​It's a commonly debated question: just what can you get for £75m these days? Lots of things, it would appear. Some would say over 3,200 nurses; others one-and-a-half 'Children in Need' totals, Jürgen Klopp would go with exactly one ill-fitting, unproven defender - Seems reasonable.

We've all heard the news then. A world-record transfer fee has been broken before the window has even opened. Virgil van Dijk has been bought by the aforementioned Mr Klopp's Liverpool for the truly eye-watering sum of over 3,200 nurses. Since then, everyone's favourite jovial gaffer has told Reds to "forget about the price". His explanation? Van Dijk has "the quality, the mentality, the character" to justify it. Of course. Move on.

Liverpool have smashed the record fee for a central defender by one-and-a-half times, leap-frogging Paris Saint-Germain's meagre pocket change of £50m for David Luiz.

Clearly, Jürgen Klopp doesn't seem to mind. He's forgotten the price tag already; but what about the fans?

How do they feel? Excited, invigorated and encouraged by this statement of intent? Chomping at the bit to bounce down to Anfield and watch the Prodigal Son in action? Maybe even smug to get one over on the other Premier League big boys?

Clearly these are just natural and expected responses in the eyes of the 50-year-old manager; but we're willing to bet that not all fans are feeling quite as chuffed as he is. For the fans who shell out an average of £788 a year on a Liverpool season ticket - not to mention food, drink, train travel, away games, clothing, kid's tickets etc. - seeing your annual wage being spent 3172 times over might actually be a bit of a kick in the teeth.

Although, having said that, we're willing to admit that maybe fans wouldn't mind so much if that kind of money was being spent on the truly world-class, top footballers the world has to offer. Does Virgil van Dijk really fit that description? 

So far, the Dutchman has played for a handful of fairly average clubs; had very limited game time of late; and, according to Klopp, "needs to adapt to our style of play". So he's not proven, not fit and not - seemingly - prepared to become a Liverpool player. That 'world-class' description does seem a little way off.

But, hey, he's got "the quality, the mentality, the character", remember? All that other stuff doesn't matter. £75m is a drop in the ocean for a good triple-whammy platitude.

The whole situation exposes something darkly concerning about football today.

While fans scrimp and save their hard-earned cash to follow the club their family has worshiped from time immemorial, these financial powerhouses are going around throwing money about like it comes from no where. Money in football is essentially generated from tickets and television deals. Ultimately, these are paid for from the fan's pockets; and it takes a lot for most fans to do so.

It's been known for years that football clubs have little regard for the financial burden their fans have to bare in order to keep them afloat. Only now, with Jürgen Klopp's comments and what is truly an unjustifiable price, they appear to be laughing in our faces about it.


The millionaires on Merseryside can quite easily "forget the price", yes, but everyday football fans cannot. While Klopp can rest easy at night, comforted by Van Dijk's quality, mentality and character, the fans who adore him have other priorities. No amount of character can comfort a father struggling to pay rent, feed his children or make it through the Christmas period; let alone afford a season ticket to his watch childhood joy.

The same goes for the other two comforting characteristics, Van Dijk's mentality and quality go no where to help pay bills. Especially when he doesn't have an abundance of either.

What might help fans, however, is more affordable football. The sport, in essence, allows people a bit of respite, it should be an unbridled joy on a Saturday afternoon; not the cause of worry, dispute and stress.

Klopp's blasé suggestion is an insult to every single football fan who works themselves into the ground to follow their club. It highlights the current disease in football and does so with a cheery grin.

Van Dijk isn't worth £75m, just like a Liverpool season ticket isn't worth £788. The difference is that one sum can be paid and accompanied by a throwaway comment, the other can't be paid at all.