The world of football – defying the recession and common sense
About four months ago the world of football was turned on its head by several massive transfers. In fact the previous record for a sale of a player (Zinidine Zidane in 2001) was broken four times this past summer, and I find it unbelievable that not only was the small matter of a global recession totally ignored by certain clubs but also any shred of common sense on the part of some managers/chairmen was thrown out the window in order to sign their key targets. The most insane one for me saw Zlatan Ibrohimovic sold to Barcelona for nearly €70 million – and saw a better player go the other way in Samuel Eto’o. €70 million + Eto’o for a player who can only really perform well against inferior opposition, at first I thought the deal was simply a straight swap which I could have just about understood but I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard that so much money had also been exchanged. At the time the footballing world had gone mad.
Fast-forward to the present day and we’re roughly six weeks away from the transfer window reopening in January, meaning all sorts of rumours are flying around regarding potential player transfers. There seems to be an after effect of clubs spending €90 million here and €65 million there from the summer though, as evident by certain rumours I read about just this morning.We’ll start at the more reasonable valuation of Liverpool’s Ryan Babel and Andrea Dossena, who according to the BBC say “Rafa Benitez hopes to raise £15 million from the sale of defender Dossena and forward Babel – and wants to splash some of the cash on Hamburg striker Eljero Elia.” Presumably he means £15 million for the pair of them, but in the crazy world it wouldn’t surprise me if he wanted that much money for each of them. Both players join a long list of Anfield flops, but considering the price Benitez paid for them (about £19 million for the pair) losing out on £4 million seems reasonable.
From the reasonable to the insanenow, we come to the transfer speculation surrounding Everton’s Jack Rodwell. The teenager is wanted by both Chelsea and Manchester United so they obviously see a lot of potential in him, but while Chelsea have already offered a ridiculous £14 million and United are planning on a £16 million bid Everton are in fact demanding £20 million for the kid. This is a player who hasn’t even made thirty appearances for the senior team, and they want the equivalent of what Liverpool paid for Fernando Torres two years ago. If you had £20million to spend on either one of the best strikers in the world or a teenager who’s rarely played at senior level, who would you pick?
It doesn’t end there either. According to The News of The World website Manchester City have had a £36 million offer accepted for Angel di Maria of Benfica. I know exactly what you’re thinking – who? £36 million is more than the amount spent on such global superstars as Gianluigi Buffon, Dimitar Berbatov, Christian Vieri, Hernan Crespo and even Robinho, and this is a player who’s only made three appearances for Argentina and hasn’t exactly set the footballing world on fire from what I can gather. A couple of years ago £36 million could buy a club almost anything, since the big money moves of certain players more recently it gets a 21 year old Argentine who I’d imagine hardly anybody outside Portugal and Argentina have even heard of.
These examples just go to show that too much money has been spent on players recently, so much so that certain managers are demanding outrageous amounts for practically anybody. Perhaps a bigger problem is with the clubs willing to pay the asking price, I’m not surprised that Manchester City are spending what they’re spending considering their bottomless money pit but I am somewhat bemused by Manchester United and Chelsea already willing to spend £15 million (probably rising to £20 million) on a virtually unproven teenager. In lots of ways it’s something that needs to end soon before clubs go bankrupt, but on the other hand it’s good for the smaller clubs making a huge profit. Everton have already cashed in on Wayne Rooney in recent years and will definitely get a sizeable fee for Rodwell regardless of the final price he’s sold for, but ultimately players need to have a more realistic price slapped on them. Jack Rodwell is worth no more than £5 or £6 million, the unknown Argentine certainly isn’t worth £36 million and Cristiano Ronaldo (probably) wasn’t worth the £80 million Real Madrid paid for him. It’s a mad, mad world.
Posted on November 15, 2009, in Sport and tagged Angel di Maria, Benfica, Chelsea, Everton, football, Football Transfers, Jack Rodwell, Manchester City, Manchester United, Soccer, Zlatan Ibrahomivic. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.