Transfer window shuts on Swindon... am I bothered?!
Fan Nick Judd keeps one eye on transfer deadline day with not half as much anticipation as his counterparts from Manchesters City or United...
ItÃ¢ÂÂs 11.43pm on Monday night and with 16 minutes and 14 seconds of the transfer window remaining (according to Sky SportsÃ¢ÂÂ countdown clock), Dave from Boreham Wood Ã¢ÂÂ an Arsenal fan Ã¢ÂÂ texts in to vent his frustration at his sideÃ¢ÂÂs lack of signings.
At that moment I felt saddened, dismayed and, dare I say it, a little jealous.
Time's up... and Arsenal still haven't signed anyone
If DaveÃ¢ÂÂs unhappy then us Townies should be reaching for the Prozac, for the gap between the Premier League and my beloved Swindon, while not literally, has never been bigger.
We didnÃ¢ÂÂt buy anyone either, but you wonÃ¢ÂÂt find us complaining. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt long ago Swindon almost went out of business (twice) Ã¢ÂÂ to have a team to support at all is good enough Ã¢ÂÂ and our summer signings consisted of Premier League cast offs and lower league (and non-league) players.
DaveÃ¢ÂÂs vexation smacks of ignorance to how the other half live. This is real football. Padded seats? YouÃ¢ÂÂre having a laugh, and for Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri I give you Michael Timlin and Lilian Nalis, heroes to me but clearly not as good.
NasriÃ¢ÂÂs transfer fee alone would buy our club twice over, including the County Ground!
Fabregas? Pah! Give me Lilian Nalis any day of the week
There are clubs worse off than Swindon, but I remember once standing outside BrentfordÃ¢ÂÂs Griffin Park in March 2002 as a fan and club employee. WeÃ¢ÂÂd just been beaten 2-0 and were struggling financially (weÃ¢ÂÂd just made an appeal to local businesses to send us any spare equipment and stationary).
I waited outside the playersÃ¢ÂÂ entrance for manager Andy King, instead I was greeted by a club director, who told the press the club was doing everything to avoid imminent closure. Great. Beaten comfortably, with no team to support next Saturday or any Saturday there after, and possibly unemployed.
Swindon survived but were in a similar situation last year, facing huge debts. WeÃ¢ÂÂve since been taken over Ã¢ÂÂ our knights in shining armour grace this monthÃ¢ÂÂs FourFourTwo magazine Ã¢ÂÂ but our existence, while immediately secure, remains fragile.
Still, some Town bloggers on Monday were urging our board to re-sign Sam Parkin from Luton Town. Ã¢ÂÂSuper SamÃ¢ÂÂ scored 67 goals in three seasons and remains a terrace favourite, but financially he remains out of reach, despite playing in League Two. Could we break the bank and bring him back? Possibly, but thatÃ¢ÂÂs what Luton didÃ¢ÂÂ¦
The good news was that we managed to keep our emerging stars. The grapevine suggested winger Anthony McNamee was being watched, while Simon CoxÃ¢ÂÂs prolific scoring has seen many Town fans predict his departure despite signing only last season. Peter Brezovan and Jerel Ifil are also staying.
Cox: Staying put... phew!
Which is good news, considering weÃ¢ÂÂve sold Lukas Jutkiewicz and Ben Tozer Ã¢ÂÂ our best young stars Ã¢ÂÂ in the last 12 months.
Am I pleased the windowÃ¢ÂÂs shut? Not fussed. Our shopping will continue in the loan market and the best signing weÃ¢ÂÂll make this week is the petrol that takes the team to Hereford on Friday.