I have an intense dislike of January. It’s too cold, there are football postponements, too many sales and many people remain hungover from their festive excesses.
My paltry pay has to stretch over five weeks and even my birthday is ruined by memories of Posh losing to non-league Kidderminster at home in an FA Cup replay when I could have been at home celebrating. Cheers Fergie.
But most of all I hate January because there’s a transfer window. Yet another opportunity for greedy agents to become enriched, for players to become unsettled because big clubs, or even Liverpool, have leaked their interest to the media, for unknown foreign players to flood into our competitions and for Sky Sports to read newspaper websites and then claim their own sources believe that ‘Sunderland are closing in on the capture of Johnny Anonymous from the Bundesliga’.
This is the time of the year when our Premier League clubs often make themselves look stupid and completely out of touch with reality.
The number crunchers in a plush suite of offices will watch a well-edited dvd of a flamboyant Frenchman or a Spaniard skilled in the art of the five-yard pass and suggest £25 million would be a fair price to pay for his services.
They do so in the full knowledge that the poor manager will carry the can should the signings fail to inspire an improvement in results. These shadow-dwellers have taken no notice of where Leicester City found Jamie Vardy or where Spurs spotted Deli Alli .
Instead piles of money which would keep the likes of Northampton (yes, they have gifted players there) alive for a decade flow abroad, and into the pockets of people who also get rich by organising footballers’ restaurant bookings.
It has therefore been quite gratifying to see Leicester sign Demarai Gray from Birmingham for under £4 million already this transfer window.
But there appears little chance of the likes of Newcastle United and Aston Villa - two clubs full of mercenaries - doing the same though. They seem wedded to a failed policy, although it’s hard to see anyone but a Geordie or a Brummie wanting to join them these days.
Some transfers have already been completed, but there will still be the inevitable rush of panic buys on January 31 , especially this year with so much TV money riding on staying in the Premier League.
There will also be plenty of irritating loan deals struck as clubs who lack the finances to fund their own squads beg steal and borrow from their mates. It’s now a case of not what you know, but just who you know.
Coventry City, one of the biggest clubs in League One, could win the title this season on the back of their work in the loan market.
They won 5-0 at poor old Crewe last weekend with all five goals scored by players who belong to other clubs.
What a sad state of affairs and one that will rebound on the Sky Blues very quickly.