Barcelona: A lone crab
By Ann O’Gram – our girl on the spot
On this fine and sunny day Bar Bar Barcelona have announced that they intend to make one more push to sign Cesc Fábregas (with an accent) before the transfer windows pings shut at the end of the month.
The local paper “Sport” is currently running two stories. The first says that Ibrahimovic is being sold by Barca to WC Milan and the money is to be used to get Cesc from Arsenal before August 31st. The second article says that Wenger admits that Cesc will go to Barca, and that he (Cesc) has Barca in his soul, and that Wenger has already concluded a deal.
Although just the latest in a long stream of nonsense from the Barcelona based press, it is a clever piece in that it admits (for the first time ever) that Barca are not made of money and that some sort of financial reality exists within the club. This much of course we know given that the club failed to pay its players earlier in the summer.
This news of financial collapse has been rigorously censored by club within the local press, through the efficient use of a D Notice system which effectively bans commentary in the region’s papers about these problems.
In fact the sale of Ibrahimovic is essential to Barca to ensure that the banks will loan extra money to the near bankrupt club will be able to pay the players in August. There is nothing in the coffers to buy Cesc.
So, what then is the reason for this bizarre and eccentric story?
As always the actions of Barcelona are controlled by their need to manage propaganda. It is vital to Barca that the news that they are effectively bust, and have no clear way out of their financial problems, is kept from the local population. Secondly, they need to counter the endless stories in the Madrid press that Barca cannot hold on to their own children. The Real Madrid will never leave this one alone, so Barca need an answer.
Barca do have an answer of sorts in that Real Madrid’s record of late in that Real Mad’s Champions’ League record is awful for a club that spends so many trillions of pounds a week on players…
- 2005 = Champs League 2nd Round
- 2006 = Champs League 2nd Round
- 2007 = Champs League 2nd Round
- 2008 = Champs League 2nd Round
- 2009 = Champs League 2nd Round
- 2010 = Champs League 2nd Round
Indeed despite a budget eight trillion times higher than Arsenal’s they seem to have a penchant for getting knocked out in the same place each year. Quelle domage as they say in New Zealand.
Still Real Ma are nothing if not consistent – and this is the trait that Barca have decided to copy. They will say they are about to sign Cesc this week, last week, next week, and the week before.
So back to Barca, and what this story has nothing to do with is any sort of actual transfer or even whether Barcelona will make a further bid for the player, but rather how long they can keep going without a massive cash injection – and if they do get that cash injection where on earth it will come from?
No one quite knows the answer to either question – and in fact so demented is the club that it doesn’t even know what the question means. What is clear is that there really is no obvious way of increasing their income. They already own the TV rights to their own games, they can’t win any more than they won the season before last, and they can’t really increase the match day revenue. They don’t have the capital to rebuild the crumbling bits of their stadium, and even in the triple season they didn’t sell out every game because of the quality of the ground in parts. And no one is willing to lend them the capital to do the job.
Which is why selling players is all they can do.
And that’s another clue to the Cesc story – they have to cover up the fact that Barca is now the world’s biggest selling club.
And (once more and) at a time when Real Madrid is continuing to buy, buy and buy (and when you look at who the manager of Real Madrid is these days, there can be no doubt that a load of money is on the table) there is a need for news story management, and with a press that is utterly compliant with the whims of the club, the story will always get out as Barca want it to.
It did look at one time as if Barca would run with the story that they would buy Fábregas (with an accent) in January “by which time Arsenal will be out of the title race and Cesc will be ready to come to us.” But with the financial stories endlessly knocking on the door it has been necessary for the club to divert attention for the moment.
We can expect the Fábregas (with an accent) in January story to remerge shortly however.
Barcelona? Just a lone crab.
All Untold Arsenal reporting of Barcelona reaches the same high standards of journalistic competence as that found in the region’s local press.
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