Why Manchester City need FIFA’s backing in this stand-off

Player power is ever increasing in football and the situation is only becoming more unbalanced. As the Carlos Tevez saga rumbles on like some boring omnibus that climaxed weeks ago yet continues to run we are left wondering what Man City’s real options are? Don’t confuse my disdain for Tevez as sympathy for City, of which I have none, but it seems to me that Man City’s rights are not really protected here. What can they really do to punish a player they paid around £40m for who now refuses to play?

Suspension

Yes they can suspend Tevez, they have already done this and whilst they don’t necessarily have to pay him during this time is this punishment enough? The player is refusing to come back and train at City long after his suspension has finished therefore it appears that this punishment carries little actual threat to the Argentine striker.

Fines

They can fine him. They’ve done this too, but what does it matter to a man that earns a reported £200,000 a week if he is fined half a million, or a million, or more? Before the year is out he will have regained all of that money so it makes little difference to him. Monetary threats to footballers are not really threats at all. They will always make the money back from the person who is normally fining them. It is a farce.

Sacking

They can sack Tevez which alleviates the problem of having to pay the ungrateful culprit and then they no longer have to deal with the problems he presents. However again Tevez doesn’t even want to be at City. Being sacked is exactly what he does want then he would be free to go and ply his trade wherever he saw fit. Probably back in Argentina. Moreover they would never recover any of the hefty price tag which they paid for him. They can sue him if they were to dismiss the forward but reports suggest that they would only receive about £17m which would be less than half of the asking price they have set for the striker.

So…

So then what are their real options? Incorporating him back in to the team or selling him. Because of the relatively small amount of compensation that would be involved in sacking Tevez then selling him makes for a better option but with such a high price tag and huge wage demands there are few likely candidates around to purchase the South American. And the other option, bringing him back in to the fold, has already been attempted by Mancini who said that if Carlos apologised there was still a place for him in Manchester. However the player’s latest antics are sure to have scuppered any chance of that ever happening.

So now City are in a position whereby unless they drop their asking price dramatically there is little chance of selling him and they have exhausted their other options. FIFA must watch this episode carefully because precedents are set easily in football as Jean-Marc Bosman proved. If the right solution to this problem is not reached then it will be another huge step towards diminished power f football clubs. If Man City with all their financial clout cannot control and punish their players then what chance do the clubs that need money stand?

FIFA can step in and solve this problem. They can perhaps threaten to impose a worldwide ban on Tevez if he refuses to cooperate. This would do two things: firstly it would show players that even if they think they are bigger than their club they are not bigger than football. It will make an example of Tevez and even though he may not wish to play football for the next year or two other players will. This will act as a huge deterrent for other trouble-making players who think they are bigger than their employers. Secondly it could force Tevez to play ball with City. If he is sacked, sued and then cannot play football which would provide a source of income for him then he would have to rethink his position.

At the moment Tevez holds all the cards and it is the responsibility of FIFA to help out his parent club. Not just for City but for all clubs who may experience similar issues in the future. If Tevez gets away with his actions this time then what is top stop any player simply refusing to play next time he wants to move clubs or doesn’t get on with his manager. FIFA are often in the news for the wrong reasons, it’s time for a change.

Follow me on Twitter @H_Mackay

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