One of the best things about being at a game or in the pub for one on a weekend is having the chance to talk to fans of other clubs, and especially ones of those you usually read little about or have little time for. It allows you to gauge the life blood of the club – the supporter’s reactions and thoughts over what has gone on over the summer and what the season to come will hopefully or in the case of a Rovers fan, probably bring.
One of the most interesting topics of conversation that came up was from a Wolves fan, who after seeing his team lose to Leeds in the opening game of their season said to me ‘Wolves reject a £12 million bid for Fletcher but Arsenal only paid £11 million for Podolski. Discuss’ Not only did this make me laugh it also got the small cogs in my brain turning and the ludicrousness of the situation really hit home.
It is bad enough to consider Steven Fletcher a £12 million player, but in this crazy world of over priced players perhaps we could suspend our disbelief and go with that. What makes it even more ludicrous however is that not only did Arsenal have a not so shabby million pounds left over from the Podolski transfer in comparison, they signed a much better player and even got Santi Cazorla for ever so slightly more than that.
Either I am vastly underestimating the capabilities of Fletcher or Wolves are digging their heels in the sand here, and also becoming yet another club to be involved in the madness of transfer windows. The seemingly age old example of the fees for Carroll and Torres always get wheeled out when taking about vastly overpriced players and how little value for money clubs actually get, and this is the case for a huge amount of clubs these days.
If such madness was seen across the board – and admittedly sometimes it is – it would be slightly more understandable, but when you see clubs such as Newcastle making signings like Demba Ba or paying around £8 million for both Cabaye and Tiote it really does make you raise your eyebrows at the crazy world of footballing transfers and the prices that are sometimes seemingly nothing to do with a player’s quality at all.
No matter what club you support there will be at least one player you look at and think they were a total waste for the amount you paid, and likewise there will be one that is complete and utter value for money. Of course some players are ‘undiscovered’ so to speak and thus cost much less than if they had been playing for United their whole career, but equally the ones who have been simply mediocre for a few seasons can more often than not go for a bizarrely large amount of money in comparison to those who have lit up their clubs and can be snatched at a bargain price. Sadly for the buyer of Steven Fletcher they will be getting the former rather than the latter should Wolves finally let him go.