It is rare to find a day when virtually everyone is having a bad time of it: but that is the day we have today.
Starting with the Tinies – you might recall that this time last year they celebrated wildly by getting into the Children’s Cup Final, and then promptly managed to go 10 or 15 games with hardly a win. (Sorry I don’t keep exact records of such things – but it was a bad run)
Imagine if they could do that again: a wondrous return to their spiritual home – division 2. And there’s every reason to think that they will achieve this great feat, judging by the disaster of their performance yesterday, not to mention who they have in charge. (Do you know my Chelsea supporting taxi driver in Exeter yesterday reserved most of his venom for Harry Houdini – who let us not forget specialised in falling through trap doors. Must be odd to be so reviled.)
But then while we were getting ready for the Tott-Drop, the Guardian this morning reveals that Manchester Money under the leadership of Sheik Yermoney has tried (and obviously failed) to sign not just Kakakaka but also David Villa (for £100m), Gianluigi Buffon (£100m) and Thierry Henry (price not revealed – our Thierry told them that if he was going to move the last place under the sun he’d go to was Manchester).
Now this is the good bit.
“We’re not anybody’s fool,” Garry Cook, City’s executive chairman, said last night. “We’ve turned down negotiations for three different players because we felt the demands both from the [selling] club and, in essence, the players have been ludicrous…. The perception that we are out there throwing money around is simply not true.”
Laugh? I fell over.
Even the one player they got for way over the odds has had to apologise to the Ooze (he’s the one who made baby Cesc apologise to him remember – he collects apologies). he flew to Brazil for a birthday party. Still the Ooze did buy Bellamy.
If the Guardian’s piece is right, Manchester Money have put in about 15 bids so far, and will keep going. Shay Given, up hope of signing the striker Roque Santa Cruz from Blackburn Rovers, even though their last offer of £18m, with Tal Ben Haim moving in the other direction, has been turned down by the Ewood Park club.
“It’s well documented we have put in more than one offer,” Cook said. “The last I heard, which was from [Blackburn’s manager] Sam Allardyce, they were looking to bring in another striker before they made a decision. There is an offer on the table, Sam Allardyce is working through his issues and I fully respect that.
“We’re not trying to create a situation he doesn’t want; we’re just managing our issues. We’ve made it quite clear we’d like Santa Cruz and we’ll continue with those talks.”
A successful conclusion to one of the longest transfer sagas of modern times would certainly give City a lift in a week when the negotiations to sign Kaka from Milan have collapsed, leading to a disillusioned Robinho leaving their Spanish mid-season training camp.
More serious for Hughes is the growing feeling at City that Robinho has been unsettled by the club’s inability to bring in Kaka and that the former Real Madrid player would like to move to Chelsea to join Luiz Felipe Scolari, formerly his coach with the Brazil national team. The London club had tried to sign him in the summer.