Thursday 22nd March.
How could I have ever doubted that Town would let deadline day
slip by without adding to the squad? It is often said of the Canadian
Mounted Police that they always get their man, and perhaps now this
can also be said of Town. I had to look right back to the 5th of
June 2000 when the speculation first surfaced about the return of
Andy Booth to the McAlpine, and here we are a mere 9½ months later
heralding the return of our former hero.
Out of contract at the end of this season at Sheffield Wednesday,
he has been signed for a bargain £175,000, or is it £200,000? The
fee varies depending on the report you read, but nevertheless it
represents a substantial profit on the £2.7 million we received
for him almost 5 years ago. Booth has signed on a three year contract
which should nicely see us into our first Champions League campaign,
OK let’s not get too excited yet, but I am genuinely excited to
see him back and hope he keeps us out of the second division. There
is a legend that King Arthur will return to save Britain in its
hour of deadliest danger, and if Mr Booth notches a dozen goals
in the next 10 games then a similar legend might be appropriate
for a football team in this part of West Yorkshire. No mention today
of John Thorington, so I presume that he hasn’t signed a contract.
Apart from the excitement of seeing Andy Booth move from Sheffield
to Huddersfield, I am also extremely pleased to see another player
moving in the opposite direction. Ken Monkou has today had his contract
cancelled by mutual agreement and is continuing to train with Sheffield
United. Cheers Neil, you’re welcome to him and his contrived hamstring
injuries, but I will not miss him one jot as he sums up everything
that is wrong with the game of football today.
Speaking of Mr Warnock, he has moved to bring two former Town players
into Bramall Lane, Darren Bullock has joined from Bury and Andy
Morrison has joined from Manchester City. If Bullock has got his
head together and cut down on the brown frothy stuff and Andy Morrison’s
suspect knee holds up then they could be a couple of decent acquisitions.
Barry Horne also joined Walsall on a free transfer today.
I expected to see one or two other Town players pack their trunks
and say goodbye to the circus today, namely Scott Sellars and David
Beresford who have been linked with moves to Hartlepool and Bristol
Rovers respectively. Unfortunately, neither player has departed
and so we will have to continue to pay their wages whilst they ply
their trade in the reserves, although in fairness our second string
are top of the table and might actually win something! I also thought
that Chris Hay might take the opportunity to end his 12-month nightmare,
but presumably no-one has made a move for him either.
It was a fairly uneventful deadline day for most teams today,
with Booth’s move to Town being the second highest fee. Most clubs
seem unwilling to part with vast sums until the EC and UEFA/FIFA
sort out the situation regarding transfer fees and until they know
whether they will be able to recoup some of their outlay once a
decision is announced. No doubt when the decision is announced it
will favour the top teams and they will grow richer whilst the lower
division clubs grow poorer and it is to be hoped that we can avoid
the drop for this reason.