How many stories have there been in the past few weeks about Cristiano Ronaldo moving back to Manchester United? I’ve also lost count, so don’t feel bad for not knowing. The saga has gained a lot of momentum lately with fans flying past a La Liga game with a ‘come home Ronaldo’ banner to try and encourage the player to return to Manchester.
He has made no secret of his love for United and his desire to one day return and play for the club that nurtured his amazing talent, and it is also no secret that they could do with some Ronaldo magic right now themselves. When his current club Real Madrid bought him, he became the world’s most expensive player at £80 Million, a fee topped by the same club when they purchased Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur for £85 Million last year.
At the time of Ronaldo’s transfer to Los Mereunges, it was a transfer fee that seemed too big to comprehend. It was stupidly expensive, even in today’s multi-£billion football industry. I remember when Real landed Zidane from Juventus in 2001 for a huge £50 Million ( €75 million) which at the time seemed like a ridiculous sum of money to pay.
Where do we draw the line? I get that in the business world we have terms like “inflation” and “supply and demand” but the football business has already started to get way out of hand with these transfer fees (don’t get me started on the ridiculous wages these lot earn either) and it does not seem likely to stop any time soon.
In England at least the big transfer fee cap was a little lower, but this summer that has all changed with Manchester United throwing £59 Million at Real Madrid for Angel di Maria.
The governing bodies in football are trying to stamp out such ludicrous spending by introducing FFP rules which have already seen some big clubs land themselves in hot water over their spending. But the fines that these clubs face as punishment are of little consequence when you consider how much they are spending on player recruitment. I cannot see that any sanctions imposed on these clubs would be of any drastic consequence. And more controversially still, it seems that FIFA wouldn’t want the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid to suffer serious sanctions because of the money and benefit that is generated by their extreme spending habits.
The elite clubs of the world seem to be shown a more relaxed approach when it comes to the law being passed down, which means that things like the FFP regulations will mean little, if not nothing, to the big spenders. At first it seemed that the spending would have to be curbed, but if anything it is getting worse.
Let us look for example at this whole transfer saga revolving around Ronaldo, the ‘will he or won’t he’ return to United some day in the near future. There’s just a small matter of £140 Million to fork out for him if they want him back! And what makes it worse is the fact that this figure seems to be waved around like it’s no big deal, like everyone has just shrugged their shoulders and accepted that these sorts of sums are just part and parcel of the world we live in at the moment.
Ed Woodward is to blame for the fees that Man Utd have to pay after coming out and saying that money is no object, as long as they get the players that they need and want. Well if he is publicly admitting that money is no object then obviously the asking prices will go up to stupid amounts.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ronaldo will end up going back to Old Trafford eventually and there is also no doubt that they will pay through the nose for him. And to cap it all off, if you give it a few more seasons, the £140 Million they will potentially spend on him will probably not be a patch on the sort of transfer fees that clubs will end up paying for world class players. As mentioned earlier, FFP has no real influence on the biggest clubs, because the sanctions are not serious enough to make any sort of impact on them, hence the elite will remain the elite, and the chasing pack will remain behind them.
There is no fairness in football anymore because it is more a business than anything else which we all need to get used to and accept. Real fans will have to continue to shell out stupidly high ticket and merchandise prices to follow the clubs they love because football players are worth more than a small country to buy.
While we are here, does anyone fancy buying Messi? I think he will be a snip at around £300 Million. Who has Woodward’s number?
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.