the lovely Lady of Shallot
is she for sale or is she not?
well, certainly my friend
but then that might depend
how many euros have you got?
One hundred and thirty three million dollars..cash, no trades…there hardly ever are any – a club negotiates with another club for one of their players…if they reach agreement on a cash sum then the player himself negotiates ‘personal terms…that done he’s off, whatever contract he has with the first club is out the window – Bale had signed a new 4 year deal with Tottenham last year, detritus… he’s now a Real Madrid player…for the next 4 years…maybe
now, you can only do this during what is termed the transfer window – there’ a short one at Christmas, mid season, but the big one is in the summer off season and ended at midnight last night…the whole of Europe was agog , saturation 24 hour tv coverage, rumor, innuendo, big big bucks…
putting this in a U.S.context, as much as it is possible – say we want Mike Trout…we don’t wait for the Angels to announce he is/may be for sale, will listen to offers etc…when the window opens we contact the Angels and make our-cash- offer…the news gets out, other clubs start to ferret about and one or more may place their bids…as the trade deadline approaches a few hours away the Angels must decide what offer if any to take…assuming there is one the deal is struck, announced, subject only to a medical and those personal terms…a good deal of cash will change hands but rarely is another player involved(Bowie Kuhn eat your heart out). Effectively the player can scupper the deal – if he doesn’t want to move he can say so or more often simply request outlandish personal terms..
However, more interestingly, the player can in reality, initiate the deal, make it happen, disturb the status quo…he waits for the transfer window to open and then makes it known he wants off to Club X, his childhood dream…that’s what Bale did…having said that he sensibly disappeared from view and let the two clubs concerned battle it out over the oncoming 2/3 months…it took them all but a few hours to agree…
thus a 25 year old Welsh boy stood in the Bernabeau in Madrid yesterday in front of his adoring new fans, said a few obligatory words in Spanish, kissed his new uniform badge, juggled a football between foot and head as is the custom, while his agent(yes, we Have Senor Boras too) announce he would be paid close to half a million dollars a week (everything regarding soccer wages is quoted by the week – so the working man can better relate)..a country that’s been on its financial knees for four years now allows a system where its two elite soccer institutions can go into deep debt with its equally screwed up banks- and long term, please…meanwhile Tottenham fans in North London plod abjectly to work, they have nothing in exchange…
one final Ripley…the said Government even colluded to make these deals a lot sweeter for the incoming alien by creating a different, lower, tax rate for them…ever wonder how Barcelona got Messi? It was only the outrage of Angela Merkel that stopped this – she refused any more EU loans while it remained…this is an example of however deeply you may think sport is enmeshed in the American culture – and it obviously is – it cannot begin to approach the passion, the intensity and thus the downright tomfoolery that goes on in World Soccer up to and including Government level – which means European soccer with a dash of the tango added..
it all ended a few hours ago...here’s a light hearted look… who shall we buy?