There is something about FIFA President Sepp Blatter that makes it impossible for him not to be in the news every now and then. Controversies usually follow some people around, but here, the case is opposite – he seems to be the one following controversies!
When he said the women’s football teams should play in something more feminine than shorts, like skirts, I thought I wouldn’t read as stupid a statement as that (ever) by the Chief of a major organization. But although that was comical, his latest act hardly makes you think of him as a stand-up comedian in a suit.
Speaking on the Ronaldo transfer saga, this is what he had to say: “The important thing is, we should also protect the player. If the player wants to play somewhere else, then a solution should be found because if he stays in a club where he does not feel comfortable to play then it’s not good for the player and for the club. I’m always in favour of protecting the player and if the player, he wants to leave, let him leave. I think in football there’s too much modern slavery in transferring players or buying players here and there, and putting them somewhere. We are trying now to intervene in such cases. The reaction to the Bosman law is to make long-lasting contacts in order to keep the players and then if he wants to leave, then there is only one solution, he has to pay his contract.”
Slavery? Dear Mister Blatter, it seems that you have forgotten the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo signed a five year deal only last year, when he was quite in his senses and not drugged into doing so. You talk about giving smaller clubs a chance, and that the richer clubs are getting richer and hence harming the game, yet here you are saying that the player should be able to hold his employers at ransom, that a person who signs a long term contract should have the right to shout “Show me the money”?
The Bosman law already gives the players a big advantage over his employers. Using this law, any player over the age of 25 can buy out the rest of his contract. Steve McManaman used this rule to leave Liverpool and join Real Madrid, which resulted in his weekly salary to increase five times from 12,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds. Sol Campbell quit Tottenham and joined Arsenal, who had to smash their wages structure to afford him. And guess how much it would cost Real Madrid to get Cristiano Ronaldo two years from now – when he can use the rule: just 13 Million pounds! That’s 60 Million less than what rumours say Madrid are willing to pay. United payed 12.5 Million for him, back in 2003, so its clear that the Bosman rule already give players like Ronaldo a huge advantage (if he does bring in the Bosman rule two years from now, imagine how much he’d demand Real Madrid to pay him).
And yet, Mister Blatter, you feel the need to protect players?