The Real Football Man

I’ve never written a sporting obituary, to be honest, it is not my field of expertise but it seems as if now could not be a more fitting time as the sport of Football passed away suddenly on Thursday afternoon.

Yes, the most expensive saga since we found out what Gary Lineker earns a year has finally concluded with the news that Neymar has completed his move from Barcelona to PSG for an eye watering £198m.

To add an element to scale to the new world record transfer fee, you could keep Gary Lineker on Match Of The Day for the next 99 years or you could bag two Paul Pogba’s and still have change for a Vincent Janssen. Although why you would want two Pogba’s is anyone’s guess.

This truly is the watershed moment in football, people have told me on Twitter (I mean where else) that the world did not stop when Alan Shearer moved to Newcastle, which is true because we’re still here today but at the same time the former England captain was not for all intents and purposes purchased by an Arab state either.

Big money moves happen in football, that is an acceptance but there is something particularly shady about the fact that Neymar is getting £300m to be an ambassador for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a tournament which he is more than likely to play in anyway.

This is not just money for old rope, this is money for the yacht which is attached to that rope and moored somewhere in Monte Carlo. How this can be viewed as a legitimate transaction is beyond me but then there is a delicious irony when Barcelona try to be the bastions of all that is fair.

The fact that earlier in the day we had the farcical scenes where the Catalan giants would not accept the gargantuan transfer fee only added more fuel to the fire, although I don’t know about you, for me it conjured up scenes of the PSG board turning up to the Nou Camp with a truck full of cash only be turned away.

That, unfortunately, did not happen and eventually, Barcelona would begrudgingly accept the briefcase stuffed with money and allow the Brazilian international to fulfill his life long dream of playing in France. Although at least I think that is how the movie will pan out.

What good can come of this, to be honest not a lot. Whether this truly does see a step change in transfers where clubs will think nothing of not getting any change of £100m remains to be seen but it does make a mockery of the whole notion of buy out clauses.

Not only that but it does also beg the question what on earth where the Barcelona board thinking, setting the bar that low. When you take into account that Cristiano Ronaldo’s buyout clause is set to 1 Billion pounds it is meant to act as the ultimate deterrent and one that works to very good effect.

If you are going to put a hands off message on one of your prized assets you need to make sure that it is not a figure that can actually be matched by your arch rivals. It seems as if a massive own goal has been scored by the Barcelona board before the season has already started.

Not only that but it also shines a spotlight of Lionel Messi and whether the cult of personality has got arguably too much for the diminutive Argentine, by making sure he is still the King of Catalonia they have just abdicated their Crown Prince.

Anyway, in lighter news the EFL (English Football League – I hate the terminology EFL) starts this weekend which means I’ll be taking a huge interest, only to completely shun it the next week. Come on be honest you know I’m not the only one.

Oh and the Community Shield is on as well. I’m sure there’s a Car Boot Sale on somewhere local

03/08/17 – The day that Football died – it’s headstone reads “There used to be a sport there somewhere”

Until next week….that is unless Qatar pay my buy out clause