Turkish Scandal Rocks Goodison

Everton fans have grown to expect that transfer windows no longer represent hope, optimism and opportunity. Instead, this time of year is tinged with a wretched mixture of cynicism and confusion.

You know things have really gone to the dogs however, when a Turkish match-fixing scandal effectively ends any realistic hope of significant transfer action at Goodison Park this summer.

Fenerbahce stipulated at the start of the season a £6m future fee with Everton for the services of Joseph Yobo, subject to the Nigerian completing a successful one year long loan. With the latter part of the agreement actualized – indeed Yobo scored the decisive goal in a 4-3 thriller with Sivasspor to clinch the title – Everton quite naturally expected the previously agreed price to be paid.

Lo and behold, the newly-crowned champions do come calling for their new fan favourite, unfortunately for Everton fans, with a measly £1.5m bid. As a matter of course, Everton demanded more, if not the full £6m then at least an acceptable compromise, and two weeks ago, owner Bill Kenwright claimed a deal  was “imminent”.

Everton fans of course began to speculate; the vague whispers of Charles N’Zogbia’s arrival at Goodison seemed to carry some weight. There was even talk of a bid for Tottenham playmaker Niko Krancjcar, or a move for N’Zogbia’s Wigan teammate, Hugo Rodallega.

But fast forward two weeks and Fenerbahce find themselves steeped in the most unpleasant of controversies. It is of course still to be proven whether or not they are culpable in terms of corruption and match-fixing, but if I told you they won 16 of their last 17 games to win the league on goal difference, would you be suspicious?

Consequently, bringing in a new centre-back, albeit a title-clinching, fan favourite of a centre-back, is no longer a major priority for the the Turkish champions. Yobo has returned to training with Everton, and seemingly destroyed all hope of bringing anyone new in.

Everton now find themselves in the hopeless position of waiting for a new buyer to come in for Yobo, or indeed his compatriot Yakubu, equipped with the knowledge that Everton are so desperate to sell that they would in all probability take anything for them.

Otherwise, Everton are trapped, unable to attract the sort of player who would help them become a team regularly qualifying for Europe and eventually challenging the top four. Instead, it seems at least another year of mediocrity beckons for the Blues.

So after a season that was over before it started for Everton, a season in which fans genuinely looked forward to the transfer window so the club could reorganize and restructure, the ‘turkeys looking forward to Christmas’ feel of it all leaves rather a bitter taste in the mouth.

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