No proper football and a self imposed ban on reading and responding to transfer rumours makes for a bleak outlook at chez JimmyG2. There are ominous lists appearing on the kitchen pin board of tasks to be completed before the season starts, though I have managed to successfully argue that the season actually starts with the pre-season games. That just means that I've got the same amount to do but in less time but it seemed like a victory at the time.
But the Barry transfer to Man. City started all sorts of alarm bells ringing. Delusional Tottenham fans have been speculating that he might do a 'Robbie Keane' and come to his boyhood club citing that his two brothers were season ticket holders at the Lane. At £12 million he was a steal. If he had been £15 million we might have gone for it.
But last season Liverpool, his preferred destination because of Champions' League status, couldn't match the £18 million valuation and now he goes to a team that's not even in Europe for considerably less.
No doubt £100 thousand a week, doubling his current wage, may have influenced his decision and the silky smooth soft sell for which Hughes is famous, probably along the lines of ' Fill yer pockets lad they've more cash than brain cells this lot' clinched the job. That makes him earn in a week as much as the Prime Minister earns in a year. Oh sorry I forgot about the expenses.
No doubt his disappointment at Villa not making the top four puts Villa in the same kind of bind that Spurs are in. You need top class players to get into the top four but they won't come until you are in the top four and you are in danger of losing your best players in the meantime. But Barry a one club man for over a decade has gone to Man. City. Its like Ledley signing for Portsmouth because multi billionaires have taken them over.
And this morning the Guardians' two page spread on the finances of the Premiership League although it doesn't tell us anything we didn't know, give or take a fact or two, it just concentrates the information and the mind somewhat. I had barely got the muesli out of my beard and found my sandals before coming across this tale of financial hubris and woe.
Foreign owners, oil money, tax havens, vast debts and wage bills that in some cases are three quarters of turnover and in Stoke's case more than their turnover. It makes you wonder how this shaky edifice stays up. Reminds me of another shaky edifice called 'the banking system' and we all know what happened to that.
Another shattering figure is the amount that Chairman and directors are taking out. Step forward our very own Mr Daniel Levy. A cool £1 million and one has to ask 'For what?' Now I know we are a well run club but we aint that well run. How can an enterprise about the size of your local supermarket generate such sums for all concerned. Nearly half the clubs have a director taking out more than a million per year and in some cases at clubs who actually lost money. Mind you I can't see Sky putting on 'The Big Four: This week Sainsbury's and Tesco's go head to head'.
Our wage bill even with a big squad is only 50% of turnover which is one reason why we are financially stable but also why we can't attract the more ambitious types. For ambitious read 'greedy'. Less than half the clubs make a profit and all are in debt..Now the banks got bailed out when it all came tumbling down but I don't think that the Premiership will be.
It reminds you of the old cartoons where you were fine as long as you didn't look down and discover that you went over the cliff several minutes ago. Fascinating reading and you can draw many conclusions from it as Jim himself does in his season review. My conclusion is that it can't go on like this for ever. Regular readers will know that I have been saying this for some time.
I have a dream that the club will be sold to its fans who will elect the board annually and that our sponsors are a charity which is paid for the privilege. Oh sorry that was Barcelona. They're not a bad football team either.
It only remains for us to sell Tom Huddleston to Bolton for my bad news week to be complete. Quite what he will do there is anybody's guess.
'Passing? You can cut out all those fancy London tricks now lad'.