Much as I’d like to treat QPR’s acquisition of Republic Of Ireland midfielder Liam Miller as some sort of major global development, Rangers’ new ownership are by far overshadowed in the crazy spending sweepstakes this week, as Manchester City’s reputed £100 million offer for AC Milan’s Kaka (above, second from left) is a historic or hysteric occasion, depending on your perspective.
“At the moment England every day loses 3,000 jobs,” observed Arsene Wegner. “You think that has no consequence on our game?” The Guardian’s Simon Hattonstone concurs, writing “any true Manchester City fan, however hungry for success, would agree with the Arsenal manager.”
Ah, but these are exciting times at City, enjoy, friends tell me, roll with it, as those Oasis boys would say. Pardon me? Being knocked out of the League Cup by Brighton, hammered in the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest and perilously close to the drop zone is exciting?
No, exciting times were doing the double over Manchester United last year, and challenging for a top-four slot for half the season with a hybrid team of homegrown kids and foreign imports. But let’s not be rose-tinted. By then the rot had set in. We’d already allowed ourselves to be sold to anybody who dangled a big enough cheque, no matter his human-rights record, no matter he was facing fraud charges, and no matter that it was inevitable his assets would be frozen.
So to yesterday, and our Abu Dhabi saviours who announced they were going to sign up a 20-strong squad of £30m plus players as if that were a guarantee of success, and that they were going to break all records in terms of transfer fees and wages, as if that in itself was a measure of success.
I still can’t believe Kaka will sign. I don’t want to believe that one of the world’s leading footballers would stoop so low as to join us. But say he does, and just say we go on to buy up the entire Brazil squad for a few trillion quid, and they did gel, and we did win the league with the most expensive team ever assembled, would it really feel like a triumph? I hope not.