PANIC buying is usually associated with blokes on Christmas Eve or petrol stations when stocks are running low.
You can now add Liverpool Football Club to that list.
And, to be fair, a lot of other clubs who’ve been scratting around like robins in the snow looking for a crumb.
After the fiasco of hiring Roy Hodgson and then giving him fewer than 20 Premier League games to turn them from chumps to champs, their season is already as good as over.
Yet after an outrageous stroke of good fortune – selling a sulking striker who has scored goals only when he’s felt like it – they’ve already blown the lot on two men of highly-debatable pedigree.
Luis Suarez is best remembered for his handball in the last minute of the World Cup quarter-final which helped Uruguay end Ghana’s dream of becoming the first African nation to reach the last four.
He may have been given the freedom of Montevideo, but he is vilified on an entire continent.
Suarez has a terrific goalscoring record in Holland, but then so did Afonso Alves, who was going to take Middlesbrough by storm, and who was so bad he is now plying his trade in Qatar or some part of the football-mad Emirates.
As for Andy Carroll, leaving Tyneside will either make or break him.
His love of the night life has led him into more scrapes than James Bond – now he’s got a £35m price tag on his head.
Liverpool’s fans must be shaken if not yet stirred.
I can think of better ways of splashing £56m, like halving the national debt, building a few hospitals, or even helping Australia’s flood victims.
Charlie Adam, of Blackpool, would have cost a third of Carroll’s fee and represented better value, while Aston Villa may have picked up the best bargain of the lot in goalscoring American midfielder Michael Bradley.
It will take Suarez and Carroll time to adjust to life on Merseyside, and in a business that demands instant results I’m not sure they’ll be given that rare commodity.
FOOTBALL should have an encyclopaedia all of its own.
The jargon includes “putting in a shift”, “scoring goals for fun”, “a difficult place to come to” – to say nothing of “over the moon” and “sick as a parrot”.
And yet there is considerable debate over the inclusion of “weakened teams”.
Don’t use the phrase to Ian Hollway. Your ears will ring for a week at the ferocity of his tirade – and he has a point.
There is absolutely no doubt he did not field his first XI in a 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa. He was saving them for future, more important battles, yet who is to argue with his right to field whatever side he wants?
With the introduction of 25-man squads this season, all players are technically rated as equals. To call any side drawn from that quota “under strength” would be disrepectful.
What the FA has done is make a rod for their own back by fining both Blackpool and Wolves for this offence, as they see it, of devaluing the product.
Now Manchester United should face similar sanction after turning out an FA Cup side at Southampton that did not start with Berbatov, Rooney, Giggs, Ferdinand, Vidic etc.
Fergie will argue that Michael Owen, Paul Scholes and Javier Hernandez aren’t bad alternatives and thereby lies the problem in these days of huge squads at big clubs.
Blackpool don’t quite fall within the same category though, even if they do share the same divisional status, so I suspect there’ll be more smoke to come from Mr Holloway’s ears when United get off scot free.
THE DAFT transfer window may have closed – except for emergency loans, whatever they might constitute – but I don’t see the point of the rule whereby a player is now only allowed to play for two clubs in a single season.
Leeds have been trying to sort out a move for their American striker Mike Grella because he isn’t going to get a game at Elland Road.
The problem is he’s already had a spell at Carlisle, so he can now play for only Leeds or Carlisle until next season.
Motherwell wanted to take him for a spell at Fir Park but even that has been ruled out.
Surely it is pointless for him to fester away in meaningless reserve games and miss chances to showcase his talents with whoever is willing to take a look at him?
A couple of years ago a guy called Antoine Currier played for six different clubs in the same season and no-one batted an eyelid to any great extent.
Someone then finally took him on and he ended up scoring quite a few goals for them, so everyone benefited.
What’s wrong with that?