Torquay FanZoner Matt Parkman was shocked at the cash spent on League Two players in January.
Premier disease is spreading
Well, thank goodness that is over.
Silly season has once again been and gone and I am pleased to report that TUFC have suffered minimal damage. We haven't escaped entirely unscathed, but Dr Ling ought to be able to staunch the bleeding fairly swiftly.
Our only casualty was Chris Robertson (although I'm sure he'll not sympathise with being a 'victim' in my metaphor) who departed, as is the fashion, on deadline day to Preston North End. Good luck to you Mr Robertson, you've been a perfectly creditable servant to Torquay for the last five years or so, and a damn fine fellow to boot.
Sadly though, I must report that, while Torquay appear in rude health, I'm not absolutely convinced that what will surely come to be known as Premier League disease has not pervaded some clubs at our level. Crawley were already the pantomime villains, what with their anonymous benefactor and his habit for signing anything that moved and paying it extortionate wages.
It seems now, however, that they have been joined in the looney bin by Swindon Town, who have begin valuing their players, even the mediocre ones, of which there are many, at silly, silly sums. Almost as bizarrely, there seem to be clubs out there willing to meet these valuations.
I refer to the sales to Bournemouth AFC of Matt Tubbs and Matt Richie, from CTFC and STFC respectively. Both fine players maybe, but worth a combined £1.8m, I don't think so. So, to then find reports that Crawley are apparently rejecting bids of the same total value for another duo, and one starts to believe that this Premier League disease is a pretty serious ailment.
What really gets to me, is that despite his goal scoring record, Tubbs never really looked all that good to me. When I went to see the Gulls play the Bulls last season, I remarked, so incessantly as to verge on annoying to my fellow spectators, that the then Hereford striker Mathieu Manset was far, far too good for division four.
I was right, of course, and he duly signed for Championship Reading a few weeks later. Equally, while another of Reading's transfer window signings, Adam Le Fondre was always top of any League Two fan's wish list for a dream team striker. When your team played Rotherham, the talk on the terrace was always, 'how do we deal with ALFie?' This was never the case with Crawley, nor Swindon.
No one I spoke to before either of our recent matches with these clubs was especially bothered by the footballing class of either player. It's all a bit mad if you ask me. Tubbs has scored 58 goals in 78 games for the Red Devils, and well done to him for it, but it must be remembered that the majority of those goals came in the Conference, where, with the greatest of respect for a division of which I have many fond memories, the defending isn't what you'd call... eerm... any good. Still, good luck to the pair of them, I hope they go on to do well, and at least neither of them is available to play in our division anymore, which can only be good for Torquay.
In other news, we have snapped up a young man from Caernarfon Town. He is Nathan Craig and, from what I've seen, he has a demon of a left foot. All at TUFC are very excited to have the chap aboard and certainly wish him well during his time with us.
The loss of Robbo to PNE will signal a fresh opportunity for much maligned (mostly by me) Brian Saah to take his place among the starting XI on Saturday. Brian has followed Martin Ling around like a lost puppy for the last few years, but it's always been at the insistence of the latter, so we have to trust that Dinger knows that he is doing and that Brian will come good sooner or later and by 'sooner or later' I do of course mean immediately.