Hall of shame
Sometimes, the footballing world is rocked by the unlikliest of transfers. Overnight, a player can go from hero to zero after joining his previous club’s deadliest rivals. This occasionally works out, but there are also times when it signals the downturn of a player’s career.
Roberto Baggio (Juventus -> Fiorentina)
Italians have always been passionate about football, but £8m was a king’s ransom back in 1990, which was paid out for Baggio’s services by the giants from Turin. This move was such a controversial one, that a riot erupted in Florence. His arrival coincided with a very successful period for Juventus’. Baggio is now president of the technical sector of the Italian Football Federation, not bad eh?
MALICE RATING: 2/5
SELFISHNESS RATING: 2/5
Jermain Defoe (Charlton -> West Ham Utd -> Spurs)
Defoe has done the rounds and followed mentor Harry Redknapp around like a duckling follows mother goose. After starting his career as a youth at Charlton Athletic, a 16 year old Defoe made the controversial decision to turn professional with a West Ham United side containing Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and Michael Carrick.
Charlton were paid due compensation having first scouted him, and after West Ham’s relegation in 2003, joined Tottenham, and then went to Portsmouth five years later. He has since returned to White Hart Lane as a goal machine, and the controversial move from West Ham to Spurs ultimately paid dividends, with the hugely talented striker rightfully desiring to play premier league football in the interest of his own career. To this day, Defoe remains a cemented first-teamer in a Champions League football playing Spurs side.
MALICE RATING: 1/5
SELFISHNESS RATING: 5/5
EFFECTIVENESS: (First stint at Spurs) 0/5 (Second stint at Spurs) 5/5
Paul Ince (West Ham -> Man Utd -> Liverpool)
Back in the day when people still had brick phones and hand-carts (1989 to be precise) Ince wore a Manchester United shirt ahead of his £1m transfer to Old Trafford, leaving the Upton Park he once enlightened, not so much in a blaze of glory, more a brown trail of smelly gas. After a spell at Inter Milan, Ince returned to England in 1997 to play for (fanfare)… LIVERPOOL! Unfortunately, his career then went on the slide, as his arrival coincided with Liverpool going trophyless in both seasons.
He was then drummed out to Middlesbrough in 1999 as a frustrated 31 year old, and finished his career with Wolves (moving there in 2002), experiencing relegation in that time. Since retiring in 2006, Ince has since managed sides such as Milton Keynes dons and Macclesfield – not quite the same as team-mates such as Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce in the Premier League – having blown his chance of glory with Blackburn Rovers in 2008/09.
MALICE RATING: 3/5
SELFISHNESS RATING: 4/5
EFFECTIVENESS: (WHU->MU) 4/5 (MU->INTER->LIV) 0/5
Nick Barmby (Everton -> Liverpool)
Although crossing the park was relatively common practice in the days of Dave Hickson (who moved from Goodison to Anfield in 1959), come the new millenium it was unthinkable for anyone to in either direction. Simply put Liverpool players didn’t want to go to a perpetually struggling club for a cut wage, and Everton players… well… just didn’t. Unfortunately for one Nick Barmby, that rule did not apply. Having gone to “represent Everton” in England’s poor Euro 2000 squad, Barmby made the overnight move to Anfield barely a week after the tournament finished for England.
Naturally, the Everton faithful were incensed that their best midfielder in years had betrayed them – to make matters worse, he scored in Liverpool’s 3-1 derby win at Anfield in October 2000 – but he ultimately proved a flop for the treble winning Liverpool side. Since then his career has gone down the pan – with a spell at Leeds coinciding with their meltdown, and slogging his way upwards through the football league with Hull City from Division Three to the Premier League. Last time he played at Goodison, he was awful and looked completely washed out as Hull were demolished by Everton.
MALICE RATING: 5/5
SELFISHNESS RATING: 5/5
Ashley Cole (Arsenal -> Chelsea)
Not only unfaithful to Cheryl, but also to his beloved boyhood club Arsenal. Although he won honours at Highbury and looked every bit like a long term fixture in the England squad (meant in a good way), he ran into controversy in 2005 after being found guilty of engaging in talks with deadly rivals Chelsea without notifying Arsenal. A year later, he was indeed signed by Chelsea for £5m plus William Gallas. However, it’s bad news for the League of Justice, as Cole’s career has continued to go without any drastic hitches – except for his private life, but he doesn’t care about that…. does he?
MALICE RATING: 4/5
SELFISHNESS RATING: 4/5
…..and some new entires into the hall of shame
Mo Johnston (Nantes to Rangers, 1989)
On the face of it moving from France to Glasgow does not seem that big a deal until you look at Johnston’s past, having played for Rangers’ arch-rivals Celtic and being a Catholic – which many fans saw as a betrayal of the Protestant club’s traditions.
Luis Figo (Barcelona to Real Madrid, 2000)
Figo’s switch from Barcelona to their hated rivals Real produced some of the most extreme reactions ever seen from fans, with Figo’s return to the Nou Camp in 2002 seeing the Portugal winger pelted with bottles, mobile phones, coins and even a pig’s head when he tried to take a corner.
Sol Campbell (Tottenham to Arsenal, 2001)
After months of negotiations Campbell turned down a record-breaking pay offer
from Spurs to sign for north London rivals Arsenal – having previously pledged never to play for the Gunners. The fact he left on a Bosman free transfer only further rubbed salt in the wounds.
Eric Cantona (Leeds to Manchester United)
In one of the worst pieces of transfer business in history, Leeds boss Howard
Wilkinson allowed the French striker to cross the Pennines for just £1.2million. Cantona went on to become one of United’s – and the Premier League’s – greatest