Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has said that Man City used their financial leverage to force him out of a deal to sign Craig Bellamy from West Ham in January last year.
Redknapp said: “I was trying to sign Bellamy at the same time as Palacios. Then they came and told me ‘You know, if you don’t drop out of Bellamy, we’ll sign Palacios too and you won’t get either of them’. So we had no choice really. They just said ‘We will blow you out of the water’.” He went on to say: “Then, obviously, the money they offered Bellamy we could not compete with anyway. It’s not reasonable but they can do it, can’t they? They’ve got the backing, they’ve got the clout to do that. They can do it if they want to somebody. I’ve never been in that position. It probably wasn’t the manager at the time, anyway.”
This comment also comes a few days after Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto declared that players do think about the money first when they sign for a club, saying:
“Is there one player in the world who signs for a club and says, ‘Oh, I love your shirt? Your shirt is red. I love it.’ He doesn’t care. The first thing that you speak about is the money.”
Unfortunately in football money talks and the clubs that have it will be able to attract the better players. Although you could say that with Chelsea and Man City becoming stronger it makes the Premiership title race and the 4th Champions League spot more exciting, is buying your way to the top really the way to go? I’m sure more fans respect Manchester United winning the league because they actually have a history and a proud tradition. Also sides like Aston Villa deserve to be in the Champions League because of the hard work they’ve put in over the last few years and Martin O’Neill has worked wonders there. But you feel as though it’s never going to happen because they won’t be able to give players the kind of money that other clubs can, as evidenced by Gareth Barry’s move to City last summer.
Should Tottenham also qualify for the Champions League then they would get far more respect than Manchester City because they’ve been in the Premier League for years trying to force their way up the table and have seen many squads come and go. Moving away from Europe, sides like Stoke deserve more recognition for staying in the Premiership for two seasons than City do if they qualify for 4th spot. The job Tony Pulis has done on probably a tenth of what City have in such a fiercely and money-driven league is remarkable.
It is a sad state when players like Carlos Tevez, who was idolised at Manchester United can show a complete disregard for the fans and the rivalry between them and City and sign for the Eastlands club just because they can add a few extra zeros on the end of his paycheck.