AS one who has always struggled to maintain a full complement of staff that can attend to my various needs, be that preparing an elderflower and lemon curd ‘toastie’ at 4am or discussing who would win in a fight between Proust and Baudelaire (Proust had the superior reach, one feels), I have a certain kinship with the teams of the Premiership at this time of the year.
Thus, I have cast an eye over the transfer dealings and picked out the Mozarts from the Salieris:
Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea, £50m
For the price of Rubens’ Massacre Of The Innocents, the coltish Spaniard has escaped the Augean stables of Liverpool for the cultured sanctuary of Chelsea.
One can only imagine his sense of relief at fleeing the birthplace of Cilla Black, a creation I had the misfortune of meeting at a George Melly soiree in ’73 and was a five-foot crystallisation of screeching common. Ghastly.
Andy Carroll, Newcastle to Liverpool, £35m
Costing the same as Van Gogh’s Irises, however this transfer evokes a far greater sense of impending madness and suicide in the mind of the viewer. One feels that if DH Lawrence had intended Lady Chatterley’s Mellors to have been portrayed by a wookie, young Andrew would have been the result.
My good friend the Earl of Carlisle is both a keen farmer and combatant in the sport of kings and some recent accounting difficulties forced him to part with his prized Arabian to purchase a more prosaic but much-needed Shire horse. Standing as Mr Carroll does at approximately 17 hands, I trust the analogy is not lost on Liverpool’s followers.
Andy Reid, Sunderland to Blackpool, Undisclosed
The delightfully charming Ian Holloway, who puts one in mind of a character from Midsummer Night’s Dream coaxed into a suit, has refused to discuss the price of this arrangement but it is believed to be almost as much as a camomile tea and a Chelsea bun at the National Portrait Gallery. Proof that Blackpool have more financial muscle than first imagined.
But I cannot approve of Blackpool as a resort ever since it became associated with that ghastly Middleton woman. Quite how she dares to insinuate herself into William’s royal inner circle when I happen to know for a fact that her father can operate a stapler is beyond me.
Merouane Zemmama, Hibernian to Middlesbrough, approximately £200,000
I have absolutely no idea what any of those words mean.