Deadline day madness reaches new heights

File photo dated 09/02/1979 of Former Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis with his wife, Helen, and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the City Ground Nottingham after becoming Britain's most expensive player. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2011. When Wayne Rooney picks up his reported �200,000 pay packet this week he might care to spare a thought for the men who made such riches possible. For all those footballers who stood full square behind their own union and ushered in a new era. An era which on January 18, 1961, saw the abolition of football's maximum wage which had capped players. See PA story SOCCER Wages. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.
File photo dated 09/02/1979 of Former Birmingham City footballer Trevor Francis with his wife, Helen, and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough at the City Ground Nottingham after becoming Britain's most expensive player. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday January 17, 2011. When Wayne Rooney picks up his reported �200,000 pay packet this week he might care to spare a thought for the men who made such riches possible. For all those footballers who stood full square behind their own union and ushered in a new era. An era which on January 18, 1961, saw the abolition of football's maximum wage which had capped players. See PA story SOCCER Wages. Photo credit should read: PA Wire.
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Record-breaking transfer deadline day? Not round here, sir. There was a distinct lack of last-minute faxes to Madrid or Milan, photographers camped at Doncaster Robin Hood/Sheffield/Middle Of

Nowhere Airport awaiting the arrival of Alice-banded and fresh-faced foreign fops being swept off to hold up their new shirts in front of the cameras.

Who needs it anyway? All a bit passé surely?

Who can stand all that fuss and frustration over potential multi-million-pound signings, transfer tugs-of-war and come-and-get-me pleas?

Rubbish.

The odd reasonably-priced Belgian aside, a couple of modest deals will do fine round here thanks.

Exciting though it may be for the elite, the transfer window does drag on a bit for the rest of us.

Why can’t they bring in players like they used to?

What was wrong with a system where if a player asked for a transfer he got three per cent of the fee and if he didn’t he got six per cent - at any time of year?

Even then there were machinations and chicanery over who’s going where for what, not to mention some top-notch 1970s creative accounting - or sports bags full of fivers as we might call it today - to make things happen.

But it never went on ALL SUMMER.

When former Wednesday player and manager Trevor Francis went from Birmingham City to Forest for £1 million in 1979 we thought the world had gone mad.

Little did we know then but the madness had barely started.

What now seems mad is the idea that Nottingham Forest or any team of small-to-medium city stature could be champions of England, even think about breaking the transfer record and then go on to win the European Cup.

Now we have a new kind of madness and it’s all about money, elites and player power.

Now, to accommodate their tease and counter-tease, the transfer window is open from when the kids break up for their summer holidays until they creep unwillingly back to school in September.

Couldn’t it all be done in a fortnight?

Wouldn’t that stop much of the posturing, phoney openness and outright untruths?

Or do we secretly love all the intrigue?