By Tony Attwood
- 81 players arriving, 27 leaving: the media’s wild take on Arsenal’s transfers this summer
- Out of contract players: are Arsenal just being sloppy in retaining players?
- UK government increases its active involvement in football, but is that good?
In one sense the tale of Arsenal facing a transfer ban is of course true, in that Arsenal, like any other club COULD face a transfer ban, but the question that is much more realistic is, “are Arsenal likely to face a transfer ban?”
To give the background, the comment “Arsenal could face transfer ban if legal battle over Marquinhos swoop turns sour” turned up in the Daily Mirror, and it was a story they were so keen on promoting that they went for it twice within a few hours, the other headline reading, “Wolves seeking legal action over Arsenal’s controversial Marquinhos transfer.”
Indeed Reach plc (who own the Mirror) didn’t stop there as they also rushed out the story on Football.London “Arsenal have first signing guarantee as Wolves take ‘legal action’ on Edu transfer after medical”
The story initially was given a big push on
OK that one gets a bit boring after a few seconds, as it becomes very obvious that this is not the official Arsenal TV channel that it proclaims. So you might care to look at some actual video of the player…
So are Arsenal pushing ahead with a transfer that is going to get them into a legal battle?
Such a story has not taken hold elsewhere as yet. The Express has it but none of the slightly more believable sites are touching it… although one can understand why the Mirror has it, because it fits in with their constant narrative of Arsenal a club always in total chaos.
And, just to clarify, the Express, the other paper running the “Arsenal to be sued” story is, like www.Football.London and the Mirror, owned by Reach plc.
So here is the horror story as covered by a growing number of bits of the media owned by Reach plc:
“Arsenal could potentially face a transfer ban as their pursuit of Brazilian wonderkid Marquinhos threatens to turn into a lengthy legal battle.”
The optimum words here are “could potentially” – and you’ll notice the redundancy there – in that sentence “could” and “potentially” mean the same thing which is basically “might”.
The piece was written by David Orme who is described on Linked In as a “Trainee Writer with Football.London.” Which maybe explains how he got this story. If it ever were to blow up in the Mirror’s face, the paper could sacrifice the innocent lamb and claim it was just an office junior not writing properly.
We also almost get a “spotted at the airport” fantasy with “the 19-year-old having said to have travelled to London to complete a medical and agreed to a deal.”
According to Yahoo Sports in Brazil, Wolverhampton W are seeking advice from a legal firm in Brazil to take action against the player.
So let’s try and work this out.
Sao Paulo is the third most popular club in Brazil, for whom Marquinhos plays, and the club claim that they had agreed a five-year contract with the young man (whom the Mirror rename “the talent” in the course of their article). However a FIFA ruling means the deal will expire this summer and he’s free to sign for another club – which is set to be Arsenal.
But here’s the problem (which the Mirror and other “sources”) really don’t touch on at all.
Marquinhos signed a five year contract with Sao Paulo, which is perfectly legal in Brazil. And that is a good deal for both sides because it means that no other Brazilian club can come along and poach the player during that period.
But (and this is the bit that most of the media in England are not quite getting) Fifa only recognises contracts of up to three years for junior players. Which means that on 1 June this year Marquinhos can leave on a free if he wants to go outside Brazil.
However it would be conventional for Arsenal to pay something to Sao Paulo in order to maintain good relations with the club for the future, and this is expected to happen when the player signs on or soon after 1 June.
All of which means that any agreement Wolverhampton had with the player and/or Sao Paulo could only be a gentleman’s agreement. Sao Paulo are quite likely looking to get a bit more money out of the deal by playing one club against the other, but Arsenal have three key cards they can play.
First, Martinelli is at Arsenal, and aside from being a fellow Brazilian, he has been a sensation this season, and Arsenal have shown their willingness to play him. Wolverhampton have Marcal but he is 33 and not an international, so is less of an attraction for Marquinhos.
Second, they are a bit name club, and third they are playing in the Europa League which will give Marquinhos a chance to get the occasional game
But let’s go back to the precedent that is being quoted as the grounds for Wolverhampton’s legal action in regard to the player. On 29 April 2020, it was revealed that Gueye had agreed to join Watford when his contract with Le Havre expired on 1 July 2020 and Gueye signed a pre-contract agreement. Subsequently, Gueye changed his agent, who then took him out of that arranged deal, transferring him to Marseille instead. Marseille were then banned from making transfers for a year, but the case is now the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the ban has been postponed.
So the only similarity there seems to be is in the fact that both players are Brazillian. The contractual arrangements are completely different, but that doesn’t stop the media claiming that “
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