ONCE upon a time there was a lot of excitement when the window opened.
In many ways the window opening has provided a breath of fresh air, but this year all that opening the window has done is to provide an icy blast of realism.
The window I refer to is of course the transfer window, brought into compulsory effect by FIFA as far back as the 2002–03 season, and it has provided plenty of entertainment over recent years as clubs have indulged in some outrageous panic buying.
This year is looking a little different and with less than a week to go to the window closing there looks little chance of any rash of headline stealing late activity.
The impasse that is Carlos Tevez’s move to anywhere has just become boring – you get the feeling that Manchester City are getting to a point where they will trade him for 50 yards of corrugated iron fencing and the cost of ten hour-long sessions with a decent therapist for Mario Balotelli.
The only other potential for excitement is if Mark Hughes is given some cash to splash at QPR.
However, Sparky seems to like to retrace his steps on signings and that might mean that all we get is Roque Santa Cruz coming back to the Premier League from Real Betis, where he is one loan from City, and Robbie Savage re-emerges from retirement.
Obviously the economic downturn in Europe has had a huge effect on activity – or rather the lack of it.
For the money it took to buy a striker as the window closed last season, you could actually buy Greece this year.
But perhaps on these shores the biggest deterrent is the experiences of Chelsea and Liverpool 12 months ago.
The Blues forked out a meagre £50million to sign Fernando Torres from Anfield and in the process managed to turn a goal-scoring Spanish superstar into a hit and (mainly) miss substitute.
In turn Liverpool flashed their newly acquired cash very quickly to sign Andy Carroll (pictured).
The man who was on fire at Newcastle decided to follow Torres’ lead and become a damp squib on Merseyside.
It would appear to prove that window dressing is not worth the money.
And on the subject of cash, Carroll will collect a £150k loyalty bonus this month after sticking by the first year of his Liverpool contract – worth a reported £60,000 a week plus an extra £5,000 per appearance – while it coincidentally took £150k to save Darlington from liquidation, helped by an additional £50k raised by fans. How the other half live eh!