MODERN FOOTBALL, WHERE WILL IT ALL END? ££££££££
I know it’s extremely satisfying to see Barcelona lose one of their best players to another club. It’s karma for what they did to Arsenal, taking Cesc Fabregas and other players away from us. But even so the Neymar deal doesn’t seem right to me. In fact I’d go as far as to say it stinks to high heaven.
How can a club the size of PSG take one of the finest players in the World away from one of the biggest clubs on the planet? How can they possibly walk up to Barcelona and slap a cheque down for €220m and pay Neymar half a million pounds a week clear without infringing FFP rules?
PSG – founded just 47 years ago – have a stadium capacity of 47,929. The television revenue that the French clubs get domestically and in overseas rights is dwarfed by the TV money that Barcelona receive. If the Neymar deal isn’t breaching FFP rules I’d like to know why.
Arsene Wenger says “Once a country owns a club, everything is possible. And of course we cannot compete at that level. This transfer is the consequence of the ownerships which have completely changed the whole landscape of football in the last 15 years”.
On this I’m in agreement with Arsene.
Financial doping started with Roman Abramovich in 2005. I remember David Dein saying “Roman Abramovich has parked his Russian tanks on the lawn and is firing £50 notes at us”. Things were then taken up a notch when the Abu Dhabi royal family bought Manchester City and it has now gone onto another level with PSG being owned by Qatar.
Some may say Jack Walker did it with Blackburn Rovers, or that even in the 1930’s Arsenal did the same. But in my eyes that was nothing like what’s happening now. Arsenal didn’t buy half a dozen players in one go. They couldn’t force a club to sell a player if the other club didn’t want to sell, as the club retained the player, even if he was out of contract. Also the clubs all paid the same money, so clubs couldn’t be bullied into selling their best players like they are today. It all seems rather quaint now to look back at the way that Arsenal got Alex James a few bob extra by getting him a part time job in the sports department in Selfridges.
I don’t blame Neymar for leaving Barcelona for the staggering amount he’s being paid. But it can’t be right that PSG can just waltz off with him, sticking two fingers up to Barcelona and FFP like Harry Enfield saying “I’m considerably richer than you”.
Frankly, I’m sick of what is happening in football today. You’ve got Chinese clubs spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave. The Arabs at Manchester City using The Arsenal like some kind of glorified nursery club and Qatar doing exactly what they like both at PSG, where they are bending the FFP rules like Uri Geller bends spoons, and the way they bought the World Cup in 2022 is outrageous.
How the hell can Qatar be given the World Cup – which is a summer tournament – when FIFA’s report strongly advised not to stage it there because it’s smack in the middle of a desert!? So – what did the corrupt FIFA committee do to ensure Qatar could hold it? They only went and changed it to a winter tournament! Thereby throwing the club football calendar into turmoil for three seasons to accommodate it.
You couldn’t make it up.
All this after the FIFA corruption scandal – when it was found that practically the whole committee was as bent as a nine-bob note. You’d think the 2022 World Cup would be taken away from Qatar! I’m amazed they’ve still got it.
Just as I’m astounded the Qatari’s have got away with stealing Neymar away from Barcelona.
UEFA have got to draw a line at this. They need to stand up to the likes of PSG and their Qatari owners and do something about it. I’m fed up that Arsenal’s position as a major club is being diminished day by day. It’s got to the stage where football is like the Wild West: anything goes.
If UEFA doesn’t ensure that FFP is enforced properly the only way that Arsenal can continue to be a leading club is by doing the same and get a new owner that will do what’s necessary financially to compete. As unpalatable as that may be, it is that or the gap will continue to grow between the financially doped clubs and the rest.
And we’ll just become a mediocre club.