Arsenal and Man City fall victim to blatant double standards

Football FanCast guest columnist Paul Duffy is fed up with the way the likes of Barcelona can get away with the blatant tapping up of players.

One of the perks of being the most successful team around at the moment is that is that you have license to ride roughshod over everyone, make your own rules with the full knowledge that both FIFA and UEFA will happily turn a blind eye to it. The likes of Real Madrid have been getting away with it for years and now it appears to be the turn of Barcelona.

What grates me is the sheer hypocrisy of the aforementioned organisations who always tell supporters that it is their intention to clean the game up in any way possible. It is almost laughable and why they are attempting to take positive steps in eradicating the poaching and tapping up of younger players, they seem oblivious to what clubs are doing to unsettle the older ones. Maybe I am missing something here, but what is the actual difference?

Barcelona is back to their mischievous ways and now they are currently the best team in Europe, they feel they have the divine right to throw their weight around and express their interest in players via the world media. You can't blame a Mr Begiristain for his actions as at the end of the day they have free rein to do so, as the authorities don't see it as too much of a problem and they'll do their level best to turn the heads of contracted players, who are key to their respective clubs, so they can maintain their dynasty as the best team in Europe. Unfortunately it does have the desired affect and my team Liverpool are suffering as a result of Barca's interest in Javier Mascherano, who has completely had his head turned and is a shadow of the player he is; it makes you wonder whether it will do the same to likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robinho, given their open interest they have made over the weekend.

It is absolutely outrageous that they can get away with this, especially given the consequences it can have on the clubs involved. I accept the likes of Arsenal and City have an exceptional pool of talent and therefore should either player decide the lure of Barca, and the current best team in Europe is too much to play for then they'll be able to cope, but that isn't the problem here, it is the blatant double standards of the authorities who sanction a club like Chelsea for tapping up youngsters and yet allow someone like Barcelona to rock the foundations of other clubs by touting their best players. The usual upshot is the players end up kicking up a stink and force the hands of their current clubs to sell them and the only one who benefits is someone like Barca who know by planting this seed in the players mind, via the media, that their job is done. It is a disgrace that they get away with it and even more so that the authorities turn a blind eye to it, therefore it is time that clubs got together as one and bring this damaging practice fully to both FIFA and UEFA's attention.

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