Strange sign­ings

The deals you couldn’t make up

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

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.

Mo­hammed Su­maila

Ian Wright

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