I’m not bursting with desire to defend Ade, but I do think that some of the stuff being posted about him at the moment is a bit over the top. Here’s a little bit of the other side of the coin.
To start, 90% of what passes for the transfer market is now pure manipulation by clubs. Clubs like Barca, Milan, Manchester Bankrupts, Liverpool, Real Mad go to great effort to put out stories that have no purpose other than to either
a) cover the tracks of a transfer they want to put through, but don’t yet want made public
b) mess up the market for their rivals
If you want an example of both a) and b) happening at once, take a look at Milan’s activities this summer.
Simultaneously we have the agents. They have a vested interest in a player moving from one club to another because
a) they get a percentage of the transfer fee
b) if the wages go up they get a higher income as they take a percentage of the wages.
Indeed, if we really want analogies, instead of calling players “slaves” we ought to start calling agents “pimps” because the similarities are very real indeed.
Now when you put the clubs with their manipulation, and the agents (pimps) with their endless desire for money, together, you get endless stories and rumours.
That wouldn’t matter if we didn’t have the press running the stories. In the UK we have papers fighting with each other over headlines, which (as we have seen this summer) reach the point of insanity with the News of the World’s pieces. (Arsenal to buy Crouch – ha ha very droll). In Spain there are papers associated with individual teams – so the paper puts out the gossip as news, and neatly by-passes the tapping up rules.
That’s the triumvirate of evil – the agents, the newspapers and the clubs.
My point is that it is easy to describe the transfer market situation in full without any reference at all to the players. They are in fact the playthings of the triumvirate.
Now that is not to say that I am going over to the crazy world of Fifa and calling players “slaves” – clearly that is bizarre for people who earn 50 times my salary. But I do think there is a point to be made that the whole unsavoury business of the triumvirate operates without any involvement of the players.
Milan wants to muddy the waters over their transfer of a player from Barca – keeping it all quiet until it happens. They also want to make life difficult for Arsenal who had the nerve to beat them on their own ground. So they run the Adebayor story.
Ade’s agent wants more money as all pimps do, so he edges the story along, and gets his client to say all sorts of rubbish on TV.
The wretched press run around with saliva dripping from their jaws, printing every word without checking a single statement.
Of course we could say that Ade could stand up for himself and say, “no chance, I’m staying.” But I’ve no idea how bright he is, how much pressure he’s under, or even how much in touch he is with the present day reality. Maybe he doesn’t read the papers or watch TV.
But let’s move on. What if the whole messy process leads nowhere?
- Milan and Barca don’t care – they’ve done their deal.
- The agent doesn’t care – no one is going to boo him – most people don’t know who he is. Ade is tied to Arsenal by a contract, so if no one wants to buy Ade, he stays at Arsenal and gets his salary.
- The papers don’t care – they have sold last week’s rags, and are onto new rubbish today.
Thus I suspect much of this mess was not of Ade’s making. Yes he could have behaved like Cesc and said, “I stay,” but that’s about the start and stop of it. If he is under his agent’s thumb then that’s why he reads the autocue and says what he is told to say.
Still, if no one puts in a single proper bid for him, he’s going to feel a bit of a prat.
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