If you’re a football fan you’ll be relieved at the news that the longest running transfer saga of the summer is over. Paul Pogba has re-joined Manchester United for a world record fee of £89m, four years after leaving for Italy for just £800k. The money itself is eye watering but the most interesting part of the whole process has been the theatre around the transfer.
Football is everywhere, especially now you can see a game every day thanks to a new TV deal. Fans are saturated with games galore until the summer months hit and that barrage of balls is temporarily halted as the players and managers take a well-deserved holiday. It’s at this point where the football transfer circus rolls into town to entertain and disappointment fans in equal measure.
Paul Pogba’s return to Manchester United was in many ways a work of marketing genius as the transfer was teased for months, guaranteeing column inches for Pogba (and Adidas) in the fallow football months. Since the end of the domestic season and throughout the European Championships, Paul Pogba’s name was on everyone’s lips right until he pulled up for his medical in a Chevrolet car.
The flamboyant midfielder with a penchant for an eye-catching haircut is one of the most marketable faces in football with over 15m social media followers. A link to one of the world’s most recognisable teams was always going to be a news story and that news story broke at 12:35am UK time. An unusual choice for British football but not for a global club as the timing coincided with primetime evening news in the US and at the opening of the financial markets in the Far East.
With two hashtags (#Pogback and #ReUnited) and a music video with Stormzy at the ready, the final announcement had it all. The statement of intent from Manchester United is sure to catch the eye of potential sponsors worldwide as the sheer scale of the transfer blew away anything seen before. Is this a sign of things to come or the peak of transfer madness? Either way, the days of holding up a scarf are gone – embrace the hashtag, let the hysteria into your house, the circus is in town and staying for good.