Manchester City v Chelsea

The Lead

Here’s the thing: transfer rumours are total and utter bollocks. Agents make phone calls all the time, clubs pick up those calls, meetings are arranged, lunches are had, ideas proposed, numbers written down. At least that’s how I presume it works; I, like you, have no real idea. The press sometimes catches wind of these things and because we love rumours, it’s perfectly acceptable for everyone (and I mean everyone and anyone) to print this fantasy world of “what if.”

What is fun, at least for mega nerds like the guy writing this post, are final terms on transfer deals that actually happen. Often they don’t come to light, which is a shame. Today we got lucky: we know pretty much exactly how Carlos Tevez moved from Man City to Juventus. Here’s the Guardian:

Although the base fee is €9m for Tevez, this should rise to a minimum of €12m as a clause in the contract awards City an extra €1m a year for three years should Juventus qualify for the Champions League in each of those seasons. A further clause awards City €1m for every season Juventus win either the Champions League or Serie A over the course of Tevez’s contract, meaning the total transfer fee could end as high as €15m.

City will recoup a further total of £17m in saved wages and bonuses, meaning that, if Tevez does agree to the move, they will make a saving of about £27m which they can reinvest in the squad.

As Bobby McMahon pointed out on Twitter the other day, many observers made the mistake in seeing the €9 million figure and dropping their jaws over a generous deal for Juve. The real guts in this deal are the wages that City will no longer be paying out. Coupled with commercial revenue growth, it likely won’t bring City any closer to getting on the right side of UEFA’s FFP provisions, but then again the main thing is to demonstrate to UEFA they’re doing their level best to meet the requirements. Offloading Tevez’s enormous wage packet will certainly help. It’s a very smart deal, for both parties.

It used to be the case that good players had high transfer fee costs and wage demands, and clubs could either meet them or buy someone else. My hunch is even the revenue rich clubs will see the inefficiency of banking enormous percentages of healthy revenues on one or two star players come to an end. Something to keep in mind as Carlo Ancelotti takes the helm at Real Madrid, and Cristiano Ronaldo meets with Man United in the next few days.


Marina Hyde on how Sepp Blatter’ kicked off FIFA’s “Arab spring” [the Guardian].

This should never, ever happen under any circumstances: Posh thinks Beckham would make a good Bond [Daily Mail].

Could Andre Villas-Boas/Jose Mourinho be the Premier League’s newest grudge match? [Unibet].