Sign in / Join

A fee that would build more soul-sapping live music venues under the stands


The transfers are beginning to fly thick and fast now. Arguably the most important deal of the last 24 hours was struck by Aberdeen, who signed Queen’s Celtic jinking genius Gary Garrincha-Mackay-Steven just in time for Thursday’s Big Vase qualifier against Siroki Brijeg. We should have mentioned this yesterday, truth be told, but that’s probably for the best, given that talk of Scottish teams in Big Vase would invariably lead back to the recent humiliation of a certain side in Luxembourg, and we wouldn’t have wanted to harsh anyone’s buzz on a very special day. Anyway, we hope everyone had a good time marching, torching teetering piles of pallets, and playing Roy Orbison deep cuts on piccolo. Meanwhile best of luck to the Dons, and indeed Progrès Niederkorn.

Down south, the big news involves Chelsea, who have quickly got over their disappointment regarding Romelu Lukaku by purchasing Monaco’s Tiémoué Bakayoko in a mega deal that could cost as much as £39.7m. Chelsea having money to burn is not, of course, breaking news. But it’s sometimes worth stopping to consider just how far they’ve come. Back in the 1980s, £39.7m would have been enough to buy the entire club 198-and-a-half times over, using the amount former owner Kuddly Ken Bates stumped up as a guide. It’d have also been enough to circle Stamford Bridge 56,714 times with the sort of live 12-volt electric wire Bates was so fond of back in the day. Yes, they’ve come a long way all right, and suddenly spending the best part of £40m on a 22-year-old defensive midfielder with dodgy knees doesn’t seem so egregious.

Chelsea have also apparently been given the option to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for an eye-watering fee that would build three more soul-sapping live music venues under the stands. That move would pave the way for Olivier Giroud to join the German giants, though Everton are also interested in the Arsenal striker and might have something to say about that. Mind you, while the Toffees do appear to be having serious trouble keeping their coin purse in their trousers, there are limits to everyone’s spending, and the ever-closer £50m deal for Gylfi Sigurdsson – who hasn’t gone on tour with Swansea City to the USA! USA!! USA!!! – might be it. Meanwhile over the park at Anfield … ah, we did say the transfers are beginning to fly thick and fast? Let’s not get too carried away with ourselves.

“It’s a really exciting project and certainly offers our fans something different from the ordinary matchday experience … I’m sure they’re going to be received really well” – Bolton chief suit John Ashley talks up the club’s four novelty luxury reclining pitchside seats because novelty luxury reclining pitchside seats are exactly what football needs.

13 July 2017: “It’s difficult for me to accept signing a player we already had … you were here, you wanted to leave, then you don’t come back” – Xavi on why Barcelona shouldn’t shell out on Héctor Bellerín.

14 April 2017: “Obviously I would bring back Dani Alves. He decided to leave but for me he is the best right-back in the world at the moment. Barça miss him a lot” – Hmm …

Producing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism – the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us by making a one-off or recurring contribution.

“With word now that Korean software developers are working on an artificial intelligence to master the beautiful game, can we say that technology is on the cusp of fulfilling your Stop Football campaign?” – Paul Canniff.

“I’m pretty sure the Liverpool racing car (yesterday’s Still Want More?) isn’t in an Anfield trophy cabinet, the museum was almost totally given over to a certain Mr $ Mbe last time I was there. However, we did see the vehicle at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2009” – Tony Crawford.

“May I join 1,056 others in pointing out to Noble Francis (yesterday’s Fiver letters) that, had he done his research fully, he would have noted that Defence Force were robbed of ‘letting in fewer goals than they scored’, given their final game was abandoned when they were 6-0 up. With shoddy half completed journalism like this I think he’s ready to join your ranks and write a full article” – Steve Branch (and no others).

“Following his timely pre-season debut, can I ask how much it would cost to sponsor Noble Francis’s comments for next season?” – Rion Barker.

“In yesterday’s letters, Andy Korman told us how his Sunday league team’s right-back, ‘Chiggers’, brokered the lucrative tent pegs sponsorship deal for his dad’s shop. In other words, Chiggers pays Pop” – Roger Mart.

Send your letters to And if you’ve nothing better to do you can also tweet The Fiver. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … Roger Mart.

Daniel Levy always gets his £ and if you needed any reminder, here are Manchester City with 50,000,000 of them for Kyle Walker.

Enner Valencia has gone in search of a little love at Liga MX club Tigres, having got the square root of eff all at West Ham in the past three seasons.

Sunderland fans, look away now: Bury have told the skint Championship newbies to cough up more than £900,000 if they want to snaffle 2004’s James Vaughan.

Crass Energy Drink Advertising Gimmick Leipzig have given Liverpool a proper moody stare and slapped a Not for Sale sign on human dynamo Naby Keïta.

And probably because it’s about as effective as Granny Fiver in the 100m dash, the Football League is to reappraise its ‘fit and proper owners’ test.

Sign up and receive the best of Big Website’s coverage, every Friday, it says here. Seems to be a curious lack of mentions for The Fiver …

Fara Williams gets her chat on with Louise Taylor about England’s hopes at Euro 2017 and Mark Sampson’s punishing training regime.

Floating football brain in a box Jonathan Wilson runs the rule over new Manchester United signing Romelu Lukaku.

Joe Devine on how the Premier League’s bumper TV deal is threatening The Fiver’s local, The Failure & Acceptance, and other pubs.