World Football: Gone Are the Days of Dignified Transfers

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJune 8, 2008

All this Ronaldo, Flamini, Drogba and Adebayor nonsense is a pure waste of time designed to sell newspapers. During the inevitable dull months of June, July and August, papers must find a way to keep sales up.

This leads them to transfer stories which is acceptable because they have a paper to fill and these rumours fill pages. However when team like Inter, AC and Real Madrid use the local press, that is just slightly a step too far.

It's widely accepted that Madrid use local press Marca to let their transfer proposals become public. Then the stories are inevitably sent back to the country of the player's club and these sagas begin.

Although it is purely speculation at the early stages, the appeal of Madrid or Inter will turn a player's head—and suddenly they become "unsettled" at their clubs.

Such is the case with Ronaldo and Flamini. All set to be part of a rosy English future and two continental superpowers come calling and the bags are packed. Sometimes they won't realise what they had until they're gone.

This is a far cry from the transfer dealings of old. The dealings of the 80's and 90's were done manager to manager. They approached the club, then the player, agreed the fees and personal terms and then asked the chairman for the funds.

These were transfers as they were supposed to be done, yes/no, no drama, courtesy applied when offers were rejected. When did all this disappear? Around early this century.

Money was being pumped into the major European leagues, especially the EPL. Chairmen began to see themselves as experts and wanted to input their opinions into dealings.

Then came the added importance of agents who began recommending their clients to chairmen, not managers. Simply because the "experts" were easier to persuade.

The honour in transfers was slowly disappearing and it became chairman to chairman via agents without much input from managers.

Fast forward to today, where clubs are regularly threatening to report each other over tapping up each others players.

With Calderon insisting that they will stop their pursuit of Ronaldo to maintain their relationship with Man Utd, that is laughable. He should have kept that precious relationship with United in mind before informing Marca of his summer plans.

It's a sad state of affairs...