The Love of Money…
Moving away from discussing Celtic for a wee bit,the season may be drawing to a close but the stories from Planet Football keep coming thick and fast. Sadly,so many seem to revolve around money and/or the abuse/misuse of power.
One week from today,for example,sees the final of The Europa League,UEFA’s second club tournament. A one-off game as these finals always are nowadays,and naturally UEFA will want it to be a showpiece,to showcase The Beautiful Game in the best possible light.
Baku was therefore the natural choice,right? Hmmm,it could be argued that Baku isn’t even in Europe. The Bosporus which divides Istanbul is also the frontier between Europe and Asia. European Istanbul is on the West Bank and Asian Istanbul on the East Bank. Baku shares a latitude with Istanbul,but is over 2,200 km to the east.
It’s not even close to being in Europe!
Add to that the fact that it is on a war footing with Armenia over Nagarno-Karabakh which prevent Henrik Mkhitaryan even setting foot in Azerbaijan and you have further reason to question the suitability of this venue,as is the fact that fans of Chelseas and Arsenal are only entitled to 6,000 tickets each. That it will take place at 11pm local time is just the clincher.
So why did UEFA award the final to such a ridiculous location? The answer is the same as why the next World Cup will be in Qatar.
Money is a subject never far away from Real Madrid. Talk is that Zidane wants Hazard and Mbappe,and that he wants Bale out of the door. Now there’s a problem with Hazard-his current club Chelseas are facing the prospect of a transfer ban over FFP and transfer irregularity allegations,which surely means that they will be unwise to sell a player they literally cannot even attempt to replace. Mbappe’s employers at PSG are facing the prospect of a similar ban-though it is less likely. (See if you can figure out why.) For sure,bringing in a huge fee for Mbappe would go a long way to easing their FFP worries-though I think they’d prefer to be rid of Neymar,with no takers!-but here’s the problem.
Real cannot afford either of them! So at least says their former President,and another financial problem lingers in the shape of Gareth Bale. Zidane might not want him,the fans may not love him anymore,Bale CGAF. He has another three years left on a contract worth in the region of €60m and says he’s going nowhere till he gets paid.
Bale is still only 29,and he has maybe his last few years at the top level in front of him. He’s far from a busted flush,if played correctly in a decent team,yet he is prepared to sacrifice that on a point of principle.
Or is it because he knows that he won’t get a contract like that elsewhere?
Still on the subject of money,it gets even more distasteful here. An interview with the Cardiff City chairman had him declaring that the £15m transfer of Emiliano Sala would have included about £3m of agents fees,something that he said is all wrong,declaring that it is the poor old fans who have to pay for it all-holds peeled onion to eye. He then had a pop at Willie McKay over the status of the plane which tragically crashed,and at McKay’s own status as an agent-or not-demanding that football authorities clean all this mess up because,wait for it,there is so much money in the game now and it’s going to treble again over the years.
He then says that Cardiff won’t be paying the fee for Sala to Nantes because he wasn’t their player. There’s a very apt word for the whole interview. That word is cant. Which is roughly what I feel about him too.
Speaking of cant,does anyone remember this little snippet from a recent judgement?
“We therefore proceed on the basis that the breach of the rules relating to disclosure did not give rise to any sporting advantage, direct or indirect. We do not therefore propose to consider those sanctions which are of a sporting nature.”
That’s right,it’s the famous GIRUY from LNS,the one where it was decided that players not properly registered didn’t breach any rules which would have led to points being deducted. Those points deductions,of course,would have led to the huns no longer finishing where they did in a huge number of seasons.
Well,they don’t fanny about in Wales much,no sirree. Seems that Bangor City fielded not one-and certainly not eleven,plus substitutes!-but two players who breached registration criteria. So for every game that Player A and/or Player B played in,the Welsh FA deducted the club three points-even if they hadn’t won any points in those games anyway!
42 might not really be the meaning of the universe,but having that number of points deducted could well be the end of the world for the club. It will be their second successive relegation for rules-breaching and might well put them out of business altogether.
More infamy nearer home,and surprise surprise it relates to the huns,or rather their casual disregard for the rules. In this case,it’s not the rules of football,as they clearly only apply to other clubs,nor even the laws of the land,which their fans flout on each occasion that they get enough for a quorum. No,this is more of a contractual thing,one of them things that’s unfortunately written down on paper with all sorts of signatures on it. Very hard to deny its existence to even a “friendly” judge,much less a straight one. Looks like Clarence the cross-eyed moron decided to ignore his contractual obligations to Mike Ashley Inc,and the cost to his friends could run to eight figures. That’s half a Jabba-style Morelos,or more accurately,four Gerrard Morelos. Or about twenty BMCUWP Morelos! Disnae matter whichever way,it’s a lot of dough,especially when you don’t have it. It’s also about half of their season ticket money.
I could go on,because the way that The Love of Money has overtaken The Love of The Beautiful Game has endless variations as we all know. I’ll leave you with this one though,and it’s not football related. It was a snippet on the radio news last night,and I wish I’d been paying more attention. A sports club in Spain awarded their four male winners a trophy. Their four female winners also received a prize each,amongst them a vibrator and hair removal tools. Insert own punchline here…
Above article by BMCUWP. Your turn for Article of the Day anytime you feel like it,just mail it to Mahe on