Your guide to the EPL’s silly season
And so it begins again, the circus of the English Premier League transfer season.
With the memories of the blockbuster 2011/2012 season just starting to wear off (I still have nightmares about watching Aguero blasting it past Ruddy fifteen minutes or so into injury time…and don’t get me started on the Champions League), most football fans are getting excited by the possibilities in the off-season.
While most other sports usually cool down at the end of the season, that’s when football really starts to heat up. The off-season brings everything from the mildly absurd to the absolutely outrageous in terms of player transfers for the upcoming year.
The transfer season has the ability to excite and frustrate fans as much as Dimitar Berbatov.
But just like the erratic Bulgarian, it is hard to predict what will happen next. So for those of you who have trouble deciphering the encrypted language players, managers, agents and presidents use in the off-season, here’s my little glossary of phrases that you will inevitably hear over the course of the next few months.
“He will not be leaving”
The player will leave. Phrase is most often used by managers desperate to hold onto their star player who is hell-bent on leaving. This is usually a last-ditch ploy, which has been used over the years to usually no avail.
Occasionally, through a number of miracles, the club does manage to hold onto the player for another season before watching him pack up his gear and walk out the front door for free.
“We have received many offers, but still haven’t decided”
Usually said by the agent of the rebellious player. This is a hopeful attempt by to drum up attention for a player that, like that 18th century Victorian-era vase at an auction, hasn’t attracted that much interest and looks be going cheaply, or worse: returning back to the club he vowed never to return to.
“I wouldn’t sell them a virus”
Famously said by the then defiant Alex Ferguson towards cash-strapped Real Madrid. Of course you wouldn’t sell them a virus, unless it was worth 80 million pounds and scored 84 goals in seven years for you.
“To be linked with(insert club name here) is flattering, because (insert reason here), but I have not decided”
Employed by a much sought-after player, this is simply a stalling tactic design to drive the clubs and the fans insane and teeter on the brink of an all-out riot as the player toys with the possibility of joining their club. This tactic is usually employed to improve offers from each club.
The most recent example would be Eden Hazard, who seemed to be moving to every club from the bigger, more prestigious clubs (“I will be going to Manchester” and “Maybe I’ll join Tottenham”) to the smaller, humbler clubs (“I’ve heard about interest from Liverpool”).
There you go – my list of oft-used transfer quotes and their real meanings.
Glad to be of help and remember, if a transfer sounds too good to be true, it probably is (unless there is Arab oil-money involved).