10 Flawed Trans­fer Deals

Australian Four Four Two - - CONTENTS -

A DEAL WAS AGREED BE­TWEEN THE CLUBS TO SWAP THE DE­FENDER FOR 15KG OF SAUSAGES

Sausage-seek­ing Ro­ma­ni­ans, de­fec­tive fax ma­chines and a player es­cap­ing via an ac­tual win­dow – not ev­ery trans­fer deal is en­tirely straight­for­ward...

Peter’s ex­tremely pub­lic Par­tridge-es­que prat­fall

The melt­down by which all oth­ers must be judged: Only Alan Par­tridge driv­ing bare­foot to Dundee comes close. Af­ter ac­cus­ing West Brom of be­tray­ing him in a su­perb Twit­ter rant, striker Peter Odemwingie mo­tored to Queens Park Rangers, but was ig­no­min­iously locked out of Lof­tus Road – de­spite do­ing a TV in­ter­view out­side the ground in which he ex­pressed his de­sire to seal a move. “I was laugh­ing and cry­ing all at the same time,” the striker later con­fessed about the Jan­uary 2013 tom­fool­ery.

“You’re sell­ing me for some sausages?”

Hop­ing to off­load de­fender Mar­ius Cioara in Jan­uary 2006, Ro­ma­nian sec­ond divi­sion side UT Arad agreed a deal with Re­gal Ho­ria in re­turn for 15kg of sausages. Cioara didn’t want just to be a piece of meat, how­ever, and de­cided to retire in­stead. “We lost a very good player and we lost our team’s food for a whole week,” rued a hun­gry Ho­ria spokesman.

The Ba­bel­copter

With Liver­pool in­ex­pli­ca­bly keen to sign West Ham’s Carl­ton Cole back in 2010, Ryan Ba­bel was bun­dled to­wards Tot­ten­ham on what be­came known as ‘the Ba­bel­copter’. “I hate fly­ing and the ride was very bumpy,” be­moaned the Dutch for­ward. But the deal even­tu­ally fell through: Ba­bel got put on a train home, his agent took the chop­per, and all that re­mained of the renowned ro­tor­craft was a dread­ful par­ody Twit­ter ac­count.

“What do you mean, the fax ma­chine’s bro­ken?”

Why fac­sim­ile ma­chines still ex­ist in a world where you can blue­tooth your fridge is be­yond us, but old-school tele­phonic prin­ters are still some­how cen­tral to trans­fer dead­line day – and the fact that faulty kit scup­pered Spain goal­keeper David de Gea’s pro­posed 2015 switch to Real Madrid means that Au­gust 31 is now cel­e­brated as ‘Fax Ma­chine Day’ by very re­lieved sup­port­ers of Manch­ester United.

A man that’s just try­ing to do his job…

With Sky Sports’ john­nies-on-the-spot in­creas­ingly sur­rounded by gurn­ing mobs of urchins, the gen­tle nuz­zling of a re­porter’s ear with a sex toy was only a mat­ter of time. Alan Irwin was the un­for­tu­nate re­cip­i­ent at Everton in 2014: to his great credit, he un­flap­pably con­tin­ued his nat­ter re­gard­ing Tom Cleverley as the dildo probed his lobe.

Wake up, Benji!

Fuel was added to the ‘lazy foot­baller’ fire when, in Jan­uary 2008, Ben­jani Mwaruwari de­cided on hav­ing a nap in­stead of jet­ting to Manch­ester to join City. “In his own won­der­ful way, he missed two planes,” said Pom­pey CEO Peter Stor­rie, but Harry Red­knapp claimed the Zim­bab­wean didn’t want to leave. The deal was done any­way.

Mears’ great es­cape

We’ve heard about trans­fer win­dows clos­ing – but this was ridicu­lous. Keen to leave Derby for Mar­seille in 2008, Ty­rone Mears clam­bered through an ac­tual win­dow and crawled past boss Paul Jewell’s of­fice be­fore nip­ping off to meet the Ligue 1 club’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“Re­mind me, which club have I signed for again?”

“Chelsea made me a great of­fer, and I ended up ac­cept­ing it,” said Robinho at a presser to dis­cuss his po­si­tion as Manch­ester City’s most ex­pen­sive sign­ing in 2008. “I don’t think he knew what was hap­pen­ing,” said his mum, Ma­rina. Robinho later claimed Chelsea had up­set Real Madrid – and con­fused him – by putting his pic­ture up on their club web­site (they hadn’t). A baf­fler.

Aaaargh, Lon­don!

Are the ‘bright lights’ of cos­mopoli­tan north Lon­don that scary? The Span­ish schemer Miguel An­gulo thought so in 2004: he took a med­i­cal ahead of a mooted move to Ar­se­nal, but was later “over­come with fear” about the prospect of liv­ing in the cap­i­tal, wor­ried that he “couldn’t fit in with the English life­style.” He stayed at Va­len­cia.

Short-sighted de­ci­sion

Ge­orge Boyd’s pro­posed move from Peter­bor­ough to Not­ting­ham For­est in Jan­uary 2013 fell through thanks to an “in­con­clu­sive eye test”. Un­for­tu­nate for Boyd, but worth it for Posh chair­man Dar­ragh MacAn­thony’s rant that soon fol­lowed: “To­tal dis­grace… he scored from the half­way line the other month.”

Tino says no-no to Darlo

“Faustino has f***ed off,” said a Dar­ling­ton spokesman. It was an odd end to an even odder 2002 saga. Colom­bian for­ward Tino Asprilla had ap­par­ently promised to join Darlo for $27,000 a week, but claimed to be jet­lagged and left for the Mid­dle East. Still, they’d prob­a­bly have gone bust even sooner if they had signed him.

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