The 2013 summer transfer window will be remembered for Europe's wealthiest clubs rendering the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations useless by blatantly overspending on summer transfer targets disproportionate to the player's real transfer value.
This article will look at the following four transfers.
- Gareth Bale: Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for €100 million
- Edinson Cavani: Napoli to Paris Saint-Germain for €64 million
- Falcao: Atletico Madrid to Monaco for €60 million
- Mesut Ozil: Real Madrid to Arsenal for €50 million
"It makes a joke of the financial fair play regulations," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger when asked about Real Madrid's €100 million bid for Bale, via David Hytner at The Guardian. "I find it amazing that in the year the regulations come in, world football has gone completely crazy."
Crazy is the word to describe Real president Florentino Perez signing Bale, an extravagant spare part, and selling Ozil, a world-class playmaker, who has a telepathic relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Ozil leaving [for Arsenal] is bad news for me," Ronaldo said, via Inside Spanish Football. "He was the player who best knew my moves in front of goal."
Bale played the Ronaldo role for Tottenham Hotspur, averaging the second-most shots per game in the Premier League last season, scoring 21 league goals yet registering only four assists.
Unless Bale reverts back to hugging the left flank to take advantage of Ronaldo's aerial prowess (he has scored 10 headers for club and country since the start of the year), Bale will cause Ronaldo's shots per game to decrease, meaning fewer goals for the Portuguese international.
Well, can't Isco, a €30 million signing from Malaga, be a like-for-like Ozil replacement?
Whilst Isco can create shots for teammates, he isn't a pass-first playmaker like Ozil.
Oh, and to rub it in, Perez wants Madridistas to conveniently gloss over Isco admitting to being "a bit antimadridista".
Not only does buying Bale and selling Ozil make no sense from an FFP perspective, it weakens the club's MVP, Ronaldo, and will prove to be a disastrous PR move should this cause a sequel to the Ronaldo "I'm sad" saga.
If Ozil, a superior player with a more substantial body of work, is worth €50 million, then Bale's transfer fee should have been around €40-45 million.
This gives Olivier Giroud, who's scored in three-straight league games, a legitimate chance of winning the Premier League Golden Boot.
Ozil's transfer fee is about right when you take into account that he's better in his position than Neymar, Falcao and Edinson Cavani in their positions, who all had higher transfer fees.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell can chuck his business administration degree in the bin because he blew the chance to sign Neymar on a free transfer.
Neymar's Santos contract was set to end next July therefore Barca held leverage.
In the end, he only wanted to join one club—Barcelona.
Real Madrid? They had their chance in 2006 when they registered Neymar only to balk at the €60,000 fee, as reported by AS from Football Espana.
"Neymar wanted to come to Barca and that helped us a lot," said club vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu, via FCBarcelona.com.
You, Rosell and the fools masquerading as football consultants should have the mindset of not giving Santos a single Brazilian real with Neymar refusing to extend his contract and dreaming of playing for Barca.
"He [Neymar] could go and leave the club empty handed," Santos club adviser Celso Leite told Uol.com.br via Football Espana. "Imagine if Neymar walks out the door."
Clearly, Rosell didn't read the comments of Leite or Neymar Sr, the father of Neymar.
"Now it will be a year until the player [Neymar] leaves [for free] and in six months he can sign a pre-contract," announced Neymar Sr, via Tom Conn at Inside Spanish Football. "Santos should be thinking about that."
Signing Neymar on a free transfer would have been the equivalent of a European club signing a then 21-year-old Ronaldinho on a free transfer from Gremio.
Claudinho of Ponte Preta was the first player to really exercised his worker's right and follow Bosman's example to earn his freedom, but Ronaldinho's case gained the greater notoriety.
In Ronaldinho’s case, he decided not to renew his contract with Gremio, which terminated mid-February 2001.
Representing Assis and Ronaldinho, lawyer Sergio Neves warned that the player could still transfer to Europe if he signed a pre-contract with a club at any time within the last six months of his contract.
Club lawyer Vincente Martins was convinced Gremio would not lose out.
"Let's wait until his [Ronaldinho's] contract ends and then we can come to an agreement which suits all concerned," he said ominously.
It would emerge that Ronaldinho had signed a pre-contract agreement with Paris Saint-Germain on December 22, 2000, a deal that would begin on July 1, 2001.
In 2003, Barca paid PSG €30 million for the services of Ronaldinho, who was available on a free transfer two years earlier.
Manchester United paid £24 million (€28.5M) for Robin van Persie in 2012, who like Neymar was running down an expiring contract, so a somewhat tolerable transfer fee for the Brazilian would have been €25-30 million as opposed to a ridiculous €57 million.
Falcao's €60 million move to Monaco and the transfer of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain for €64 million in Michel Platini's native France further damages his UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations.
How can Platini possibly explain with a straight face that Monaco, a club that was in Ligue 2 last season, with a stadium capacity of 18,523, can be in the black from an FFP perspective after spending in excess of €165 million in one transfer window?
Back to Falcao. He produced for Porto, was a world-class striker for Atletico Madrid and will be elite for Monaco.
But why don't Monaco spend big on Porto's scouts?
He cost Porto €3.93 million and he hasn't changed much since the 2009-10 season.
The Cavani transfer is a bit odd considering Zlatan Ibrahimovic thrives in systems catered to his need.
He's never appreciated sharing centre-stage having clashed with Rafael van der Vaart at Ajax, Freddie Ljungberg with the Swedish national team and being on the outside looking in at Barcelona, due to Lionel Messi.
Falcao and Cavani are worth €40 million at most given they are theoretically valued at €1 million-per goal if they score 40 club goals in a season—a feat neither has achieved.