You want HOW MUCH?!?
Earlier today, while reading an interesting article entitled Smashing The Window which talks about the negative effects the football transfer window itself has primarily on smaller clubs, I got to thinking about the knock-on effects recent player transfers have had on a lot of clubs – even the smaller ones.
As you’d expect with almost anything transfer related I have to start with Real Madrid. They smashed the world record twice in almost as many weeks with the capture of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo earlier in the summer, signing them for ludicrous amounts of money – £56 million and £80 million respectively. Most clubs worldwide don’t even have an entire team worth the combined £136 million that those two cost, but their ridiculous price has sparked a knock-on effect that has the potential to do serious damage to a lot of football clubs.
Franck Ribery is a player who has been mentioned a lot in recent weeks, mainly as a target for Real Madrid but Manchester United and more recently Chelsea as well. At one point the president of his current club Bayern Munich said he was worth the same amount as Ronaldo and he wouldn’t sell him for anything less than £80 million due to the inflated prices certain clubs (notably Manchester City) can and will pay should the situation arise. No doubt even they were thinking “you want HOW MUCH for this guy?!?” I rate Riberly highly as a player with a fantastic workrate and passion for the game, but as much as I think Ronaldo is worth nowhere near what Madrid paid for him that opinion applies for Ribery even more so. Currently Chelsea are aiming to sign him for half that amount, but even then I don’t think he’s worth half of that. Silly amounts of money have been mentioned for signing players like David Villa of Valencia as well, just because certain clubs are willing to pay way over the odds for the best players in the world doesn’t mean every single decent player should command a massively inflated price tag.
The problem has affected lower league clubs as well. Fabian Delph is a player Leeds United wanted £8 million for at one stage, he eventually signed with Aston Villa for a conveniently undisclosed fee but I’m willing to speculate it was somewhere around that mark. The point is that absolutely no League 1 club has a player worth anywhere near £8 million, and in my opinion if some of the bigger clubs hadn’t already spent big this summer they probably would have asked for roughly a quarter of that price because that is more of a realistic valuation of a player in that league.
Very average players are being bought and sold for far more than what most consider to be their market value as well, for example Didier Zokora, a guy who blew hot and cold at Tottenham Hotspur was bought by Sevilla recently for roughly £8.6 million. Another example is Darren Bent, Spurs somehow got £10 million for a hugely overrated player that they originally paid too much for as well. Don’t even get me started on the £60 million Barcelona spent on Ibrahimovic, for me that is by far the worst transfer in history – eclipsing that of Andriy Shevchenko from Milan to Chelsea and Juan Veron from Lazio to Manchester United.
Even though prices for players are naturally increasing as years go by, the sudden spike in player valuations has perhaps inadvertently been caused by teams like Real Madrid and Manchester City being willing to pay insane amounts of money for players they desperately want. This summer alone the previous transfer record of £45 million paid for Zinedine Zidane eight years ago has been smashed three times, and it looks like a trend that is showing no signs of stopping. The entire Brazilian football league has had its start to the season postponed due to financial troubles, I think it’s only a matter of time before this happens to one (or more) of the European Leagues based on the amount of money teams will one day have to spend to sign practically anyone. And we’re in a recession, you wouldn’t believe it would you?
Posted on August 11, 2009, in Sport and tagged Cristiano Ronaldo, Darren Bent, Didier Zokora, Fabian Delph, football, Franck Ribery, Leeds, Real Madrid, Soccer, Spurs, Zidane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.