The Run of Play is a blog about
the wonder and terror of soccer.
We left the window open during a match in October 2007 and a strange wind blew into the room.
Now we walk the forgotten byways of football with a lonely tread, searching for the beautiful, the bewildering, the haunting, and the absurd.
Tottenham have just re-signed Robbie Keane from Liverpool. The fee is reportedly around £12 million (with some silverware-related and thus purely hypothetical add-ons), but most of that is money Liverpool already owed Tottenham as part of the £20 million deal that took Keane to Anfield in the first place. So this is apparently one of Spurs’ patented weird-exchange-of-imaginary-money arrangements. It’s like they still haven’t heard that the Time-AOL merger didn’t work out.
I’d love to put this move in perspective for you, but I’m not sure perspective is contractually allowed to come near it. Tottenham have just bought their 3,872nd striker of the last four years, who was also their 1,654th striker, as a replacement for their 3,871st striker, who was also their 2,458th. In the meantime, Liverpool have just lathered, rinsed, and repeated in a tub full of £8 million in order to lose a player who cost them £1.6 million per goal. It’s like watching two sad clowns plant melancholy kisses on one another’s cheeks.
I’m not even trying to insult either club. The deal basically makes sense, especially for Tottenham; I know this. It’s just that the sense it makes is horrifying and unnatural, and I can’t help but wish the world had never been exposed to it.
by Brian Phillips · February 2, 2009