Even now, after all the revelations, the media still try to love Barcelona

By Tony Attwood

When a club moves from having a shirt too sacred ever to put the name of a sponsor on, to accepting the money of Qatar, you know something has changed.

When a club suddenly fails to pay its top players for a month and the president speaks of having to turn off the colour photocopier, you know something is not quite right.

When the club’s top star is told he has to stand public trial over tax evasion, you might get a bit uncomfortable

When the club are told to pay after being charged with tax fraud over the signing of a player, and then claim they have done nothing wrong, you might shift in the chair a bit and wonder.

When your top player is himself charged with tax fraud back in his own country, you might start thinking, hang on there is a pattern here.

When your former president is then charged with tax evasion, you might start thinking, oh, come on…

Then after all that, when Fifa, of all people, charge the club with moving under age players across national boundaries for their own benefit, clearly in breach of the laws, and the club say, “We do not do things like that” you might start to think, well, maybe there is something amiss.

And when Fifa charge your club’s Football Association with complicity in the under age player issue, you might again feel a little uncomfortable.

And when the entire defence entered by the club turns out to be that the club is world famous for its youth academy so of course does not misbehave, you might have doubts as to why there is not actually a proper robust defence being issued.

And when finally the third hearing is lost and the club clearly is guilty of child trafficking, then, if you were in the PR business, you might say, “err, hang on guys, let’s try and keep it tight now. We’ve been banned from transfers for a year, our entire world renown academy system has been shown to be a fraud, let’s keep it calm.”

And so just at this moment you wouldn’t really want your most famous player simply not to turn up at a visit to a children’s hospital, or an open training session for which many had paid to watch the great man.  You wouldn’t want him saying he had gone down with gastroenteritis just at the moment when Xavi Hernandez described gastroenteritis as an excuse for when something else is going on.

And you wouldn’t then want to find your star player using social media to follow other clubs.

Or you might think…

“Actually never mind, because the press in England will always love us.”

And yes they do love Barcelona, and seemingly always will.  Each individual incident gets a little bit of coverage in the press, but the whole damning package never gets mentioned.  Indeed in the build up to the final appeal against the child trafficking charges some papers were still talking about who Barcelona would buy in the January transfer window – as if it were so certain that they would be given the all clear that one didn’t even need to debate it.

Even more oddly now, if they do mention the transfer ban the reasons for it are never mentioned.   Speaking ill of Barcelona in the British press is only allowed on the basis of one thing at a time, less the perfect image of the club so carefully nurtured by Barcelona over the years at considerable expense, is damaged.

It is rather like the moment when Thierry Henry and co were not paid.  A tiny mention in the financial pages, but that was it.  Is it thought to be too delicate a matter for us to grasp?  Or might we be too hurt?

The simple fact is that Barcelona has been hit over and over again by problems of their own making, and their one way out is to take more and more money from the gas giant of Qatar.

Why the media are so much in love with Barcelona that they won’t put the string of disasters together to draw a complete picture, I don’t know.  But to say the least, it is curious. After all, if they haven’t got their own files, they could always read ours.

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23 Replies to “Even now, after all the revelations, the media still try to love Barcelona”

  1. The fact of the matter is that Barcelona and Real Madrid, between them, ARE Spain.
    The success of both clubs, over the years, for whatever reasons, has resulted in a joint inherited power that challenges even Spain’s national government.
    But things are changing, albeit slowly.
    The outrageously lawless actions of Barcelona in particular, over the past decade, now boosted by funds from the Near East, are now the subject of well deserved retribution…..not before time.
    It’s a warning to others that there is a limit to acceptance of illegality.

  2. Winston Churchill once said of Russia:

    A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

    Well I give you The Media:

    A fiddle wrapped in a conspiracy inside an Agenda.

  3. Nicky

    “It’s a warning to others that there is a limit to acceptance of illegality.”

    When you consider the depths to which the media have themselves stooped on numerous occasions, I would seriously contest that statement where they are concerned.

    The media can hound someone to eternity for one transgression if that is there want. On the other hand they can overlook the misdeeds of Satan himself if it fits there will.

    As far as the Media are concerned it seems Barcelona are wearing the wings of Angels and Arsenal the horns of the Devil.

    Barcelona can do no wrong as we can do no right.

    You may of gathered, I hate the f**king Media !

  4. A good article, but I just want to say the whole social media thing is over-done. Fabregas is one of Messi’s best friends, and that’s very likely why he follows Chelsea. He also follows Man City, Tevez, Higuain etc. It doesn’t mean he wants a move to Man City or Italy.

  5. Barcelona in their quests to dominate club football domestically and globally, went as far as infringing the rules and the regulations that governs the game. And they did that believing they can maneuver their ways through without getting punished. The failure to accept occasional set backs on the field of play by the Barca hierarchies has led to their over commiting themselves financially, morally and unlawfully to keep remaining the best football club in the world. But alas! The law of nemesis has now caught up with them. They got themselves into this mess. Let’s wait and see if they will be strong enough to get themselves out of the problem and still keep Messi who is the main object of the latest saga at Barca. Allow me to come home. Arsenal will go to the Etihad to face City after they have beaten Stoke on Sunday. The Gunners need to break the jinks of not beating a fellow big club of recent especially in the Barclays Premier League games. Honestly, if they the beat City at the Etihad, the victory will usher-in more victories in the big games for the Gunners. Man City were technically superior to us when they came to the Emirates Stadium early this season to play us in a Barclays Premier League game. We were lucky to escape a defeat at the hands of the Citizens. I am still waiting to see who the boss will sign and plays that will make a big impact in our playing as he plays him or them at the Etihad when the Gunners visit there.

  6. Wouldnt FFP prevent that from happening? Im not entirely sure how it works, but i would of thought that any team apart from ManU would be unable to spend that much and stay within the guidelines.

  7. @Jambug,
    I was merely drawing attention to the fact that football now uses all the sharp practice and chicanery associated with big business.
    Some of it, I’m afraid, is a tolerated pragmatism in this day and age.

  8. Nicky

    I realise that, and of course you are correct.

    I was just pointing out that no matter the rights and wrongs of what Barca/Real do, or what you or I say, it is all irrelevant because the only truth that matters is that which is written and reported, and has nothing to do with the real truth.

    The media write there own truth and sadly it is the truth that most believe, hence the profusion of those that believe all the crap written about us, and the accolades bestowed upon the 2 Spanish Clubs.

  9. @Jambug,
    Agreed. The truth and what the media preaches by word and mouth, are generally poles apart.

  10. I don’t think Chelsea can afford (FFP reasons) to buy Messi. But, they may have an interest in where Messie goes. Let’s say that some EPL team is bidding for Messie, and Chelsea feel strongly about keeping Messie out of the EPL. They could buy him now (beginning of transfer window) and sell him at the end of the transfer window (probably for a loss). And what they need to figure out, is what is the largest loss they could afford under FFP.

  11. Chelsea can buy him because of Adidas(kit maker) and turkish airlines their next shirt sponsor. Adidas has made it public before that they would help chelsea if they want to buy messi. And turkish arlines can also help since it will increase their brands.
    This is how it will work:
    Chelsea buys messi from Barca for between 120m to 180m pounds. Plus maybe 20m pounds yearly on a 5 year contract. That is around 40m to 55m yearly on FFP books.Adidas and Turkish Arlines can increse their contract with chelsea to maybe 50m and 45m yearly respectively plus the live coverage money from bt sports which will add another 50m next season.or chelsea owner can just give Adidas and Turkish Airlines 30m and 20m each which they will add in the sponsorship deal. This will enable them to buy 2 messis and other players without anyone doing anything about it. They can do it if messi is willing.

  12. @ Jamburg – in general, you my friend write as I think therefore no need for me to make comments 🙂

  13. It just struck me! Now that Quatar has 2 or more clubs playing in European competition will they join in the European Nations competition!! –

  14. My dislike of Barcelona goes back many years, it intensified during the CL final we had with them, then hit a high peak during their continuous chase of Fabregas (the ‘childhood’ team dream etc…with Puyol the idiot!!).

    To see their fake bubble-empire crumbling gives me a warm feeling, which I look forward to it going all the way to their foundations…but will retain reservations as they are the pets of world football.

  15. The concern is; that we are seeing an alarming similarity of certain clubs in the PL to that model of the Barcelona outfit!!

  16. Too much money at stake to allow either Unreal or Farca to fail. Hence the constant buttering of these two clubs by the media. Having said that, to be fair, they have won a lot of CL trophies between them. Could this also be a reason for the media to be warm towards them?

  17. @gouresh, be sure that if Buckingham Palace had taken Arsenal under its wings from the beginning; we would have had to keep Highbury as a storage unit in its entirety only to store our trophies. Our stadium of today would have been twice its capacity and the media would have been LESS on our back…Unreal is a very good example of this model.

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