of the Toon’s attentions, promptly went AWOL.
Modric, effectively, did the same when whispers of £150,000-a-week on offer at Chelsea reached a crescendo.
His head was not right, according to his apologists.
Harry Redknapp, of course, played the game. Modric is a t’riffic boy. Never been a moment’s problem.
When he returns to the real world, the Croatian should have a word with John Obi Mikel.
He gave everything for Chelsea playing when his father had been kidnapped.
Modric should also have a chat with Wilson Palacios, who may yet leave Spurs for Stoke City.
He played on, when his brother was abducted and then murdered. That’s a tragedy.
They know all about those, on Merseyside
Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/michael-calvin/Michael-Calvin-transfer-window-greed-Samir-Nasri-Luka-Modric-Craig-Bellamy-Samuel-Etoo-article791832.html#ixzz1WK5Iy4eY
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