Thursday, July 29, 2010
Rant Number 2.
You will often have heard on news channels and read in newspapers, quotes from Spanish daily sports papers such as Marca, AS, Sport or Mundo Deportivo. In Spain, everyone knows that these papers are slanted towards Real Madrid (Marca and AS) or Barcelona (Sport and El Mundo Deportivo). But do they actually help their supposed favorites? The pretense is that they are serious informers…..but any digging reveals they are partisan and lacking credibility.
A case in point is the effect they have had on the transfer of Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal to Barcelona. Not a day passes without a headline or a quote from a Barcelona player in Sport, or EMD. They should really learn to keep their traps shut, as any words are manipulated and made into headlines with the sole intention of sensationalism and selling newspapers to gullible Barsa fans. This has caused bad feeling in London, talk of disrespect, of infringement of UEFA rules on tapping up – and a hardening of Arsenal’s stance, indeed, a blank refusal even to enter negotiations. Similarly, Marca and AS did the same last season with Cristiano Ronaldo, were very very insistent (no doubt with Real Madrid’s encouragement), and created a lot of bad feeling in Manchester. In the end money talked. But could the whole thing have been achieved more easily and cheaply in private and without creating bad blood between two big clubs? The headlines created an expectation from Real Madrid fans, who won’t accept anything less than the biggest names. Once the paper has been used to tap the player up, Real Madrid are all but obliged to make the signing, and the bigger the number involved in the fee, the better…that’s Real’s chequebook style….failure to sign Ronaldo would have put Florentino Perez’s recent election victory under intense scrutiny.
When they don’t get their way they act like spoilt children. Todays Sport carries an article with a series of stats, comment, rehashed news, attempted irony and plain stupidity, all aimed at Arsenal, for being so bold as to resist. The Gunners under-control and declining debt is labelled “portentious”, the London club are “desperately in need of money” when the reality is the opposite, has part owners (Kroenke and Usmanov) ready to literally stab each other, does bad business selling Eduardo and Merida (when the latter wasted his opportunities, and the former is damaged goods – between the two sold for a 1 million profit – not bad for a failure and a cripple), have upset Bordeaux’s president for not paying a fee for Chamakh (this when the player was a free agent after his contract expired), and a long etc. Let’s not let the facts get in the way of us throwing our dummy out. Papers are sold. This the same week when Barsa’s supposed 11.1 million euro profit was found to be 88,2 million out (Deloitte reports a 77.1 million loss), this without the 150 million loan taken last week to pay players wages. And they just shelled out 40 million plus on David Villa….and still want to spend another 40 on Cesc Fabregas. At least one hack at Sport had the balls to question their masters….” “The first question that ‘socios’ must ask is clear: what is the truth? Fraud, deception, bad management or intoxication?”. The Madrid club’s black hole is rumoured be nearer 800 million euros. They have always claimed that their property portfolios were strong (basically their stadiums) , and therefore the debt was not a risk….but what now that Spain’s real estate bubble has burst?
What happens if and when Real Madrid and Barcelona’s extravagant debts come home to roost, when they can’t spend such amounts? What if they were obliged to become private limited companies like all the other teams in primera and segunda? (Would this bring in the Abrahamovich sugar daddy? I have to admit, although I don’t like that type of owner, it would mean the rest of us mere mortals don’t have to endure the ridiculous presidential elections and the massive porkies of the candidates once every 2 years). What if the rest revolted and demanded a fairer share of television monies (such as happens in the Premier League, Calcio, Bundesliga). Will their mouthpieces survive on stories of austerity and big name departures? Will they attempt to change tack and do some decent reporting on Spain’s other hundreds of professional and semi professional sides, create interest and maybe help the neglected lower leagues to raise some support/cash?
Oh I’m such a pathetic romantic at times.
I’ll get my coat.
Photo : Typical front page.....Real crest, Real player, unreal stories.
Posted by Guiri at 10:23 PM