The transfer window slammed shut last night, shaking the power structure once again in the English Premier League. Wads of money flew around the continent like confetti at a presidential convention with little room for manners or etiquette when it came to the crunch of getting the players they wanted.
On the last day of transfers Manchester City, the club bought by former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006, had been sold to a large consortium run by the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Within hours, they had gatecrashed the Manchester bid for Dimitar Berbatov, having had a massive £32m bid accepted by Tottenham, only for Manchester to step back in and up their bid to £30 and include up and coming starlet Frazier Campbell on a year loan.
But that wasn’t enough for the new owners of “Middle- Eastlands” as they have been dubbed.
Undaunted, they then stepped on the biggest financial toes in the EPL, Roman Ambromavich’s Chelsea, by stealing what was meant to be their prize transfer signing from under their noses, outbidding the previously un-outbiddable Chelsea owner for Real Madrid's sulk and part- time wonder boy Robinho for £32m.
Not 48 hours previously, Robinho was claiming in a press conference that he was “only thinking of Cheslea” and that it was his “dream” move. Apparently he had a better dream that night of moving up to Manchester in a new British transfer record. What he’ll do without his heart is another question. Maybe he’ll buy another.
What this means is basically there is a new massive spending player in the Premier League. The stated intention to play for all the trophies, whether at home or on the continent will make the transfer market one hot-bed of activity come next year. All other pretenders to the top four crowns should take note. There is nothing this club cannot spend to get what they want. They are in the Chelsea League now with the same stated intentions. Aston Villa, Everton and Tottenham will have a highly competitive top- four- aspiring club knocking at the door, if not this year then next.
Here's a lttle breaking news from the new owners as well.....
"Ronaldo has said he wants to play for the biggest club in the world, so we will see in January if he is serious," Al-Fahim told Arabian Business magazine.
"Real Madrid were estimating his value at $160 million but for a player like that, to actually get him, will cost a lot more, I would think $240 million (£134.3m).
"But why not? We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United."
It seems it is now a very expensive business to be in EPL club ownership. Those looking for the promised land of the Champions League big money will be in stiff competition from across the board. Buying your way into the top four will not be like it was 5 years ago for Chelsea. There are more players and transfer prices and player wages are set to soar to even more astounding records over the coming years. It will be interesting to see who will be able to compete in the new playground.
Everton’s capture of mid- fielder Felliani from Belgium’s Standard Leige is a master stroke, the play maker shredding Liverpool in the recent Champions League play-offs, showing impressive skills. As well, Everton drew Standard Leige in the UEFA Cup draw and now will line up with one of their key players on their side of the pitch! Brilliant work Moyes!
Liverpool finally signed a winger, although after having had a modest 6 months previously at Manchester City, they will be hoping that Espanyol’s Albert Riera is a better prospect second time around. Liverpool’s owners must be looking through their collective fangs as well at what the other clubs are going to be able to spend. Their admission that they couldn’t finance the long planned new stadium this week has done their credibility no favours after the Gareth Barry fiasco.
Arsenal did nothing and although playing great football must be nervous about some of the big spending by the clubs around them, if only for the enormous amounts that are now becoming standard for player to be able to earn.
Anyone think anything different after deadline day for the top four this year?