The job I have in my professional life is stressful. I was formerly a debt-collector taking all kinds of abuse imaginable. I have been the victim of three separate car accidents, and my ex-girlfriend used to have a Spaniel called Phoebe. It shit a lot, everywhere…once, in my car. Yet throughout all of this I remained incredibly calm. Not mad, not angry, not enraged.
This morning however, I caught sight of a story which felt the old minor indications of irritation starting. I read on, by the end of the article I was cross, very cross. I tried to put it out of my mind, but it remained there festering.
By the time I returned home I was ready for a pick me up, but instead what awaited me was a different article- the result of which made me apoplectic! The first of these read as follows:
“Tottenham to play waiting game to bag Benteke with last-ditch bid”!
“Villa to join Athletico”!!!
Now I must admit there are a couple of issues that have irritated me here.
Addressing Benteke first, I am powerless to avoid fearing the worst that this rumour may just have some legs. Past experience makes this seem likely, I mean, why would we not wait until two weeks into the season to buy a player who may make the difference to our season?
Surely it’s only the foolish teams like Manchester United and Chelsea that ensure their transfer business is completed early? I’m pleased to know that Tottenham still have their finger on the pulse in realising that the only time to fully prep your team for the season, both tactically and personnel-wise, is three or four games into it! Good sense prevails again I see. The second issue I had with this article was the alleged price….£30 million sheckles!! Yes, it was not a mis-print, that genuinely was the projected price!
I now move on to consider the second article, the substance of which should be evident to all those who follow Tottenham transfer news, concerns the impending destination of Barcelona’s David Villa. It is probably my own fault for relinquishing my cynicism and buying into the hype of the Spurs community, but even I thought this transfer could be on the cards. However it appears not. Athletico Madrid have swooped in and agreed a deal for approximately £1.5- 4 million. So about £10 million less than Tottenham were rumoured to be paying?
Again, numerous questions are raised over this, but with Villa now apparently off the cards, the only other transfer link suggests we will be repeating last seasons trick of transfer season sabotage.
This in turn has made me curious about certain things. Consider the following bids:
Carlos Tevez- gone to Juventus for £10 million.
(Who also signed Fernado Llorente last season to join this summer for £7 million by the way).
Mario Gomez- allegedly joining Fiorentina for £20 million.
Wayne Rooney- allegedly available for £20 million.
Gonzalo Higuain- allegedly joining Arsenal for £23 million.
Alvaro Negredo- allegedly available for £25 million.
Luis Suarez- allegedly the subject of a £30 million bid from Arsenal.
All of these are Champions League quality players, in the majority of instances allegedly joining Champions League clubs, aside from Gomez to Fiorentina.
I now consider some of the alleged bids and interests we hold:
Roberto Soldado of Valencia-allegedly available for £25 million.
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa- allegedly available for £30 million.
Hulk of Zenit St Petersburg- allegedly available for £40 million.
Leandro Damiao of Internacional- allegedly available for anywhere between £20-30 million.
Now the first thing you may notice about the second set of players is that Hulk aside, none of the above play for Champions League clubs.
While they are all of significant quality, I fail to understand why the prospective costs of purchasing players not currently playing in the Champions League cost either as much, or more, than those who are.
Now factor in the fact that those players currently playing, or used to regularly playing, in the Champions League, will very seldom make the switch to playing for a club not in the Champions League.
It therefore means that for clubs not in the Champions League, the pool of players to choose from is severely narrowed to (and I use this term very generally, and purely just to illustrate this point) “lesser-quality” players, however, clubs have to pay either the same, or higher prices for the privilege.
The consequence of this is clear- that for those clubs aiming to break into the Champions League, they will actually have to spend more money than those clubs in the Champions League will have to, to remain in the competition. That Juventus can purchase Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente for £17 million, and Liverpool buy Andy Carroll for £35 million. Manchester United buy Robin Van Persie for £24 million, and Tottenham are potentially buying Christian Benteke for £30 million.
It is a hugely unfair and disproportionate system, and unless clubs are willing to pay a huge amount of money over the odds to make it into the worlds elite club competition, then they will continue to be disadvantaged.
This is easier said than done- how many Russian Oligarchs or Middle Eastern Sheiks are really out there to come and invest in your team. Two words: Very few. So where does this leave a club like Tottenham?
Well it leaves them with a simple choice, to either spend a significant amount of money in the hope of ousting a club with the ability to attract Champions League players for less money, therefore enabling them to buy more, or to not…which would likely leave them to be embroiled in the Thursday night arena of the Europa League.
In view of the new stadium on the horizon, the wage cap and the haggling nature of Daniel Levy, it would seem that the answer is clear, and that the future, albeit rather unfairly, is not too bright.
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