Friday, October 23 2020


'Tis the season to be silly ​​​​​​​

Update: June, 13/2019 - 07:59


PUT YOUR SHIRT ON IT: The only time to know 100 per cent a player has signed for a new club is when you see a picture like this. Photo Liverpool FC.

Paul Kennedy

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt is signing for Barcelona. And Liverpool, PSG and probably Manchester United too. Oh, and also Juventus.

Liverpool’s young full back Trent Alexander-Arnold is heading to Barcelona and taking his Anfield teammate Andy Robertson with him. 

Sadio Mane meanwhile is moving to Real Madrid and Arsenal will be signing Getafe centre-half Djene Dakonam in the summer who is also going to be playing for Everton next season.

Gareth Bale is desperate for a reunion at his old club Tottenham Hotspur and at the same time desperately wants to play for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at United.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s that time of year again, its silly season.

For those of your unaware with this particular period in the Gregorian calendar, silly season begins around the end of May and runs until somewhere around mid-August.

Coincidentally, that is also the time of year when there is no competitive club football taking place and sports journalists find themselves with nothing better to do than make up stories about transfers.

It’s not all the hacks' fault though, agents too have a massive role to play during silly season.

Telltale words to look out for include ‘could’ ‘may’ and ‘possibly’. These are the writers get out of jail cards for when their transfer tips disappear down the plug hole.

They’ll take a punt and if it comes true then you’ll never hear the end of it.

I could marry Halle Berry next year and I may find myself going on a date with Charlize Theron. There’s also a possibility, albeit a slim one at best, that I might bump into Angelina Jolie while walking along Hàng Bông Street in downtown Hà Nội, fall head over heels in love and live happily ever after with my new ready-made family.

But what makes silly season even sillier in the modern era, if that was even possible, is the huge amount of football websites plastered all over the internet that take transfer tittle tattle to a whole new level.

Some of stories I’ve seen in recent weeks are nothing short of ridiculous.

One claimed that because Memphis Depay of Lyon was seen wearing a red suit and travelling onboard a red private jet, then he must be joining Liverpool.

Another claimed Egyptian striker Mohammed Salah will be leaving the Champions of Europe to ply his trade at, er, Old Trafford with Manchester United, who last season finished sixth in the Premier League.

I get that agents have a job to do and first and foremost they are there to represent the best interests of their players, but a hefty chunk of stories you will read during the season of silliness are simply planted by agents in the hope of bumping up transfer fees and increasing already over-bloated pay packets. 

In days gone by it was a mate in the pub who knew a bloke who’s sister’s best friend from school used to work with the brother of a woman who is employed as a secretary at a football club. And she said Manchester City will be signing Ronaldo.

Nowadays it’s all about social media sites like Twitter that are awash with rubbish, rumours and downright ridiculousness.

Take it from me, the only time you will know for sure a club has signed a player is when you open a newspaper or log on to a reputable sports website and see him donning the football strip of his new team.

Said player will then conduct an interview with the club’s official TV channel and say: “I have always been a (insert name of club here) supporter ever since I was a young boy and I can’t wait to get started with my new teammates.”

Then, and only then, will you know 100 per cent beyond any shadow of doubt that your team has signed a new player.

Until that happens believe nothing and trust no one, because chances are the story you have just read claiming that Lionel Messi is unhappy in Barcelona and has set his sights on playing for Wolverhampton Wanderers because he has heard there’s some amazing Argentinian steak houses in the Black Country is probably not true. — VNS



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