Elevenses - Robert Pires to non-league Crawley? Football really has gone mad

21 October 2010 09:55

While the papers have been overflowing with news of a certain Mr Rooney's desire to leave Old Trafford for pastures new, an even bigger, and altogether more shocking transfer story seems to have gone almost completely unnoticed this week.

BBC Sussex have been doing some digging and have found out that Robert Pires is apparently close to finalising a move to Blue Square Bet Premier side Crawley Town.

Yes that's right, ex-Marseille, Arsenal and Villareal midfielder Robert Pires.

Winner of the Premier League, FA Cup, European Championships and World Cup. The Football Writers' Association Player of the Year for 2001-02 and a member of Pele's FIFA 100 - a list of the 100 greatest living footballers announced in 2004.

Watch Bobby in action for the Arsenal.

If you don't already know about Crawley, the easiest way to describe them is the Manchester City of non-league football. They've spent buckets of cash since starting 'Project Promotion' last summer, aimed at taking them into the Football League for the first time in their 114 year history.

So far they've splashed out £250,000 on York City striker Richard Brodie - a non-league record transfer and the equivalent of about £50 million by Premier League standards, as well as raiding Salisbury and Peterborough United with big-money moves for Matt Tubbs and the flamboyantly named Sergio Torres.

It's estimated that they spent close to £1m in the last transfer window, a frankly ridiculous amount considering their average home attendance is about 2,500.

But with rich local businessman funding some serious transfer spending, the capture of Pires looks oddly realistic if they can find enough dosh to satisy a player who was linked with the likes of Birmingham City and Aston Villa as recently as last month.

If the move does go through then stick some money on a few more ageing stars joining Pires for a final big pay-off. Who knows, Zidane, the fat Ronaldo and Del Piero could be lacing their boots at the Broadfield Stadium come next season.

Source: DSG

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