The deals you couldn’t make up
BRAZILIAN hot-shot Neymar’s multimillion pound transfer to Paris SaintGermain raised eyebrows all across the globe this summer.
With a salary that is difficult for the majority of us to comprehend, it is a challenge to contemplate when increasing wages and transfer fees will begin to plateau.
How soon will it be before the first £500 million player is signed?
However, one transfer this summer will resonate with many an armchair football fan.
In previous decades, some of us may have sold Subbuteo players across the table for a pint of lager and a packet of crisps.
Perhaps your son or daughter has completed their Match Attax collection by parting ways with a bar of chocolate? Or maybe your Sunday League team signed the manager’s mate from the pub for a ticket to the FA Cup final?
Yet few will be able to match the transfer of Ghana’s Mohammed Sumaila, who signed for Turkish side Yorukalispor in a highly unusual deal for the village club. Yorukalispor were keen to secure the signature of the 25-yearold but had no finances to complete the deal.
Instead they turned to the speciality of the villagers… olives.
The natives had become adept at collecting olive oil from nearby surroundings and agreed to donate five litres of the product to Sumaila... an offer he duly accepted.
The deal was only due to last a month as Sumaila looked to help the team in a regional tournament.
It may seem like somewhat of a unique deal but such transfers span back the best part of a century.
Back in 1928, Manchester United flexed their vast financial muscle, or not, to sign Stockport County’s Hugh McLeanahan.
Assistant manager Louis Rocca leaned on a family business to support the signing of McLeanahan for a freezer full of ice cream.
Food has also been used in moves during the modern era. Kenneth Kristensen moved from Norway’s Vindbjart to Floey for his weight in shrimp.
Yet Romania appears to be the country making the most of their edible produce in the transfer market.
Marius Cioara dropped two divisions from UT Arad to Regal Hornia in a deal worth 15kg of sausages. However, a more lucrative deal saw Ion Radu move from CS Jiul Petrosani to Chimia Ramnicu for two tonnes of beef and pork to manufacture finances to pay the wages of the Petrosani squad. Equipment and kits seemingly not affordable at local retailers also appear to be a common currency. Gary Pallister and Zat Knight were both defenders in the top flight, the former winning the Premier League on numerous occasions for Manchester United. However, Billingham Town allowed Pallister to join Middlesbrough for just a handful of kits, a ball and a goal net, whilst Knight departed Rushall Olympic to Fulham for a mere 30 tracksuits. Former Blackburn and Chelsea striker Franco Di Santo made his first transfer from his boyhood club in Argentina to Audax Italiano in Chile for a fee of two goal nets and 40 litres of paint. Liverpool legend John Barnes was acquired by Watford from Sudbury Court for just a bag of kits, whilst Crystal Palace got an incredible bargain when they signed eventual Arsenal legend in Ian Wright for just a set of weights as he moved from Greenwich Borough. Yet one of the most heartwarming transfers belongs to a move than involved former Fulham player Collins John. The striker was signed by FC Twente from DES Nijverdal for a handful of encyclopedias. However, Nijverdal had no intention of keeping the books, instead donating them to a local school.