As the transfer window shuts for the Premier League, the sad news is broken that the super transfer totaliser is down 10% on the same point last season. Still £450 million changing hands isn't that bad.
So hastily assembled squads with managers under the most enormous pressure prepare to do battle. But not for another 10 days. So congratulations to the powers that be producing an almighty anti-climax. In a country so steeped in football heritage, how has it come to this? For a game with fairly simple rules, played over 90 minutes between 22 players (plus subs) to become so outrageously hyped up is ridiculous.
The best and most exciting league in the world? Manchester United v Arsenal, perhaps. But Portsmouth v Bolton? Two teams on zero points after four games. Between them they have mustered just three goals (Pompey managed a disallowed goal against Manchester City, but they quite clearly don't count). Exciting? Not much chance.