Like an outdated fantasy league auction, the new Premier League Soccer featuring six teams based in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal bid for the rights to sign several "icon" players." Hernan Crespo, who scored nine goals for Parma last season, drew the highest bid and went for $840,000 (£536,000) at the sprightly age of 36. For Robbie Fowler (also 36), however, the results were a bit more depressing.
From the Guardian:
Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro went to Siliguri for £530,000 [$830,000], while Robert Pires of France (£511,000 [$800,000]), the Nigerian Jay-Jay Okocha (£351,000 [$550,000]) and former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler (£338,000 [$530,000]) went to Howrah, Durgapur and Kolkata respectively.
Five franchises collectively spent nearly £4.5m, each buying an "icon" player, two overseas footballers and a coach.
Each club also bid for a foreign manager to guide them through the perils of a six-week tournament, with inexperienced former Portugal international Fernando Couto proving to be the most expensive.
From the AP:
All teams also received a foreign coach—Fernando Couto of Portugal (Howrah, $240,000), Samson Siasia of Nigeria (Durgapur, $210,000), Teitur Thordorson of Iceland (Barasat, $210,000), Peter Reid of England ($200,000) and Marco Etcheverry of Bolivia (Siliguri, $200,000).
Teams have a salary cap of $2.5 million.
With the tedious droning of transfer deadline day approaching, it's hard not to think how much more entertaining a public player auction like this would be as a proper grand finale to the transfer window. Sotheby's could run it, Arsene Wenger could skip it and Fernando Torres could slump down in his chair when his reserve price isn't met.