So, it happened.
Sunderland have signed Andy Reid from Charlton in a deal worth up to £4m (subject to team and player performance).
The Black Cats pushed through the signing this evening, just hours before the transfer window closes at midnight tonight. (more)I'm gutted, to be frank. He's a gifted player, and a top chap to boot. But business is business. It's (up to - I'd like to know the variables) four million pounds we didn't have this morning. We're getting defender Greg Halford on loan in return. And, possibly more significantly, ex-QPR left-winger Lee Cook is coming on loan from Fulham.
"It was a tough call for all parties, and also Andy himself, but I feel we've coped well without him since he has been injured.
"The situation that Sunderland are in, he's going to find that very difficult to refuse. He's on Championship money and he'll be going to Premier League money.
"It was a difficult decision, but we have to look at ourselves and say 'are we going to let this affect us or will this make us stronger?' Hopefully, the latter will happen.” (more)
"We're just a selling club!" - Er, who isn't? Every club up to about Manchester City and Tottenham is a selling club, ultimately. We held out to transfer day and got a bloody good deal.
"What a greedy bastard Reid is!" - Two points. Firstly, if you're in your mid-20s, and have had a career interrupted by injury... wouldn't you want to take some cash? You could be out on your arse in a couple of years! He could open up a chain of bars with that cash! Secondly, I think cash may have actually had less to do with it than we may think - if you're an Irishman like Reid is, wouldn't you be tempted if Roy Keane and Niall Quinn came calling?
"Why sell our best player?" - Because we've been offered a huge pile of cash, and have discovered we can get by okay without him? Lee Cook's arrival gives us some options as well.
"What's Richard Murray/ the board doing?" - Er, it's their money. You match the money they've put into the club, you get the right to moan. Until then, shut up.
I actually wonder how well Reid will do at Sunderland - he's so far failed to really impress as a Premiership player, but his barrel-on-legs physique and quick wit meant he was dynamite in the second tier. It's a bit of a gamble for Roy Keane - but it's an opportunity for our ex-captain.
I hope he makes the adjustment well.
More importantly, it looks like a good deal for us. Good luck, and thanks, Reidy - and welcome aboard, Halford and Cook. Just ignore the moaning fans, would you?