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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 August, 2003, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Transfer doublespeak
By Chris Charles

Harry Redknapp and Jim Smith
We're down to the bare bones again, Jim lad

Football folk are a bit like dodgy compasses - you never quite know where you are with them.

And with the transfer merry-go-round in full swing, there's enough doublespeak around to keep a George Orwell convention entertained.

The biggest culprit, unsurprisingly, is our old friend Harry Redknapp.

If the Pompey boss were running a second-hand car lot, he'd soon have Frank Butcher weeping into his knotted hanky.

At the end of last season, our 'Arry proclaimed: "I'll only be looking to add three or four players. These are the lads that have got us up and I owe it to them to give them a chance to prove themselves in the Premiership."

A few weeks later he groaned: "I'm desperately short of quality. I've only got five or six players who are capable of playing in the Premiership."

Sixty eight signings later and Portsmouth were ready to kick off their campaign.

But he's not the only one. Since the transfer window opened at the beginning of August, players and managers alike have been doing more spinning than New Labour.

So before this window slams shut, here's our cut-out-and-keep guide to those transfer pork pies.

What they say: This is a massive club.
What they mean: All the players are overweight.

What they say: This is a club that are really going places.
What they mean: They're going to Crewe, Blackpool, Torquay...

What they say: They are a sleeping giant.
What they mean: They're in a permanent coma.

What they say: This is the only club I wanted to sign for.
What they mean: This is the only club who came in for me.

What they say: He could develop into a very useful player.
What they mean: We couldn't afford anyone half decent.

What they say: After talks with my family, I decided it was the right time to move.
What they mean: My wife threatened to divorce me if we didn't get out of this stinking hell-hole.

What they say: I felt it was time to move on.
What they mean: I've been trying to get away for ages.

What they say: I'm sure the fans will understand my decision.
What they mean: Please be nice to me when I come back with my new team.

What they say: This represents a huge challenge.
What they mean: I think I've made the wrong decision.

What they say: It was always my intention to sign a new deal.
What they mean: I knew they'd match my staggering wage demands eventually.

What they say: Talks are going well.
What they mean: We're miles apart.





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