It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world ... of football

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - another player who would cost a ridiculous amount of money. Picture: PA

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - another player who would cost a ridiculous amount of money. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Andros Townsend £27m. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £40m. Neymar £200m. Ousmane Dembele £96m.

Footballing graffiti on a wall of shame.

It is very, very easy to get on your high horse about some of the sport's morals, but the figures that have been mentioned, and in some cases paid, during this transfer window are not only stupendous, they are abhorrent.

There is no place for the argument that they are driven by market forces: we have gone beyond that. Instead, we have come to a point where the game really has gone mad. Completely and utterly mad. And it has done so with no apparent signs of guilt.

I have yet to hear a word of contrition from any club either writing the cheque or cashing it.

Yes, they'll moan about the huge prices, but they will still pay them and they will still demand them. And yes, it's that market force again. But how the hell did we get to this ludicrous point?

From the moral point of view I don't expect football clubs to become charitable and, instead of buying a player, donating to the local hospice or building a home for the elderly. But the comparison just exemplifies the ludicrous situation in which football finds itself.

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Perhaps best to look at it from a football point of view.

Once Paris St Germain paid their record fee for Neymar a chain reaction was set in motion: the price tag will have a knock-on effect on clubs purchasing in Europe. Premier clubs, bless them, will have to add a nought to their own cheques so, in turn, they will demand more when selling players who, obviously, will be demanding filthy lucre in salaries. That will have a knock-off effect all the way down the ladder.

In a short space of time, £30m has become the new £10m.

Rafa Benitez has taken Newcastle into the Premier League but knows they will be paupers compared to the rest, and not just the usual suspects. Get your feet under the Premier League table and you're laughing. Promoted teams will be more likely than ever to be relegated and we move closer to a Super League.

Football's gone. Where? Who knows?