Tuesday, 30 January 2007

The Law of the Pound

Another day and another bout of media hysteria concerning our alleged interest in Darren Bent. Certain sections of the media remain convinced that we are casting covetous eyes in the direction of the Charlton striker, a player whose price miraculously rises exponentially to the length of time he remains injured. Sky Sports News announced that we had tabled a massive bid of £18 million for the player and for the second time in twenty-four hours both camps were forced into a quick public denial. It was hard to decide who was more embarrassed by being associated with this rumour, West Ham for being linked to such a ludicrous offer in the first place or the Latics for being thought foolish enough to turn it down.

Whatever the truth, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our new found wealth makes us a convenient target for media speculation. In a certain sense we are in danger of becoming the Al Czervik (or Eggy Cervix) of the Premiership country club; a perceived newly minted member of the nouveau riche, gracelessly throwing our wealth about in the vainglorious pursuit of Premiership survival. As Baudrillard might have said, a football club which allows an abominable event to burgeon from its dung heap and grow on its surface is like a man who lets a fly crawl unheeded across his face or saliva dribble from his mouth - either epileptic or dead. Even in the hyperrealism of the transfer window, if West Ham blithely allows itself to be abused by paying vastly inflated prices for average talent then it sets a dangerous precedent. The moment we define ourselves by our conspicuous wealth then we eviscerate the heart and soul of the club, detaching it from the core values that have always underpinned its existence. The short term problem of such an approach is the one that we currently face. The whiff of money (and the stink of desperation) encourages every dog in the pound to think he can shaft us in the market place; even the three-legged runts like Charlton and the worm infested arse skidders like Birmingham.

In other news, Liverpool moved a step closer to securing the services of Javier Mascherano after FIFA relaxed their own newly implemented ‘three club rule’. It proves once again that Scousers really will nick anything if you leave it hanging around long enough. When Alan Curbishley rolls into training tomorrow morning he is likely to see just a stack of bricks in the spot where our world class Argentinian has been parked for the last few months. I think it is sight that will hurt him just as much as it will every other West Ham fan; at least I hope so.

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