Around and around Manchester United go - caught in a time-warp, splashing out on ageing players on deadline day and encouraging them to say Old Trafford is their life's ambition when they've actually been lured with wages of £200,000-a-week, give or take.
For Radamel Falcao, aged 28, deadline day 2014 ('this is a lifetime opportunity, you can't turn that down') read Edinson Cavani, aged 33, deadline day 2020 ('one of the greatest clubs in the world, a real honour to be here.')
Noise is what United, with their weirdly skewed priorities, crave most these days. A feeling of self-importance and relevance.
Manchester United have been shambolic at times during a dreadful opening to their season
A last-minute dash for signings on deadline day saw United sign veteran striker Edinson Cavani
European champions Bayern Munich have left United trailing while spending much less
Ed Woodward, the man who writes the cheques, quoted the number of Google searches a Falcao transfer attracts when justifying that move to United's institutional shareholders. It was another £20m down the drain.
So let's consider a club who have just moved quietly through another deadline day without the need to tell anyone how important they are, signing players you almost certainly won't have heard about.
Bayern Munich paid Marseille £9m for Bouna Sarr, a right back and Espanyol £8.1m for Marc Roca, a central midfielder.
These players rank as borderline invisible on football's Twitter scale – 94k and 16.7k respectively, compared with Eric Bailly, beyond incompetent for United yet commanding 1.2m.
The transfer strategy of United's executive vice chairman Ed Woodward (foreground) and transfer negotiator Matt Judge (background) remains as confused as ever
Bayern's new signings Bouna Sarr (left) and Marc Roca (right) prepare for a training session
These acquisitions epitomise the way that Bayern have turned United into a speck in their rear view mirror, while spending vastly less than them in the transfer market.
The humbling truth for United is this. The Bayern Munich starting XI which beat PSG in last month's Champions League final cost £200m.
The Man United starting XI defeated 6-1 at home by Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday cost £456m. The outlay on Paul Pogba and Harry Maguire would have bought virtually the entire Bayern team.
The view from Germany is that the monstrous economics of the Premier League, with its £5.1bn TV deal, breeds a kind of madness.
'You've got that money, so you spend it,' says Jorg Jakob of Kicker, Germany's top sports magazine. 'The German fan says the Premier League is mad. The spending is mad.'
United's spending on Pogba (left) and Maguire alone would buy most of Bayern's teamsonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice