When the buzzer sounded for the end of the transfer window game show in Spain on Monday night the overwhelming noise from supporters was groans of disappointment, that and a few screams of fury from Valencia fans.
Diario AS reported in its Tuesday edition that the Spanish league had witnessed an overall 65 per cent fall in money spent compared to last year with €1.3billion (£1.1bn) spent last summer and just €410m (£372m) paid out this time.
And to futher emphasise the trend Real Madrid had not signed a single player for the first time in 40 years.
The transfer window closed with Real Madrid not buying anybody for the first time in 40 years
But Real did manage to get both Sergio Reguilon (L) and Gareth Bale (R) off of their books
But more than the expected drop in money spent overall, and more than Madrid’s decision to buy no one (they did tell us they weren’t bringing anyone in) what upset supporters was the way in which clubs operated – particularly Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia.
For Barca fans, to overdo the game show metaphor, it was ‘take a look at what you could have won’. What happened to Memphis Depay? Remember Latauro Martinez and Georginio Wijnaldum? And Eric Garcia, wasn’t he going to join if they could sell a centre-back?
They had given away Luis Suarez and Rafinha and sold Arthur Melo, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Nelson Semedo, and it seemed they had also sold their supporters quite a few dummies.
Barcelona announced losses of €97m (£88m) for last season on Monday morning, almost as if to remind fans that the frugal window was justified.
But supporters still scratched their heads as to why they were unable to get any initial fee for Brazilian midfielder Rafinha, or for Suarez.
Ronald Koeman took over at Barcelona knowing he had to sell before buying any players
Luis Suarez was the biggest name to go during the summer clear out, moving to Atletico
Despite trying to raise funds, Barcelona still couldn’t afford a deal for Lyon’s Memphis Depay
They were also trying to understand why they loaned central defender Jean-Clair Todibo to Benfica for €2m (£1.8m) but then were not able to bring in Eric Garcia from Manchester City to replace him. That deal will now take place next summer but in the meantime Ronald Koeman is light in an area of the pitch that was already causing him some concern.
Not only did Atletico Madrid fail to buy anyone on deadline day but they sold midfielder Thomas Partey to Arsenal for €50m (£45m). Their supporters were not happy.
Some blamed the former Atletico youth teamer for leaving so late in the window. Others were upset at the club, saying they sold him late deliberately to excuse not being able to buy a replacement.
It’s certainly true that they had Lucas Torreira waiting in Madrid to come in as a cut-price loan replacement. But judging from the fact that Partey played 90 minutes at the weekend, Atletico really did seem to be genuinely surprised by Arsenal’s…