It’s the transfer window, the last chance for English clubs to bring in any strengthening they need for their sides.
Some buy with a mind to push for the top, others to climb away from the bottom and others still just to create some kind of consolidation. For every situation a team could ever dream/fear to find itself in – don’t panic there’s a transfer out there to suit.
So, be it relegation threatened, or promotion hopeful – here are part 2 of 10 of the weirdest transfers that involve sides currently in the Championship, League One and League Two competitions.
They are in no particular order – that way you can rank them how you like.
Here’s part 1 in case you missed it.
Roy Essandoh (Ceefax 302 to Wycombe Wanderers)
League One Wycombe found themselves in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 2001 on an archetypical ‘fairytale’ cup run. Down to the bare bones and with no serviceable frontmen to play against Premier League Leicester City, The Chairboys signed Roy Essandoh via Ceefax. Actually what had happened was that Wycombe had advertised on their website for a ‘non cup-tied strike’ willing to play in an FA Cup Quarter-Final. A BBC journalist saw the advert and drew attention to it on the station’s Ceefax teletext service. Essandoh, who had just been released after he’d played two gratis games for Rushden and Diamonds, saw this advert and headed off for Buckinghamshire.
He was named on the bench as a substitute and duly sat there whilst Wycombe and Leicester played out a game that was heading towards a creditable 1-1 draw for the lower league side. In true FA Cup fairytale style, Essandoh was brought on and scored the winning goal to put Wycombe through to an FA Cup Semi-Final against Liverpool, a game they lost 2-1. However, it seems that there is more to the ‘Ceefax’ element of the story and that this only ran parallel to Essandoh signing and putting Wycombe to their glory tie.
Alberto Tarantini (Boca Juniors to Birmingham City)
Alberto César Tarantini was a 1978 World Cup winner when he signed for Birmingham City after a successful 1978 World Cup. Prior to the World Cup he’d had a contractual fallout with Boca that resulted in him being left clubless. The Boca management then pressured all Argentine clubs into not offering him a contract and a route back into Argentinian football. Buoyed by a successful World Cup campaign, he was signed by Birmingham City for £295,000. His demands were apparently exorbitant for the time: a free car, transport and living expenses for his family, fund any fines he incurred and honour any international commitments he had to make; oh and his basic weekly wage was £363.
Tarantini’s stay in Birmingham, 23 appearances, was both short and a highlight reel for all the wrong reasons. He felled Manchester United’s Brian Greenhof like an oak tree with one tackle, before chinning him behind the referee’s back. He later brought his ill-disciplined stay in England to a close by wading into the crowd to punch a heckler full on in the face. He returned to Argentina to play for Talleres de Córdoba and River Plate before playing for European teams Bastia, Toulouse and St. Gallen where his ‘nightclub’ lifestyle was noted on occasions.
The final three transfers of this part 2 of the weird Top 10 of transfers sees a player move to the continent to maintain his international place, a Maradona substitute and a final case of scratching of the head.