Collins has joined Sheffield United

Neill Collins has joined Sheffield United for an undisclosed fee.

Collins joined from Preston last March and despite playing a number of games never really convinced fans. Inconsistent performances led to the Scottish defender dropping down the pecking order behind recent signings Alex Bruce and Andy O’Brien.

The 27 year old defender is seen as a central figure to the defensive rebuilding of Sheffield United by new boss Micky Adams.

Collins leaves with our best wishes.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Alan Martin and striker Tom Elliott have both been released. Their contracts have been cancelled by mutual consent, allowing them to find other clubs. It has since been reported that Elliott has joined SPL club Hamilton until the end of the season and Jason Crowe, released earlier in the day, has joined Leyton Orient.

  • Gryff

    My how the Blades fans are moaning!

    Tom Elliot, what a lazy waste of space.

  • TSS

    Good luck to Collins, but he was never going to progress any further with Leeds.

  • saltburnwhite

    CRAZY window 5 out possibly , international gk in …….im expecting a big signing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! collins out hopefully hes a liability and it will give bromby a chance to step into his shoes …although im now expecting another cb!!!

  • Dje

    Good luck to Elliott too. If he didn’t like the look of Rotherham then he’s in for a shock when he sees Hamilton.

  • AmazingBB

    A lot of people have left today and through this window! I accept they are fringe players! But looking at our squad today it is thinned massively!

    If we get a defender or two injured we are really struggling

  • Ash

    Made up we have got rid of deadwood today, must have a couple of players lined up!!!

  • trueyorxman

    Elliott Bennett from Brighton, rumoured! Centre half I presume

  • EYLEEDS

    Good luck to Collins. Always gave 100%, but think he is only a good league one defender or an average championship player. Reckon this is a good sign because if we are only consolidating then Collins would have been retained for the rest of the season.
    The excitement is building because there must be someone coming in very soon, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was a loanee when the window opens again next week.

  • Christopher Gee

    I’m beginning to wonder if Bates had a few too many cocktails and bet the farm in a Monte Carlo casino over the weekend. This is beginning to look like asset stripping unless we put some more meat on the payroll.

  • Bill

    Could this mean Kis is nearer then we think……

  • Canadian Leeds

    My guess is that we will see more come in on loan after the transfer deadline. Clear out the players who will not go anywhere from here and bring in some loan players to play out the year.

    I do think we need some full backs as what we have is just not good enough for a top championship team.

  • steve underwood

    Well last one out please turn the lights off not sure we will sign any one tonight i think it will be when loan market opens next week.Not to upset about any of the players that have left we still have a good 20 plus squad

  • Colin

    Here’s the official list of transfer activity at Leeds over this transfer period. 8 out, 4 in.

    OUT:
    Bessone to Charlton (loan)
    Collins to Sheff United (undisc.)
    Crowe to Leyton Orient (free)
    Tom Elliott to Hamilton (free)
    Will Hatfield to York (loan)
    Aidy White to Oldham (loan)
    Hughes to Scunthorpe (free)
    Michalik to Carlisle (free)

    IN:
    Gonzalez from Man City (loan)
    McCartney from Sunderland (loan)
    Zac Thompson from Everton (free)
    O’Brien from Bolton (undisc.)

  • Dje

    @colin

    I reckon that is about 25k a week saved on wages ~ most from Michalik going.

    It is hard to tell how much we’ve added to the wages with the four coming in. O’Brien will have set us back a fair whack, McCartney too. I’d say it would come to about 12k a week going out for those four. So about 13k a week to play with (or spend on planning applications, legal bills, etc).

  • Colin

    @djedjedje agree on the numbers.

    Surely we’re going to see one more transfer (on top of the Blackpool midfielder). But who is it? And more importantly, got to keep our better players away from any vultures!!

    Someone must have some rumours!!

  • TheReaper08

    @djedjedje You have forgotten that ‘by mutual consent’ rarely if ever means left on own accord without pay off from club.

    My cousin was released by mutual consent from a club, he got all his remaining salary but wasn’t paid any bonuses.

    • Colin

      @TheReaper08 I’d add that I think Collins’ transfer will cancel out any mutual consent deals and help towards the Gonzalez loan.

      So I hope that means that money is still there for a new player!! Well that’s what I’m hoping!!

      • TheReaper08

        @colin I hope your correct but I fear the reason it is undisclosed is because we have only been able to recoup a pitiful amount of what we spent. In all likelihood it probably just about covered the Michalik severance deal.

        Neil Collins – A perfect example of when try before you buy doesn’t work.

    • Dje

      @TheReaper08

      True, but I think all the contracts we terminated were up in the summer anyway, so essentially we WILL be saving 13k a week come the summer.

  • Jim Barnett

    @Ash

    Couldn’t agree more mate, well made up after today’s transfer activity. Looking at Colin’s list, we’ve got rid of all the deadwood whilst sending out our promising players on loan. The squad is looking a lot more balanced.

    All we need now is for Grella and Clayton to go back out on loan and a couple of centre mids to come in (M Johnson and Southern will do…I don’t know anything about the latter but i’m sure Grayson does…with 300 appearances for Blackpool and a spell at Everton he can’t be that bad.)

    The icing on the cake would be for Bates to put Bradley Johnson and Kilkenny on contracts with the money saved from deadwood contracts.

    As for the Gonzales signing, I think this is good news and will in no way signature the departure of Kasper. Think about it…Higgs is old, injury prone and out of contract at the end of the season…this lad has been signed up to compete with Kasper, and to keep Nunez and Becchio company now that Bessone has packed his bags!!

  • Colin

    @jimbob0802 @tss says that M Johnson is a no go – City concerned about his recouperation. :(

  • Colin

    Collins is a weird one for me – he wasn’t a bad player and definitely a good squad depth player. And to let a player go to another Champ team? Okay it’s Sheff United, but the offer must have been good to accept that, unless he was on a good wage at Leeds?

    He certainly wasn’t deadwood. Hmmm, that defence needs strengthening – bruce and bromby and naylor left? (Kis ain’t coming back anytime soon). Come on SG, don’t do this to us – you’re leaving us threadbare at the back. One of Bruce or Bromby gets a knock, then Naylor is a starter for Leeds. Not again. Not again. :(

    • Colin

      i forgot o’brien, (ok i’m a tool) but then again apparantly he’s a doubt for Hull game.

  • TheReaper08

    @colin Only twice in recent times have I suspected that the piss taking from the selling clubs fans might be genuine, Preston over Collins and Swindon over Paynter.

    Whilst in both cases you can argue it is either harsh or premature neither really do anything to enhance the club. Whilst I agree he may be directly equivalent to say a Bromby that’s not a reason to keep him, particularly if as you intimate he is on high wages.

    • Colin

      @TheReaper08 I agree agree agree. It had to be a good offer for it to be taken, but it must mean someone’s coming in. Bennett from Brighton picking up rumour speed again, but Norwich are all over him as well.

      Torres £50m, Carroll £35m. We could be in a bun fight with Norwich City for a 3rd division defender. Oh how I (living the) dream of those days 10 years ago with that squad playing in the Champions League. Ho hum, never mind.

      • TheReaper08

        @colin Like you and probably everyone else I am hoping for major signings to replace the outgoings.

        I suspect that a decent name is due to sign but only when the emergency loan window opens next week.

  • Jim Barnett

    @TheReaper @colin

    I agree that Collins is a player who doesn’t enhance the squad. This is not to say that he didn’t do a good job for us…to the contrary, he patched up a leaky defence that was suffering from the loss of Kisnorbo at the back end of last season.

    But with the likes of O’Brien, Bruce and Bromby ahead of him, together with the return of Kisnorbo and Naylor…I think that it’s a good bit of business to get rid. Let’s not forget that the young lad Lees is doing well at Bury…Grayson will recall him if needed.

    That said, it might be a good idea at the back end of the loan market to get another centre-half in…we all know O’Brien and Bruce are prone to the odd knock, whilst it’s hard to say what type of player a returning Kisnorbo will be. As for Naylor, he’s been a good servant, but let’s hope his contract runs out with nothing more than a couple of sub appearances plus the reserves captaincy…

  • Jim Barnett

    p.s. £35m for Carroll…the world’s gone mad!!

  • Dje

    @jimbob0802

    Not as mad as paying £50 for an out of form and sulky Torres. Regardless of World Cup winner et al, the guy is 27. If he see’s out his contract he’ll be about 31. At that age, for a striker, you’ll be lucky to recoup £15m. That’s a £35m loss. Or, in other words, whatever the young 22-year-old Carroll does at Liverpool, you will make as much money at the very least as Torres when they come to sell him on.

    Besides, the guy was on fire at an average Newcastle team, imagine how many he could score if Liverpool get their act in order.

  • Dje

    Lol. ‘Not as mad as paying £50m for an out of form and sulky Torres…”

    • TheReaper08

      @djedjedje You mean an out of form striker with a record of better than one in 2 at Premier League level and slightly worse than one in three at International level ?

      After a season (at Championship level) and half a season at PL level Carroll is potentially very good, but £35 million for potential.

      Big cash signings are about now, not what you MIGHT recoup in 3/4 years time.

      Equally whilst you say Torres might be lucky to be worth only £15m Carroll might suffer a horrific injury, get sent to jail (entirely possible) or turn out to be total pap.

      • Dje

        @TheReaper08

        I think an half+ season is more than enough to measure ‘current form’. Premiership wise, Torres is heading towards 1 goal in 3 this season. OK, but hardly a Berbatov or a Tevez.

        Yes big cash signings are about now, but surely current form has to be part of that. I’d say Torres has been about as useful as Arshavin has been for Arsenal recently / this season. Torres was the darling of the footballing world (re: media) last season, Arshavin the darling of the season before (OK, Messi aside for both years). How many Arsenal fans were calling for Wenger to ship Arshavin out when we held them to a draw a few weeks back? Undoubtedly Arshavin wouldn’t get half as much as what they paid for him ~ although Wenger isn’t as stupid as some of their fans. My point is that if Arshavin is down-valued this season for apparently having a bad year (although I should point out that he is the joint third highest rank player in the Premiership for assists this season), then why on earth shouldn’t Torres be?!

        My point about ‘recouping’ money is the risk factor involved with the financial outlay. Either player could end up in prison, lose interest in the game, get as fat as Ronaldo etc. But Carroll has future saleability that Torres has only in ever-diminishing returns. It is all part of that decision Man Utd took the season before last about not splashing out on players over 26.

        Finally, and echoing Rooney’s nonsensical stance about demanding a transfer as Man Utd lacked transfer ambitions, only to be rewarded with a ludicrous contract that can only ever work against future budgetted transfers, I though Torres’s big sulk was about Liverpool not buying the World Class Players that he thought they should be doing. Well, Suarez has just arrived for one, but at Liverpool, not Chelsea. How is his £50m transfer and ludicrous wage demands going to help the aging Chelsea team bring in the world class players that he so desires to play alongside? Or are we going to have a temper tantrum in a season or two? More transfer requests, perhaps. For all his unruly off-field / training ground barbarism, Carroll strikes me as the sort of lad who … you know … just gets on with football. There’s some reward in that.

        • TheReaper08

          @djedjedje Torres is 4 in 7 recently, that’s heading away from 1 in 3 and not towards.

          Torres started the season with a knock, everyone knows that. Even with that he is the joint 5th highest scorer in the league. He has proven quality at PL, La Liga and international level. That’s the difference really, proven.

          Is £50m too much, absolutely. That said £35m for Carroll is plain lunacy. As far as future saleability is concerned no club serious on winning things takes that into account. To a cash rich club like Chelsea that already has world class players it’s even less of a concern.

          As for Carroll he strikes me as trouble although you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work that out. Doesn’t really remind me of someone who just gets on with football.

          • Dje

            @TheReaper08

            “As far as future saleability is concerned no club serious on winning things takes that into account.” Except Man Utd, the most successful team in this country at winning things. I think Liverpool’s new American owners are concerned in making at least marginally sanely financed. Chelsea and Man City will remain the basket cases. Time will tell if they end in tears.

            Oh Torres is good, that is proven. Only he is not a one man team, he is not a Maradona. In fact he has never helped any of his league teams ~ in La Liga or the Premier League ~ win a single trophy over the course of a nine year career. He did excel with an excellent Spanish team in EURO 2008, and didn’t excel with an excellent Spanish team at the 2010 World Cup (but that recurring excuse of injury can appease that one I guess. The question then arises as to whether or not Chelsea are an excellent side? They aint bad, but they were better a few years back ~ largely on account of it being a younger team.

            As far as I can tell, Terry, Ashley Cole, Anelka, Malouda, Drogba, Lampard, Ferreira, Benayoun are all over 30 already. There’s another set who are 29 this year: Cech, Essein, Alex, and Bosinga. That doesn’t leave a great deal of talent in the younger ranks for the future. Obi, Kaluo, and this Luiz guy they have just bought? Youth wise they have yet to bring any Academy players through, ever. And therefore, is Torres able to make a Champions League winning team from all this future patchiness, mix of good with mediocre? Well he hardly excelled in doing so with about as much talent at Liverpool.

            So what’s a billionaire supposed to do. Spend, spend, and spend again. Only by 2012 they have to balance the books if they want to play in Europe (which Abramovich vocally supported in 2009). Those books were in a bad state of red anyway, and now they have just added Luiz and Torres to that slate. Who are they possibly going to sell from their aging players, from their under-appearing youth players to re-balance this? Beats me. I just see a handful of stars trying to carry an average team, aiming for that fourth place Champions League spot, which sounds a lot like Liverpool to be honest.

            As to Carroll and his off-field antics. That could well continue, but sometimes the worst thing for a ‘local hero’ in a melting-pot city like Newcastle, is to be surrounded by locals. So a change of scene that takes him away from his old haunts could see him calm down. But then again he’s got Gerrard to show him a good night out (and I bet Suarez is a bit of twat when out on the razz too), which might not help!

          • TheReaper08

            @djedjedje I can’t think of one documented instance of Man Utd buying a player where part of the buying process has been how much that player might be worth in the future.

            That is unless you can find me documented proof.

            Liverpools new owners are interested in remaining sanely financed but they remain comitted to winning things. They did exactly the same with Boston.

            As for financing there is always a way. Roman has already offset every penny of aged debt as shares so up until recently they were not in debt. Nothing to stop one of his companies naming the stadium, sponsoring the team. He is a billionare that helped swing Russia the World Cup, don’t be naive in thinking there isn’t a way round any financial constraints.

            The only way of Chelsea going belly up is if he gets bored, £50m cash for Torres appears to indicate he isn’t bored quite yet. We can but hope.

            As they have just said on Sky, on his day there isn’t a finer number 9 in world football than Torres. Question is has he had his day ? I say no, you say yes.

            They also signed him on a 5 1/2 year deal which tells you they gave absoluetly zero consideration to future market value.

  • Colin

    @djedjedje @jimbob0802
    I’m not sure about what Liverpool have done – Suarez better be good. From speaking to a Newcastle fan who knows his stuff – Carroll is carrying more than just one injury and was in the papers over the weekend having got pissed in Newcastle. Chelsea vs Liverpool on Sunday and I could see a real Liverpool battering. If that happens then Kenny will go potty. And I’ll laugh my tits off.

  • Jim Barnett

    On the face of it, it’s good business by Liverpool….they get two goalscorers in (for an injury-prone player) for a net cost of £8m.

    Footballing ability aside…they get Suarez, a gnarling, biting cheat who has no respect for the notion of fair play; and Carroll, who’s partial to a pint and the odd brawl.

    Rather them than us.

  • Colin

    Biggest winner so far? Mike Ashley. £35m for Carroll? What does that make Becchio? £10m?

    Keys was right – The game’s gone mad.

  • les irwin

    firstly who cares about carroll and torres not me and neither should anyone else on here .collins moving to blades is a good move for him, martyn was the great hope of scotish keeping now he is out of work crowe is at orient his level ,elliot will be working at quickfit this time next year apparently he is a lazy bone idol twot apart from a new third keeper for no reason the lack of ins must mean lazza is happy with his lot and iam if it meant alan smith didn’t come back

    • Dje

      @number1inyorkshire

      I don’t understand where all this vitriol has come from against the poor lad Elliott?! As far as I can tell his only crime has been to find Ronnie Moore a bit of a twat. I’d take that as a given!

  • Colin

    @jinbob0802 if I was playing for Leeds in a FA Cup final or playing for England in that match, I would have done exactly the same thing.

    Does that make me a bad person or a good person? Bad for doing that but good for saving my team. I’m not sure if it’s right or wrong. Honestly I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I’d do it.

    • Jim Barnett

      @colin yeah I would’ve done the same, but I don’t think i’d have the temerity to celebrate like an utter prick when Gyan missed the penalty…no class at all, he’s the new Diouf in my eyes.

      Anyways, we’ll see how good they are once they take on the mighty white gods next season!! ;-)

      • Colin

        “Anyways, we’ll see how good they are once they take on the mighty white gods next season!!”

        damn right!

  • EYLEEDS

    £35m for Carrol is a joke. Half a season at premiership level is not long enough to justify the highest ever transfer fee for a British player. Liverpool are panicking and have been ripped off.
    Would rather have a model pro like Becchio than a Geordie that likes to hit girls!

  • trueyorxman

    Lets all just be glad that we’ve seen the back of Bessone, what was Grayson thinking? I’ve never despised a player more…Charlton must be desperate.

  • Dje

    What do you reckon … anymore for anymore? Or are we all done?

  • Colin

    @djedjedje i was all up for the transfer window banter on 5live & Talksport, but I got a bit bored so I’m listening to Duran Duran’s latest album right now. No-one told me they released one in December. It’s quite good. As for Leeds’ purchases…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • henry vincent lewis

    Hi Colin!
    Although you listed O’Brien & McCartney as incoming, they were already part of our first team so I don’t regard them as new.
    To me it is 2 in and 8 out with a few more still to go out on loan.
    It’s now 10.46 pm and Simon and Ken will be tucked up in bed – not together!
    We have been dissapointed before boys!!

  • Colin

    @henryv 10 minutes left. Is Bates teasing us? COME ON LEEDS. SMASH IT.

    • Colin

      @henryv Hello to you too!. Sorry that was very rude of me. Apologies I was angry over no players coming in last minute.

  • Colin

    FFS Grayson! I said it, I bloody said it, Clayton is cover for Bradley Johnson. And where are the defenders?? SG better have an ‘emergency’ loan in mind or else we’re knackered. Lost Collins, and no replacement.

  • Colin

    so Clayton & Kilkenny are cover for Watt, Howson, Snodds, Gradel, Johnson and we also have Sam.

    we have cover for LB McCormack (Parker)
    we have no cover for RB Connolly (unless you use Bromby)
    Cover for CB’s O’Brien and Bruce is Bromby, who could be cover for RB.

    Strikers – we’re okay.

    Still, that leaves us thin in midfield and definitely at the back.

    That leaves loans – and unless Grayson is clueless, then he must have his eye on a PL defender on loan. Who is it?

  • TheReaper08

    Did anyone really expect anything else ? You would think we should know better by now !

  • Dje

    I’m surprised. The LUFC usually announces when Grayson is ‘happy with his squad’ and you know there’ll be no more coming s and goings. That sort of had me hanging about, half-hoping, half-fearing.

    • TheReaper08

      @djedjedje I meant more as the day wore on. Look at homw many last minute deals were done in the football league, none !

      I had given up hope around 5pm.

  • Dje

    ^…LUFC website …

  • Colin

    @TheReaper08 @djedjedje re. the Torres discussion earlier – I don’t know who to believe. All I can say is that your arguments are both great. But let’s face it, Darren Bent is better :)

  • TheReaper08

    @colin Arguably you may have a point. His scoring record is brilliant. Post Ipswich it is better than 1 in 2, pre Ipswich it is marginally less than 1 in 2. Yet every time you watch him his touch isn’t great and he can look clumsy.

    He only cost £24m though !

    You tell me, you can have anyone of the three and money is not a consideration, who do you buy considering you have to bid the fee they actually sold for.

  • Colin

    @TheReaper08 Honestly, if I had an unlimited budget I’d sign Torres every time. If I had less budget, but was in charge of Villa (with it’s shit midfield :) ) I’d buy Bent.

    I would never buy Carroll.

    And I wouldn’t touch Rooney, Berbatov, Van Persie either with any of my money. Didier Drogba makes them look like amateurs. And Carlos Tevez would tempt me as well.

  • TSS

    @colin I’d have Carroll in my team every time for balance. He’s strong, good in the air, can take players on and bring others in to play and also has a remarkable shot on him to boot. Torres meanwhile is an extremely skilful individual and natural finisher.

    For me, both are worthy of the fees paid (considering the age we live in anyway), but both are entirely different players difficult to compare like-for-like. Carroll is a bit like Becchio and will graft to the point of irritation, but can also pop up and provide moments of sheer brilliance, whilst Torres will go missing if he isn’t in a dominant team.

    For Liverpool, Carroll is the right kind of player and worth every penny. I actually think he’s more suited to them than Torres ever was.

    I’m unsure as to whether Torres will fit the Chelski mould to be honest with you. I think he’d be better suited to someone like Arsenal, but time will tell.

  • Hugh Fox

    Yesterday was really a clear out day you feel but i wish neil collins luck since really he hasnt done that much wrong.

  • Dje

    .

  • Dje

    @TheReaper08

    Regarding Man Utd’s transfer policy on age (27 years being the max) and re-sellability. It was quite well documented in mid-June 2009, when they bought Berbatov for £30 odd million that he would be the ‘last of the kind’. That kind being players over the age of 26.

    As far as I can tell, although it would make a sensational scoop, this wasn’t because of Ferguson having some suspect ‘fondness’ for ‘young’uns’, and losing interest in a player when they became more ‘manlike’ in their mid to late-twenties.

    Nor was it a concern over 27+ year olds being ‘too old’ to play. Scholes, Giggs, Van Der Saar, Ferdinand etc are all testament that age can still cut it at Man Utd.

    • Dje

      There may be some hard documented explanation for this on the Man Utd website / small print / ‘Future’s brochure’ from that year, but as it was in both national:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/jun/17/manchester-united-transfer-policy

      http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/ferguson-given-age-limit-on-major-buys-1706887.html

      And local news:

      http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/sport/football/manchester_united/s/1120855_out_with_the_old_for_united

      at the time, and Man Utd never came out to deny it, clearly it isn’t far from the truth.

      Beyond that, if you look at the entirety of who they have signed since 2009, and at what age they were when Man Utd have bought, it certainly looks that youth with the caveat of potential resale – Cristiano Ronaldo being their dream player to repeat here – is their long term strategy:

      2008-09 Player Transferred In:
      Berbatov: age at the time of transfer, approximately 28
      Zoran Tosic: 20
      Ritchie De Laet: 19

      2009-10 Player Transferred In:
      Antonio Valencia: 23
      Michael Owen: 30
      Gabriel Obertan: 19
      Mame Diouf: 21

      2010-11 Player Transfered In:
      Marnick Vermijl: 18
      Chris Smalling: 20
      Javier Hernandez: 21
      Bebe: 19
      Anders Lindegaard: 26

      Clearly Owen sticks out in that list. But, he was a free transfer after all ~ so no resale would be required to cover any money paid upfront.

    • Dje

      There may be some hard documented explanation for this on the Man Utd website / small print / ‘Future’s brochure’ from that year, but as it was in the national papers at the time:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/jun/17/manchester-united-transfer-policy

      http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/transfers/ferguson-given-age-limit-on-major-buys-1706887.html

      And Man Utd never came out to deny it, clearly it isn’t far from the truth.

      Beyond that, if you look at the entirety of who they have signed since 2009, and at what age they were when Man Utd have bought, it certainly looks that youth with the caveat of potential resale – Cristiano Ronaldo being their dream player to repeat here – is their long term strategy:

      2008-09 Player Transferred In:
      Berbatov: age at the time of transfer, approximately 28
      Zoran Tosic: 20
      Ritchie De Laet: 19

      2009-10 Player Transferred In:
      Antonio Valencia: 23
      Michael Owen: 30
      Gabriel Obertan: 19
      Mame Diouf: 21

      2010-11 Player Transfered In:
      Marnick Vermijl: 18
      Chris Smalling: 20
      Javier Hernandez: 21
      Bebe: 19
      Anders Lindegaard: 26

      Clearly Owen sticks out in that list. But, he was a free transfer after all ~ so no resale would be required to cover any money paid upfront.

      • Dje

        Re: Chelsea and Billionaires getting their way. This is true. It will be fascinating to see if Platini and his own Ego is as big as Abramovich and his Ego. I can’t quite work out whether or not UEFA are bringing in the balancing the books rule to stop essentially ambitious ‘living the dream’ clubs like Leeds from trying to emulate the unfathomable riches of Chelsea and Man City, or whether they genuinely want to hold these big (well, rich) boys to account too. I was reading yesterday that Chelsea are muttering about building a new stadium – in an attempt to actually generate a modest amount of match-day income. This could be the start of the ruse for fiddling Chelsea’s books with 2012 in mind. I think UEFA would buy that, but you’d have to ask how viable it would be for Chelsea, or Man City, to build yet another new stadium every other year just to mask their ridiculous transfer costs. Also, Chelsea’s ‘profits’ released the other day were about -£60m. Then they spent £75m on players yesterday. Add that to their already bad state of financial disproportions and you start wondering whether the most expensive new stadium would even be enough to mask this deficit?

        I actually thought Abramovich had got bored of Chelsea too, so the Torres transfer came a bit out of the blue (no pun intended). You just wonder if he regrets not buying Arsenal instead of Chelsea in the first place. They had a new stadium lined up, a manager who could achieve miracles without any sizeable transfer budget, and a squad that excelled in bringing young players through and playing attractive attacking football. I wonder what Wenger could do with an annual transfer kitty of what it cost Chelsea to bring their latest striker to Stamford Bridged.

        I don’t actually think Torres has had his day, I just offer it that this is a possibility, and working on recent form and bad temperament I believe there grounds to consider that. I would add that he is walking into a team with two proven goalscorers, Anelka and Drogba ~ so he hardly arrives as a the club’s saviour, and there will be pressure on him and questions asked if he doesn’t emulate the success of Drogba and Anelka after his ‘bedding-in’ period. Besides, Drogba is frequently Chelsea’s best defender at set-pieces, something I can’t recall Torres ever being particularly noted for at Liverpool.

        Finally, the money. Both are crazy amounts. Liverpool, it should be remembered, bought Torres for £20m inn 2008. Two and a half years and they sell him for £50m. Inflation aside, that is a massive £30m profit (150% return). In this light, argue as we might about whether Carroll is worth 35m or not (I don’t think he is, but then my argument is neither is Torres worth £50m), they sold one striker and bought two ~ Suarez and Carroll ~ for about the same money. OR, they made a £30m profit from selling Torres and so, in theory, only forked out an extra £5m for Carroll.

        Anyway, time will tell ~ and I’ll continue to hoot at them both as they miss sitters on Match of the Day: Torres preening away like a petulant sulky exchange school kid / Carroll stomping about looking as if he’d like to break someone else’s jaw in two places.

        [Apologies for the reply in three parts, but for some reason the TSS site (the web-coding hopefully more than TSS himself!) took offense to the full reply I tried to submit]

      • TheReaper08

        @djejdedje They don’t need to mask the deficit, how about one of Romans companies sponsors the team, or the stadium, or the fiddle it via image rights (something the Yanks have been doing for years)

        So a couple of newspaper reports (you know I once read in a paper they had found a bus on the moon)back this up. Seriously although the Guardian and Independant are probably decent rags it still is only a newspaper report. Read into it what you will but I see the ages of those players, the transfer fees and the fact the Yanks are beyond there eyeballs in debt. This is just plain old fashioned cutbacks, when Utd sign a player they expect him to stay forever.

        As it happens I think we agree that Liverpool have done well. They have moved from a one striker club to two which has to be better for the club.

        • TheReaper08

          @djedjedje Sorry mate missed out a j.

        • Dje

          @TheReaper08

          I’d hope that UEFA will be reasonably diligent in establishing the checks and balances of the auditing. I think they are genuinely a little alarmed at the unknown long-term impact of billionaires turning football clubs into their sporting harems. To not act and to see a once mighty club financially implode would kick up a hell of a fuss about what is the point of UEFA ~ just at a time when we are all wondering what is the point of FIFA post-Qatar World Cup award. So doing the do with the old financial diligence over these gargantuan-debted clubs is one of the few ways that UEFA can make themselves look like they have the average fans best interest at heart; that is a rare position for UEFA to be in. And, Platini is French, and probably as arrogant and quick to take a slight as Charles de Gaulle ever was. We can but hope.

          As to Man Utd, to be fair the newspaper coverage was far more extensive than that. There’s the Daily Telegraph, the Express and the Mail, but I just didn’t have it in my heart to promote such filth. Apologies for maintaing standards there. As to the official Glazer line, I was quite sure that it figured in one of their ‘Visions For a United Future’ self-promoting exercises a year or so ago, which I admit to downloading and eagerly digesting for signs of that clubs imminent financial extension. I’ll peruse through the old hard-drive later on looking for it.

          For now the best I can offer is a quote on the subject of Man Utd’s Transfer Policy set in the summer of 2009. Ferguson, never one for being a great lover of showing his hand, or down-talking his position or the club (although, to be fair, his position at the helm, is the club), offered the following:

          “Occasionally we do go into the transfer market for mature players. [Dimitar] Berbatov was 27 when he came to us but you have to ask yourself if when a 27-year-old fulfils his contract for five years he will have little resale value.”

          Taken from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/apr/09/sir-alex-ferguson-manchester-united-transfer

          • Dje

            Oh, I forgot. It turned out that Torres had a release clause in his Liverpool contract if they failed to reach the Champions League next season. I wonder if he managed to work that into his Chelsea contract too? They are currently in that fourth spot and stranger things have happened!!

          • TheReaper08

            @djedjedje Maybe he has written it in, not really relevant though as most modern top flight footballers have a clause or two inserted, some on future ambitions, matching salary to highest paid, release fee, champions league etc. etc. etc.

          • TheReaper08

            @djedjedje So they announced it then signed 30 year old Owen (for free granted), a player who is paid a Kings ransom for very little and has previously had numerous clauses in his contract including full use of a helicopter, I wonder how they are reconciling that one right now.

            The shift towards the younger player is becasue with the debt on the club they are no longer a force when compared to the likes of Chelsea & City. They can dress it however they like but when they sign a player they still expect him to be at Old Trafford for life. Can you imagine the press conference ? Fergie says to the press “This is player X we think he might be worth a few quid in 4 years when we will look to sell him”.

            Man Utd the selling club, the day they officially announce that (arguably they have been feeding Madrid for a few years now) I will be in the front row.

  • Smudger

    has anyone heard any rumors about the emergency loans that Grayson is so keen on using??

  • Dje

    @smudger4486

    Early days. If we are to maximize the 93 days that we can have a loanee with us, and with the extra time required for the playoffs in mind, Grayson is unlikely to ‘dip in’ to the loan market until late February.

    Let’s just hope there is something left on the racks by then!

  • Colin

    @djedjedje interesting stuff on UEFA. Platini winds me up. If UEFA want to bring in rules about football, then fair enough, eg. goal technology or changing the offside rule. But they can’t dictate how business should be run, and that’s what football clubs are. No-one should be able to tell a business what they can and can’t spend their money on. It’s their money. Platini should check the debt at Real Madrid and Barcelona before moaning about the Premier League. It’s a cheap shot.

    As for Man Utd, when they lose Giggs, Scholes, Van Der Sar, Ferdinand etc. I’m pretty sure you’ll see them spend money like there’s no tomorrow. They’ll make Chelsea look like paupers.

  • TheReaper08

    @colin Exactly, and please don’t get me wrong as I am not happy about it. Any attempt to stop the investment would be a restriction on trade, he would literally need to ban sponsorship and any other money making avenues.

    And you have hit the nail on the head about Madrid etc. This is all because Paltini dislikes English football and nothing else.

    Can you just picture his rage yesterday when the PL spent over £200m.

    • Colin

      @TheReaper08 and the poor bastard didn’t get a penny of it. I bet he’ll get something from Qatar though!