Monday, September 03, 2007

Cataclysmic/Catastrophic Player Signings - Part One:

Disastrous/shocking/appalling/dreadful/unforgivable/deplorable/inexcusable/diabolical/indefensible..........or just simply plain awful signings are nothing new!

Ever supporter of every club side has had to suffer the ignominy at the ineptitude of a 'big money player' coming to their club and 'flopping spectacularly' after having splashed out an exorbitant amount in transfer fees (and wages).

What often adds to the humility is when the said player is then shipped out to another club, usually for a fee substantially less than initially paid out, in some cases to a rival local club AND he then becomes an instant hit!

What is even more exasperating is on his return to your club he plays a blinder and/or scores the winning goal in injury time!

Recently, expensive foreign imports have tended to stand out, but even back in 1938 Arsenal caused public outrage by spending a then record £14,000 on Welsh forward Bryn Jones. A fee considered so inflated that questions were asked in The House of Commons. After a year of undistinguished performances Jones was spared another season by Hitler's invasion of Poland.

The mid-1990's were a particularly low point for the British game.
Notable poor Premiership signings include Ade Akinbiyi, for whom current Crystal Palace boss Peter Taylor paid Wolves £5m while he was manager of Leicester City. Akinbiyi failed to score for seven months!

In 1994 Joey Beauchamp moved to West Ham from his hometown club Oxford United for £1m. He never actually played a single game for The Hammers, before two months later returning the 50 miles back west on the grounds of homesickness.

Hammers manager Harry Redknapp's most notorious signing remains 'Mad' Marco Boogers, a Dutchman signed on the basis of a highlights video sent to the club by his agent!
Needless to say Boogers stay was eventful, if very brief.
In only his second appearance, coming on as a sub against Man Utd he was immediately sent-off for a violent tackle on Gary Neville.
He promptly disappeared and was discovered several weeks later hiding out in a mobile home in a Dutch caravan park.

Before the start of the Premiership bad signings often stood out, almost more so!
Man Utd and Man City both paid more than a million pounds to Notts Forest and Wolves respectively, for Gary Birtles and Steve Daley.
Birtles took almost a year to open his account at United before being sold back to Forest, and Daley was off loaded to Seattle in the USA, after just a season at City for next to nothing.

Part Two to follow.......

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