Footballers; if you want a transfer, stop the obfuscation and flirting; just ask for a bloody transfer. We can cope, believe me. We're not going to be upset, we won't weep in the streets; we won't do anything. Why not? Because we don't care.
Don't bother employing an agent or a publicist or some other toady to leak stories to the press, just behave like a grown-up and be honest. Is that really too much to ask? Are you so stupid you can't honestly speak for yourself?
Why do they have to release coded statements saying how they're 'upset' or 'distressed' or are suffering some other form of existential angst. Grow up. It's pathetic that in the macho world of top football, these supposed men behave like small boys while their unctuous, greasy agent plays Malvolio.
What they are forgetting is that summer transfer sagas actually damage the footballer's brand the longer it all drags on. They forget there's always someone newer, someone younger to focus our attention on. Only the most club TV-hypnotised, slaw-jawed moron thinks that a footballer is going to stay at whatever club he's at for his whole career. That's almost never happened in the modern game, whatever the romantic delusion about loyalty might be in the minds of the rose-tinted glasses brigade.
We totally accept that players move for more money, more prestige, more chance of winning trophies, because they're bored, they've had all the local prostitutes, have p****ed off a drug dealer or because their agent needs to pay for a new divorce. We don't really care. Not really. A club loses a player, it signs a player. The churn goes on.
The player who fears handing in a transfer request because he might look disloyal to the fans is deluding himself. We don't care. Who the feck do you think you are? You're just a footballer, son. Who are you doing this dance of the seven veils for? Not on our account, surely. Believe me, we're sick of the endless dribble of 'he's staying, he's going'.
In these days of media manipulation and brand protection, you'll get more respect from the football public for being open, honest, straightforward and speaking for yourself. You don't need to do it every hour, day, week or month. Just once. 'I fancy a new challenge' would do it. It's not a radical idea, not a big intellectual stretch for us to understand you want to move. It's not bad thing. It's...well, it's nothing to us. The only people who get upset by transfers are idiots who confuse watching a football club's employees with actual friendships or family. They're the morons who feel hurt or betrayed, they're the brain-dead TV vox pop meat, but to the rest of us, a footballer wanting to move on is no more upsetting than someone working on the till in your local Top Shop wanting to move to Next.
And while we're talking about being straightforward and honest, let's extend this to the clubs themselves. They're just as much to blame for the should-he-stay-or-should-he-go summer snooze-a-thons. Make a decision. You won't upset fans for long, if at all. You're not our family, you're an entertainment business. The new man is always more interesting than the old. Don't mistake fannying around for fun.
This idea that the world revolves around what a footballer chooses to do needs shattering. They're told they're role models for kids, though sensible views on this have long considered that to be an unfair and spurious imposition, they're cheered by thousands every week so it's no wonder that they might think what they choose to do is of earth-shattering importance. They're flattered in this notion by a media starved of anything more substantial to report in the summer but please don't mistake any of this for actual interest on our behalf.
The Wayne Rooney situation, like so many summer transfer sagas before him, is a classic case of how a protracted phoney war just alienates fans and neutrals alike. We all just want it to be over; we want the soap opera and the ambiguous statements by all parties to stop. You're all just rich, bitchin' blokes and it's unseemly; it's unmanly. Move, don't move, do whatever the feck you want to do...who gives a flying feck, you fecker? Not us.
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